The world and business of optometry practice have changed beyond all recognition in the last three decades. This is due to the emergence and growth of the multiple sectors and the ever more sophisticated range of clinical testing equipment that is available.
Against this backdrop, a vibrant independent sector still holds a substantial presence and provides an important option for patients based on clinical excellence. It also offers a very different career path for newly qualified Optometrists and Opticians.
So, coming to a moot question – is a job in an Independent optometry practice the right option for you?
The following criteria might justify your decision:
Be prepared to work hard
While independent optometrists are not subject to the hospital like targets they still work very hard and often put in long hours and of course, have all the tasks that go along with running a business to deal with.
They need to do this willingly because of the passion they have for what they do and because it is a vocation for them. People with ambition should know that achievement only comes with hard work – are you really ambitious?
Cravings of Knowledge
Independent optometry facilities are at the forefront of new treatments and normally the pioneers with new technology. They are constantly looking for new and better ways to provide the best possible health care for their patients.
Only meeting CET requirements will not cut it with most independents – they also want to see the same craving for knowledge from their people that they have themselves. If you have a longing for learning and knowledge then you should fit in with the Independent culture. Go into the details of HER, check with your revenue management team, look what are the new advancements in medical billing and coding for optometry, and so on.
Make the job your passion
Most independents love what they do. It is not just a job but a vocation. It all fits in with their passion for the sector and their willingness to work hard.
Remember that if you are of the same mindset and truly see your profession as a vocation then you should fit in with the Independent sector.
Always be a team player and not the boss
Many independent practices are small and therefore everyone working in the practice whether owner or employee needs to work closely together, be flexible and get on with each other day today. The size of the team does not matter it is the commitment to be there for others that do matter. Can you work effectively as part of a team?
Think about the patient and not your business
In independent optometry, the facility talks about patients and treats them as one of yours. They are interested in delivering clinical excellence and ensuring long-term eye health for the people they treat.
Often they will know their patients from many years of consultations and hold an in-depth record of their clinical history not just on file – but in their heads! They care about the people they treat. In fact, many patients become long-term friends! Is this the sort of working life that appeals to you?
Make a long term goal
Most entrepreneurs and in this scenario optometrist are passionate about their sector and they believe they offer the best eye care option.
They want to see the sector continue to flourish and to offer the choice of clinical excellence for their patients. Many are looking for people to succeed them into the ownership of their practices when the time comes for them to enjoy their retirement.
They will welcome people who have similar ambitions to the ones that they had when they entered into practice. If owning your own practice is ambition then the Independent sector is the only option for you.