I saw the same eye doctor religiously ever year since I was 6 years old. There was something about going to the eye doctor that I didn't mind... and amazingly, actually enjoyed! It was this enjoyment that lead me to consider the profession in the first place. I wanted to be the individual giving the good feeling and ability to see clearly to future patients. It's not until now that I've really had to start thinking about what I want my future practice to look like... and if I even want to go into private practice at all!
Tuesday we had an OPP meeting on "Marketing and Communication." The doctor who came to speak with us had failed at 2 previous partnerships, then decided to start from scratch in his own private practice! He showed us techniques and made sure we understood that a patients/customers return to a practice and appreciate it when they have a "good experience" with it. He reminded us that if the experience is memorable, unique, and excellent, that patient's will not only return, but tell others about the practice. In addition, they'll be willing to spend a little more money when they know they're spending it for the services of a doctor whom they trust. He compared this notion of the importance of customer "experience" to Disney World - the company who's done everything right! Finally, he showed us ways to implement that "good experience" into our practices and how to get our name out there in the community! A very successful meeting indeed!
On Saturday of this same week, we had an optional workshop called, "Making Great Hires." It was from 10am - 3pm, but they fed us lunch (very good incentive for poor graduate students), and it was some of the most valuable information I've received in a long time! I don't have any business experience, so I had no idea what it would take to recruit, interview, hire, educate, and maintain an efficient, cohesive, and friendly staff. After this workshop, I really feel like I have a foundational knowledge to start thinking about what the vision for my practice is and how I can implement that! Free Chick-Fil-A and valuable information for my future career! What better way to spend a Saturday morning instead of studying for Optics?
Anyway, I'm about to go type up some ideas for my vision of my future practice. I will continue building on this vision as the next few years of optometry school quickly pass by me. It's so hard to believe that in 1 year, I will be over in the clinic looking at real SCO Eye Center patients' crazy eyes!!! I feel a step ahead of my competition already knowing that I've proactively thought about my future and took advantage of workshops to teach me about qualities of private practice that previously lead me do desire alternative modes of practice. For example, I went to optometry school wanting to be the boss someday and then got scared of hiring, firing, managing, taking out more loans, being responsible for upgrades, etc. So I decided I could graduate and work for an ophthalmologist, maybe do commercial optometry... basically anything that said, "the easy way out." Now after going to some meetings and workshops, my spark is back! I know I want to be in control of a practice so that I can really bring forth the ideas I have for running a stellar practice! All I need now are those two little letters after my name that represent one of the most valued professions out there!
3 more years... :)