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How can private practice compete??

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by MeShe1ly, 11.16.12.

  1. MeShe1ly

    MeShe1ly

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    [website edited]

    --> $95 for a pair of glasses (frame + polycarbonate lenses + anti-glare coating + polarization)
    --> $30 additional for high index 1.67 lenses
    --> when you buy a pair, you essentially donate a pair to someone in need
    --> returns w/in 30 days
    --> free shipping
    --> home try-ons for up to 5 frames


    How can private practice optometry compete with this??
    Last edited by a moderator: 11.18.12
  2. blazenmadison

    blazenmadison

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    You can't. You rely on word of mouth, professional optical services (frame adjustment, pd measurements, cleanings), and finally your optometry association. Though the AOA has been entangled in their board cert mess and ignored online optical regulations. We have so many state regulations on how to dispense glasses but online opticals completely circumvented them. Good chance retractions and optical goods will be Deregulated.

    I would not bet your $ on private practice.
  3. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    Why do people stay at the Four Seasons when there's a perfectly good Motel 6 down the street?

    Why do people spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a Nikon camera when you can get a disposable camera at the pharmacy?

    Why do people spend hundreds of dollars on an iPad or a Macbook when you can get tablets and laptops at Costco that run the same apps and software?

    Why do people spend thousands of dollars on a Sony television when you can get a Vizio at BJs?

    Why do people spend hundreds of dollars on shoes in a mall when there is a Payless Shoe Source just down the hall?
  4. Jason K

    Jason K

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    This is all fine, but when a doctor loses 30 or 40% of his/her patients because the economy is in the crapper and people decide, "You know, I think I'll do some things to cut back. I'm going to cut out cable TV, cut back on eating out, buy less expensive clothing, and I think I'll still see my private eye doctor, because he's truly awesome, but I'm going to do what my friend Sally did, and I'm going to buy my glasses online for 1/3 the cost of what it costs to get it from my doctor," that doctor's going to be in trouble. A hotel is a drastically different business model than an optometry office.

    There will always be those people who will hang onto private practice, no matter what, but when that number becomes too small to support that doctor, he's done. The next few years will see increasing, dog-eat-dog competition between private ODs, all in an effort to stay alive. If you're in a practice with strong momentum, it will carry you longer than if you're in an office that's hanging on. The economy is heading for a continued down-turn. It has to, with the current fiscally-liberal lunatic we have in the White House. Middle class patients are going to get pounded in the next decade, as a result of what happened since 2000 (and yes, Obama is at as much fault as his predecessor for that.) Obama will stand in front of you and tell you he's looking out for the middle class, while he pounds away at our heads.

    Private practice optometry is in big trouble since the forces are being put into place to drive it out of existence. Hell, the forces are being put into place to drive private medicine out of existence, so optometry doesn't stand a chance. I guess time will tell.
    Last edited: 11.17.12
  5. netmag

    netmag

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    So I see that some people are still stuck on blaming the President for their personal woes.
    I know that some people have been trained to automatically blame certain other people for everything in their lives. It works on both sides of the political isle and it's really an unintelligent way of thinking about things usually reserved to the poorly educated or those who have been traumatized into illogical thinking at some point in their lives.

    1.) The decline of Optometry didn't start with the current President's election. Just like the horrific (near apocalyptic) drop in the economy didn't start with his election either, but you can blame him for the slow recovery.
    2.) Mitt Romney and his ilk probably won't be buying glasses from you. Sorry to say that and there is not enough of them spread around to support a large amount of Optometric growth anyway.
    3.) Truly poor people won't be buying glasses from you either as most don't have the ability to even consider such an expense. They won't be getting stuff off of the internet either because most of them don't have the internet.
    4.) Money doesn't grow on trees or somehow come down from above from no where.
    5.) That pretty much leaves the middle class if you want to have significant growth. Yes, the same middle class that took the brunt of paying for the Wall Street bail out. The middle class that shops in the areas where you do business. The middle class that wants their kids to have eye glasses so that they can do well in the local schools that some people would like to shut down. So when someone says they want to stop the decline of the middle class (because it is declining) and bolster it, you might want to be smart enough to be OK with that assuming that you're actually interested in growing the profession. A strong middle with money to spend is the best way to do that for you.

    Of course, I suppose it is always easier just to whine and complain about how someone else is out to destroy you. It takes less effort and requires less thinking.
  6. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    I actually started writing a response to this posting and I got buzzed to see a patient and it turned into one of these serendipity moments because it directly relates to this thread.....new patient, guy, late 40s, "uses cheaters" and "has a bunch of them around the house" and just "grabs whatever is close by."

    I walk in the room and he's reading an iPad. A new one.

    So he tells me he thinks he needs new reading glasses. Having trouble with his "cheaters."

    Go through the exam, come up with a new Rx, slight difference between the two eyes, slight astigmatism, neither of which are corrected by the cheaters.

    So I explain that to this man and then I said "let me ask you something....you've got a $700 iPad there with retinal display there and it has all kinds of high definition features and yet you're looking at it through a $2.00 pair of cheaters from the dollar store. That doesn't seem to make much sense. Why not just get a piece of glass from the hockey rink and look at it through that?"

    So he blinks at me a couple of times and then $290 later he just walked out with his new reading glasses made (in 30 minutes) with a high end frame, high end lenses made to his exact prescription with quality coatings and his response was "holy crap! this is SOOOO much better" while looking at the iPad.

    So the question isn't how do I compete with Warby Parker, it's how does Warby Parker compete with me? They don't.

    And I'm nothing special. I'm not smarter. I'm not better looking. I don't have a better phoropter. My office is nicer looking than most and I've got lots of equipment but lots of optometric offices have lots of equipment. So how am I able to do this in this terrible Obummer economy?

    Here's what I had been writing before that patient came in.....

    I bought my practice in July 2007. In October 2012, the economy went in the worst crapper it has in 80 years and my practice grew.

    Apple is still selling iPads at record pace. Why? In this terrible economy, why?
    I tried to book a night at a luxury hotel...sold out. Why?

    A hotel is not a drastically different business model. You're selling a product and a service. It's all about the quality of the products, the quality of the service and the quality of the experience.

    Jason,

    You're like the abused girlfriend who convinces herself that her boyfriend "isn't really that bad of a guy" no matter how many times he kicks the crap out of her becuase like the abused girlfriend, you've repeated your mantra so often that you've convinced yourself that you're correct.
  7. Jason K

    Jason K

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    KHE, you can repeat the same mantra as well, only it's you who's defending the "boyfriend." That boyfriend is optometry. I love your story, it's great, and it's too bad it doesn't happen more often in other practices, but the fact is, as the economy gets worse, people are going to look for ways to save money. You can tell us anecdotal instances of patients who come in a walk out with a new Lambo and a pair of PALs, but it doesn't change the trends that are happening. It also doesn't change the fact that everything is stacked against private practice optometry right now, and it's not getting better. If optometry were a robust, self-motivated profession being led by optometric Bravehearts, I'd say it might have a shot, but the fact is, optometry is being led by Ned Flanders.

    As I said, there will always be folks who fit the description of they patient you just wrote about. When that patient gets more and more extinct, we're going to see more and more infighting among ODs.

    You're an idealist. You extend what is happening in your practice, to what could possibly happen for someone coming out of school right now. I'm looking at large trends, and saying that what you have is great, but it's no longer practical for a reasonable portion of students to hope to attain that. If you don't see that, you're delusional. You could be the last private OD practice in the nation, and I'd bet you'd still be on here saying optometry is a good bet.

    It's noble that you want others to have a shot at what you have, but shielding them from reality will only delay their disappointment, and increase its monetary cost. We both know where optometry is going, but you seem to like to write about the "possibility," despite the fact that that possibility gets smaller and smaller with each graduating class.

    If I asked you to comment on the percentage of highly successful OD grads who come out in 2013, and how it compares to the same percentage of grads who came out in 1995, I could almost answer it for you. You'd say, "Any one of them could be enormously successful, it's up to them." The problem is, you're sidelining the fact that there's a 3000lb weight on the shoulders of every new OD grad, when there used to be a 30lb one.

    You've used the hotel analogy before, and it's not valid for a variety of reasons. For one thing, there's no "hotel insurance" that people can use when they check in. Secondly, if you were to poll Four Seasons guests, I'd bet their average income would be 4 to 5 times the average income of the average patient in an optometry practice. Your Apple comparison is not valid either. There is only one Apple Computer. If there were 40,000 home computer companies that all popped up tomorrow, I can guarantee you that most of them would be crushed by Apple. Just because a small number of ODs are doing well, doesn't mean there's room for the rest.

    It's all about the padding that businesses have to weather the storm. Some companies are lined with Kevlar and lead paneling, and others, like optometry are lined with cotton. You can dismiss my "doom and gloom" all you want, but at the end of the day, it's the students who are taking the risk. When they realize that the optometry they envisioned doesn't exist, they won't have me to blame.
    Last edited: 11.17.12
  8. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    Allow me.

    There is zero doubt in my mind where the optical industry is heading. I only needed to go as far as my sister-in-law. She has started ordering her and her children's glasses on-line and she is thrilled with them. Probably saved 85%+. Much cheaper than I could even make them.

    Really, only a fool would pay more for the same product. I wouldn't (unless it was truly a specialized product that I couldn't get just anywhere).

    We'll always have the 10% that will buy an expensive pair of glasses (or car or watch) and the 40% of welfare takers that gets whatever the gov't allows (welfare, unemployed, VA fake-disabled). So that leaves a full 50% that vote with their ever-shrinking, increasingly-taxed dollars. And they've discovered:

    -cell phones are better than pay phones booths
    -computers are better than typewriters
    -GPS systems are better than paper maps

    -- And now, they are discovering that buying glasses on-line, at an 80% discounts is better than paying a doctors office $300. Soon there will be an I-phone app to autorefract one's eyes to within +/- 0.25 diopter.

    The days of the OD running a little optometry office are very numbered. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.
  9. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Are you off your meds again? No one is blaming Obama, as incompetent as he is, for their personal woes. You're living up to your usual posting habits of listing nonsense information that has no bearing on the topic at hand. It's actually mildly entertaining.

    Please step away from the bong, hoss - we're talking about the demise of optometry here, not the ldiocy comparison between Barry O and George W Bush. That's like arguing over which of the Kardashian sisters is the fattest.

    That's funny, I don't remember anyone saying that it did start with Obama. Where did you hear that and why are you making a statement that would lead us to believe that someone did say that? Are you an alien from another planet, netmag? You seem to have a fundamental lack of understanding of written English, and you compose responses, which seem coherent on the surface, but actually lack even a small amount of rationality. It's like watching a bad episode of Jersey Shore......strike that. It's like watching any episode of Jersey Shore.

    Any rational human being is aware that Obama did not cause the downturn, that honor goes to GW. But, yes, I can most definitely blame Obama for the slow recovery. Bush wasted 2 trillion on wars we didn't need or ask for, and Obama evened the score with 2 trillion he blew away to two failed stimulus packages. I know, they helped us "avoid the great depression, right?" I see the MSNBC programming has really taken good effect on you.

    Obama has attended to what he deems important; "green energy" and muslim appeasement. He's virtually ignored the economy for his first term. If you don't see that, then you don't actually know what your president is doing. But then again, you're netmag, so rational thinking and an understanding of current events is probably asking too much.

    Finally, we agree on something. Are you back on your meds now?

    Clearly you have no idea what poor people do with their money. Most of my medicaid patients had nicer phones than I do, with iPhones all "bedazzled" and blinged out, data packages, games, bells, whistles, and whatever else you can add to a phone these days. If you think poor people don't have internet, you're insane.

    Then why do you support Obama? His base seems to believe otherwise. Whenever the government runs short, he just says "Hey, rich people, give me some more of your cash. And, middle class folks, I'm going to take a pile from you as well, but I'll just disguise it so you won't really know where your money is going.

    You must be referring to the same middle class that is getting pounded by the economic stagnancy we've seen over the past 4 years, right? The same middle class who can't find a job to save their lives? Those people, right? The same middle class who forked over a significant portion of the trillions of dollars used for the failed "stimulus" packages, that did nothing? That middle class?

    Are you high? Do you stumble into bars and start yelling at patrons about how awesome Obama is and the middle class should be thankful to him? Are you that guy who gets dragged out by the bouncer, mumbling nonsense about optometry, and then when the bouncer says, "Get the hell outta here, doc!" You respond, "I'm a pharmacist, you idiot!" Are you that dude, netmag?
    Last edited: 11.17.12
  10. MeShe1ly

    MeShe1ly

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    From what I see, a lot of people (especially our younger generations) are more likely to save up and spend their $$ on the above mentioned products than they are on a nice pair of frame and lenses. Glasses are regarded as necessities, and while it's backwards, I see a lot of people being stingier on things that they need so that they are able splurge on their luxury items like iPads or designer bags. In west LA, I see this a lot with patients who haggle over exam copays or $100 glasses (after insurance), but manage to drive up in Range Rovers to their appointments.

    Not to say that there aren't people who are willing to pay for quality over cost when it comes to their glasses, but I definitely see a different consumer mentality emerging in the younger generation with the growing accessibility to more and more luxury items.

    What Warby Parker has managed to do is to take advantage of this changing trend in consumerism by making glasses-buying as trendy as buying a pair of Toms shoes, and at the lowly price of $95. Not only is it trendy and hip, but it's also cheap (and claims to be of high quality.) As far as quality and customer service goes, most reviews seem positive. Either the quality really is as good as they claim or the glasses wearers can't tell- in which case, I guess it doesn't really matter.
  11. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    Ok, so you admit people are willing to spend money on quality luxury goods.

    In your office you have to explain to people WHY your lens and/or frames are better than the Walmart or Costco or BJs or Warby Parker products. You have to show them and you have to explain it to them because you are right in that patients intuitively trust that an apple tablet is a quality product but they may not appreciate why a particular lens is. You have to explain it to them.

    I can easily come up with a budget made in china frame and put some crappy a/r coating on it and a polycarbonate lens and sell it for far les than Warby Parker does.
  12. Jason K

    Jason K

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    No one can deny the fact that people are willing to spend money on luxury items, even during a recession, but that's not the issue at all. The issue is the fact that when a person can save 50% on a "luxury item" by getting it online, they very often will. Not everyone, but a good portion will choose to get the exact same product at 40 or 50% off, and that kills the brick and mortar retailer. In this case, that's private ODs.

    The Apple example fails because iPads are available for one price that is set by Apple. If I could open an online retailer that sold iPads for $150, identical to the $500 version, you can bet Apple would be knocking at my door with a long train of lawyers. Would Apple go out of business from this? No, but they've got a lot more "padding" than the average OD.

    The OD's margins are getting thinner and thinner, and all the little jabs coming at us will add up to private optometry's slow, but certain demise.
  13. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    What does an iPad do?

    It surfs the web, it plays apps, it checks emails, it plays music, it takes pictures.

    There are all sorts of tablets down at BJs at Costco and Walmart that do the exact same things.

    Yet I don't see people lining up at 3 o'clock in the morning when the new Acer tablet comes out.

    Why?
  14. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Two reasons: First, because most alternatives to the iPad are not as good. They might cost less, but the value, functionality, and quality are not there for most, although some are starting to compete. An online pair of Brand-X glasses is exactly the same as the Brand-X pair bought in your friendly OD's private office, it just costs 2-3X as much.

    The other reason is the fact that the Apple logo has become as much a fashion accessory than it is a representation of quality. There is no such brand recogntion with private optometry. No one says, "I want everyone to know that I bought my glasses at my doctor's office, so I'm willing to pay a lot more to do that."

    If all online glasses were Chinese-made garbage that fell apart after a week of wear, they wouldn't have seen astronomic growth over the past few years. They have been growing exponentially, and I believe they will continue to do so, because they provide consumers with the option of buying some of the same, high quality frames they see in their private ODs' opticals, at a much lower price. The average consumer does not perceive the advantages of buying from his/her doctor until after they have a problem with an online purchase, which is actually not that often.

    Look, all the theory stuff is fine, but the "If you produce it, they will come" philosophy can only take you so far. People are not fools. If they know they can buy a widget for $99, and get a free upgrade or two, they're not going to buy the same widget for $249 without the upgrades. There will always be people who choose to buy from their doctor, that's a given. The problem is, as more and more people decide to go online, it wears away at the private OD. You can dress it up any way you want, but when ODs are clawing at each other for every patient they can get their hands on, because only 20% of them buy from their doctor, we're going to see private doctors dropping like flies.
    Last edited: 11.18.12
  15. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    What makes alternatives to the iPad "just not as good?" They are both probably made in the same factory in China and when you disassemble an iPad, most of the chips and circuitry is not differant than other tablets.

    That's why you have to create the brand recognition in your office if not through the office or the doctor themselves, through the lens products?. Even if you dont' create the brand recognition such that patients want to "flash" it like they might with a Coach bag or a Rolex watch, if you say to them "which A/R do you want me to put on your lenses? The no-name shrink wrapped plastic or the stuff that's similar to what they put on the Hubble telescope?"

    Most patients choose the second option.

    This is also why you shouldn't have the same stuff in your office that is all over the internet. No point having an office filled with Luxoticca or Marchon stuff.

    And you have to take the time to SHOW people. We have a few frames in our office from coastalcontacts.ca that we got for $6.99. We SHOW them.

    "Here....take them....feel them....open and close the temples. Put them on your face. Run your finger over the material."

    "Now try this one from our office....." See the difference?

    In almost every case, the answer is yes.

    Of course, some people still choose to go online. That's fine. Some people still choose to go to Walmart. That's fine too. Some people choose to buy from us when they initially intended to go online. That's what we would like to happen.

    But really, "online" is no different than Pearle, Lenscrafters, BJs, Walmart, Costco etc. etc. It largely attracts the same subset of patients who aren't interested in your practice anyways. Cater to the ones that are. There's nothing "better" that people are getting online just like there this isn't anything "better" at BJs.

    Of course, if you've got an office filled with Luxoticca frames and you're saying to people "would you like polycarbonate lenses in that frame?" then of course people aren't going to understand the difference. It's takes time and it takes education.
  16. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    KHE,

    Your argument is valid. But the fact remains that there is only a small % of people that will splurge for 'luxury' items like overly expensive glasses (or Vision Therapy or low vision for that matter or whatever fancy niche is promoted by shucksters). Maybe 5%? Maybe 10%. Certainly more like 1% where I live.

    The fact is, this leaves only a few practices around the country able to set up in the wealthy areas and for sure ALL of these places are saturated now and as they have cultivated their patient base for the past 30-80 years. A few ODs might be able to wait until one of those guys dies or maybe buy into the practice (that's like 0.0005% of future ODs). The rest of us enjoy these 1 or 2 big-spenders we see per month and treat them like kings. The rest of our income comes from "the 99%-er's" the liberals like to talk about.

    It takes a special person to be able to talk a family into spending their months grocery money on an expensive name-brand pair of fancy glasses and still be able to sleep at night (certainly not talking about you though). But I've seen them. ODs and OMDs.

    Many times I don't have the heart to sucker someone into a pair of $300 glasses when I KNOW an $80 pair (or $19 pair on-line) will do just as well for them. I never turn the money down on the rare occasions I get it. But more times than not, it's just an OD trying to make some extra money, thinking with his bills in mind moreso than the patient's best interest. So there really is no pride is selllng the most expensive eyewear. It's no different than selling people expensive cars or expensive shoes or watches. There is a sucker born every minute and perhaps they deserve to spend 500% more than they needed to. It is there money after all.

    I drive an expensive car because I can (although I bought it used a much discounted price). And I can assure you that there are much fewer people in the Lexus dealership than the Kia place. What you're saying to every student is like saying to a used car salesman, "Hey, all you gotta do to make lots of money is to buy a Porsche or Mercedes dealership". These dealerships are limited for a reason and they are very expensive to obtain. If every person selling cars suddenly decided they wanted to sell mostly cars in the $100,000 range, 99% of them would fail severely.

    You are talking to those 1% of students telling them "it's possible". The rest of us are talking to the 99% of the other ones saying, 'you're gonna be hustling trying to sell all those used Fords and Chevys all day long.........while less expensive and more reliable Hondas and Toyotas are flooding the market at 1/4 the price".

    P.S. It must be noted that you were smart enough to get into a practice in one of the more affluent areas of the country where the per capita household income is about 40% higher than the national average. You have to admit that this will not be the case for 95%+ of current and future graduates.
    Last edited: 11.18.12
  17. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Proprietary software and the world's best designers & engineers make them better. Apple can afford to get them. Ever try a Kindle? It's a piece of crap compared to an iPad. The interface is glitchy and inconsistent, and there are limitations to the software. the iPad blows it out of the water. As I said, there are other tablets that are getting better, but they still lack the proprietary software and the status that Apple has created. You can say "That's why you have to build your brand," but this is an apples to oranges comparison. Your brand, in optometry, carries the weight of quality and service, it leaves fashionability/trendiness on the table. That's one of the main draws for apple products; the status. That's what I'm saying.

    Again, no one brags to their friends that they bought their glasses at your office. I get what you're saying about brand recognition for your office, but it's a completely different type, and it's not comparable in its ability to attract customers.

    No doubt this strategy works, but more and more people will start to resist the efforts of the sales-minded OD, and as they do, they'll see the light online. There's crap online, but there's also high quality as well. It's all there, and it's all inexpensive. Sooner or later, enough people will jump ship. Maybe not all, but enough, and private ODs will pay the price. Not everyone has to go online to make the private practice model unsustainable for a large percentage of ODs in the US.
  18. Commando303

    Commando303

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    1. Pretention, and quality of experience at the hotel.
    2. Quality of the camera.
    3. Brand-recognition.
    4. Ignorance, and possibly product-quality.
    5. Stupidity, and possibly product-quality.

    How is your eye-exam superior to the one the optometrist at Lenscrafters gives?
  19. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Probably the best summary to what's going on in optometry that I've ever seen in print. Pay attention, pre-ops, if you ignore the warnings, think back to this post in a few years.
  20. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    I'm not talking about $1500 frames or $900 lenses. I'm not talking about the difference between a Ferrari and a Pinto.

    I'm talking about educating people on WHY this product is better than that product and why it will work better for them. Are you sayinig that less than 1% of people where you live have an iPhone?

    No one is talking about pressuring or "tricking" people into buying things they can not afford such that they blow out their monthly food budget. Cmon.

    Why do you make that assumption on behalf of your patients? Why not give them the options and let them decide? That's the problem. Too many ODs don't give patients the options or the explanations but then lament when people purchase eyewear online.

    Why do you keep talking about "the most expensive eyewear?" No one is suggesting that.

    This thread is about competing with online entities like Warby Parker. I'm not sayinig own a Mercedes dealership. I'm saying competing with "Warby Parker" is much easier than people realize.

    You've brought that up before and I don't understand it. Yes, I live in Connecticut. But you seem to have this delusional view of what Connecticut is. It's like California. Yes, there are a few pockets of not just wealthy but SUPER wealthy people. But, like California, there are a huge swatches of this state that are basically just a slew of meth addicted welfare queens. I can assure you my practice is not in the super wealthy part of the state.
  21. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    What does that proprietary software actually do for people? How many people actually take advantage of it? I don't even know what proprietary software you're talking about. I know one piece of prioprietary software the iPad did NOT have....FLASH. Because yea....who wants to surf the net with FLASH? :rolleyes:

    What do most people use an iPad for? Surfing the web, checking email and playing Angry Birds. And yet...there they are....lined up around the block.


    I'm not talking about brand recognition for my office. I'm talking about giving people the knowledge of why THIS lens is better than THAT lens.

    There's no "sales mindedness" to this. It's simply educating people on the difference between this product or that and letting them make their decision. Would I prefer they made it in my favor? Of course. If that makes me "sales minded" then call me guilty.
  22. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    Because I did it.
  23. Jason K

    Jason K

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    Seriously, you don't think proprietary software does anything? What EMR do you use? Have you ever used iTunes? Have you ever turned on a computer and used its operating system? That stuff is all proprietary.

    Every mac user in existence uses its proprietary operating system and some would say its the best on the plant for the casual home computer user. Microsoft has been trying to copy the Apple OS "feel" and they've been failing miserably.

    Again, it's as much a symbol of status/fashion, as it is a high quality electronic device. If Apple decided to remove their logo and make their iPad look identical to a Samsung tablet that's 30% cheaper and has the same overall functionality, you'd see a migration to Samsung.


    Lenses and frames are different things. You can capture the person who's willing to shell out the extra cash to get the better AR and material, but the average patient, in the average OD practice just wants affordable, functional glasses of reasonable quality, that don't cost $250.00 or $300.00. Their dollar goes much further online and they know that. The problem is, you're seeing this from the standpoint that says "Well, I only want the patients who want the best, and can be sold on it, so I don't really care what the fat lady in neon green spandex shorts and a mesh tank-top does at Walmart." I'm saying "There aren't enough of those to go around to keep private optometry alive. That's all it is - plain and simple. There isn't enough pie for everyone to get a piece, and that's only going to worsen.


    There's nothing wrong with selling a product at a markup, even a high one, if the customer gets something of value in return for the markup. In your case, they do get a return. The problem is not in some inherent lack of fairness, it's in the reality that people will tend to want to spend less, when they can, if the quality of their purchase is similar. Whether it's rational or not, a large percentage of patients will not see the value in buying from their doctor, since the the cost is prohibitively higher, even if for good reason. You're coming at this from the "What if all the ODs simply did this, and sold their materials the way I do?" Well, the fact is, 99% of ODs will keep on doing what they've been doing, and their practices will continue to decline. More and more material sales will go out the door, reimbursements will continue to decline, operating costs will continue to climb, and private ODs will pay the ultimate price.

    It really doesn't matter what you do in your practice; what matters is what the average OD does because that's what dictates the future of the profession. Like I said, you tend to look at things from an idealist's perspective. I look at it from a realist's view.

    I still say Tippytoe's car dealership example is absolutely flawless in its ability to demonstrate what's going on here. Optometry will continue to sell itself as a robust field with a bright future for private practitioners, but the reality is, it's breaking apart before our eyes, and it's the students coming up through the system right now who will get burned.

    Guys who are out right now, doing well, will be fine, at least for the foreseeable future, but that doesn't matter to the kid betting his borrowed fortune on an OD. There will be some seriously pissed off new grads in the coming years - I guarantee it.
    Last edited: 11.19.12
  24. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    What makes Apple's software so much better than any other comapanies? iTunes is simply an mp3 playing software package. In the past, Windows was prone to viruses because 97% of the worlds computers ran on Windows so hackers felt that their time would be better spent developing viruses for the devices that 97% of the people have rather than the 3%.

    You had to explain to people the difference between the $250 pair and the Costco pair. Once you explain that difference, lots of people will stay with you. Many will still leave of course but they were leaving anyways. I'm saying that there is plenty of opportunity to capture a much larger segment of the eyewear market in the average private practice if you are willing to take the time to provide the education.

    The average frame sale in my office has gone up 60% since I bought it 5 years ago. The average lens sale has doubled in 5 years. I can assure you that that did happen because VSP doubled my reimbursement or because the economy has been doing so awesomely in the last 5 years.

    They will not see the value in buying THE SAME THING. Once you explain to them that the lenses you're providing them are NOT the same thing that they are getting online or from Costco or Walmart, anymore than the $10 disposable camera from the drug store or the $1200 Nikon are the same thing.

    Since I still owe hundreds of thousands of dollars on my practice purchase AND I have a mortgage on my house AND I have two young children who I presume will want to go to college at some point in their lives, rest assured that I have no time for idealism.

    What I will agree with you on is that if the "average OD" continues to do the same thing and continues to offer the same products in the same fashion as they have for the past 25 years, then yes, they will have problems. The time for "business as usual" is over.

    I am saying that if "most ODs" did what I did, more ODs would be a lot less miserable because I am telling you, as sure as I've got a crack in my butt, there are plenty of people out there willing to spend money on something IF they understand what they're paying for and if they believe that they are getting value for their money. You have convinced yourself otherwise.

    You have elected to not share where you practice or what mode you practice in. As such, I can only presume that your practice environment is contributing substantially to your perception and judging from your postings, it only gets reinforced daily. I believe that you are incorrect on many things but I do agree with you that if private practice ODs continue to try to operate in the same fashion they have for the last 30 years, they will run into trouble.
  25. Jason K

    Jason K

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    What makes it better is that everyone has it, and it's well designed. No other mp3 software can say they have both of those attributes.


    As I said before, what happens in your practice is not what matters; it's what happens, and will happen in the rest of private offices in the nation. If a significant enough portion of patients leaves the building without buying materials, the practice will eventually run out of gas. It's happening already, and we haven't even gotten started yet with the pain that's coming.


    You're in a mercedes dealership - most grads will never set foot in an office like yours, let alone buy one. What you do in your little corner of the world, is not relevant to future of optometry. I've worked in an office that would likely meet or exceed yours in terms of annual revenue. It has no effect on my view of optometry's future because I understand that this sort of office is not repeatable today. Offices like yours have momentum, and it will carry you, but 99% of OD offices lack that momentum, and they will die off. You can deny that all you want, but it's reality.


    What percentage of camera owners do you think buys the $10 disposable, the $200 Canon, and the $1200 Nikon? You sell a lot of $1200 Nikons. Most offices sell $200 Canons, and online offers everything above for 50% off.

    Your posts, whether you admit if or not, are idealistic. They focus on what could happen, not what is likely to happen, given the current circumstances. That's idealism. What's odd to me is that your tone on SDN is a lot more idealistic than the far more realistic tone you take on ODWire.


    Like I said, it's not about what will happen, it's about what you think could happen. That's idealism in my book.
  26. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    We create that momentum. Other practices could too, if they chose to do so.

    Jason, (whoever you are, I do wish you would reveal yourself at least privately since we've had so many ongoing discussions)

    I will meet you halfway on this....

    I agree that most private practices will struggle in the future but I would contend that unlike you, they are NOT powerless to do anything about it. You talk about these tidal forces moving against the private practitioner and I would say that we are not powerless. They most certainly COULD do something about it, as I've pointed out and what I've pointed out does NOT involve $1200 frames for the small percentage of patients who can afford or want that, or private label contact lenses or bait and switch or any of that garbage.

    It's simple education by a committed, trained staff. If practices continue to operate in a "business as usual" fashion, they will suffer.
  27. Jason K

    Jason K

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    That's the problem - we both know that most won't and that’s all that matters. The result will be tens of thousands of ODs who have fewer and fewer places to land since they won’t be starting or buying offices. Retiring docs will start closing their doors, since no one will be there to buy them out.

    The future US economy is not going to be friendly to borrowing large sums of money to start or buy an office, so ODs will settle for lower and lower quality work, higher workloads, and lower pay. The workforce studies predicted these trends long ago, and that was without the consideration of the new programs and a tanked economy.


    I'm not powerless - I chose to leave. What I don't want to do is invest even more money in a profession that is dying, at least in any respectable form. The optometry of the future is not something I want to be a part of, so I left, just like you did some years ago.

    There have been many examples of industries and professions that have become extinct, or close to extinction, and no amount of effort or skill could save some of those people. There will always be a few that manage to hang on, but the masses fall off the cliff. Maybe you'll hang on. Maybe some other large, successful OD practices will hang on, but the fact is, most won't do it, for a variety of reasons. The reality is, despite what could happen, most new grads coming out of school are doomed before they even graduate, because of what will happen.

    The future for this profession is dark. We both know it. I couldn't care less what my kids do, but I would move heaven and earth to persuade them away from an OD. It’s the only health profession out there, aside from chiropractics, that seems hell bent on destroying itself. All health professions will likely suffer in the coming years, but the others are far more equipped to maintain themselves than optometry.



    Again, we’re talking about what could happen. I don’t care what some guy who’s been in practice for 12 or 15 years can do, what matters on this forum is what students can hope to do. It’s the students who stand to lose everything. By the time they get out, optometry will be further down the path toward the end. Since the majority of private ODs will not turn things around, they’ll die off, leaving a wasted future for those coming through the system right now. The conditions will not be there for new grads to replace those that die off. The days of optometry self-propagating private practice are over, and that’s what will spell the end for private ODs.
  28. Commando303

    Commando303

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    I have no idea what that means. (Possibly, you now might say, "Exactly.")
  29. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    You asked how my eye exam was superior to the one given by the optometrist at Lenscrafters.

    The response is "because I did it."
  30. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    Sounds like a potential opportunity for an educated young doctor who has at least a modicum of understanding of these issues to slide in and turn something into a money maker.

    You lament that most OD students will fail. I think that you are correct. Most will for many of the reasons you've cited. I don't deny that most ODs won't fail. What I try to tell people is that IF your goal is to own a practice then THESE are the types of things you should be thinking about to best position yourself.

    I didn't mean you personally were powerless. I meant optometry as a profession is not powerless. Patients want the information and they want to understand that they are spending their money on. If you provide that information in a pleasant, non threatening manner in a pleasant non threatening environment, you will find that the number of patients from your office going online or to Costco to buy eyewear will do down a lot. ODs, for whatever reason want to continue to do business as usual and you simply can not do this in this day and age.

    There is probably truth in that. That is why I spend my time trying to tell people "listen....if you want to succeed, consider this this and this." You've taken the position that the chances of success are so small (I don't agree with that) that you might as well not bother.

    I don't think that's the case. While there are issues facing the profession, no doubt, I think in many ways we are BETTER positioned as compared to other health care providers.
  31. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    All I'm saying is that, according to statistics I've seen, your city/county's per capita household income is around $75,000 while the national household incomes is around $50,000. That, by definition, means the people you have living around your office have $25,000 more to spend every year. Selling them $300 or $500 or $800 glasses is obviously easier where you are than those practices where the household income is $27,000.

    Additionally, I do not believe one brand of lenses is particuarly better than another brand. They are all essentially the same if fit correctly. So the $400 progressive really isn't any better than the $100 progressive lens. The frames aren't any better. They just have a goofy name on them like shoes or jeans. It's all marketing (along with a bit of fitting skill). We have nothing in our office that can't be purchased elsewhere (for less usually).

    I do remember when some unethical ODs were trying to fit Proclear contact lenses when they could only be purchased thorough a doctor's office. They specifically fit those lenses so their patients could not purchase their contact lenses from an alternative source. That was a big failure in the end. Patients saw right thorough that.

    You do make it sound like there are alot of people walking around with ill-fitted glasses only seeing 20/30 with headaches and if you only educate them well, they will buy nice glasses that allow them to see perfectly and have no other problems. I reject that. Most glasses are very routine and most people (not the rare -9.00 - 4.25 x 070 +2.00 add engineer types) can see fine with the cheapest of glasses. From there, it just becomes an ego/style thing.

    So seriously, what exactly are you educating the 21 year-old pizza delivery -1.00 sph guy on that makes him want to forget about the $14 online glasses facebook ad or the '$29 Complete Eye Glasses' sign on every light post in Walmart's parking lot or the $13 on-line contact lenses he can order at 2 am in his underwear and spend big bucks in your office instead? )
    Last edited: 11.20.12
  32. PBEA

    PBEA Senior Member

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    my gosh, how can you say that lenses are basically all the same, and how can you say that frames are all the same? that is ridiculous, have you ever worn a cheap walmart frame with cheap polycarb and some kind of cheap PAL? seriously its not even close. If the 21yo wants to get those cheap options thats his prerogative, but lets not throw around a bunch of nonsense rationalizations like "its the same thing". Give me a break.
  33. Jason K

    Jason K

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    That would be fine if there were going to be any opportunity to be had. Try getting a loan when interest rates are through the roof and banks won't come near you. With what is sure to come in the failing US economy, banks will be holding on to their money tightly, unless a potential borrower can prove they will be able to pay it back. Convincing a bank to bet on a failing profession won't be an easy. Aside from that issue, the profession itself will not be able to create conditions that will allow a new startup practice to thrive. If you don't have the momentum of a successful practice, you won't be able to develop it. All that will add up to a shift from private practices dominating the profession, to commercial and facility based practice. I believe Obama's vision for the future of health care is to have us all working in government-controlled facilities, and he's putting the forces in place to make that happen.


    If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a bicycle. If, if, if….it doesn't matter. What matters is what will happen. I'm speaking to the 99% of students who are doomed before they even start their OD program. None of them thinks they're heading toward disaster, but they are.

    Here is the question. Is it worth it to effectively invite droves of students into the profession, so that maybe a tiny portion of them will end up "succeeding," whatever that might entail in the future? You're assuming that the masses of ODs who "fail" will have no effect on the rest. The problem here is that the large majority of those who fall over the edge, will bring everyone else down with them. What needs to be done right now is to stop the massive influx of new ODs into the system. I know you would agree with me on that, because I've seen you say as much on ODWire.


    Again, you're making assumptions that are not valid. You're assuming that the climate we're in will stay the same in the future. It won't. I don't argue that there will always be room for a few private offices in the US. I don't think we'll ever see a situation in which every private practice is gone, just like we still see the occasional private pharmacy that has still managed to hang on. That's not the point. The point is, when 98 or 99% of graduates have nowhere else to go, but commercial optometry, we will have effectively reached the end of the road. We're well on our way, since every graduating class adds to commercial growth, but does very little, if anything to add to private practice growth. Line up 500 grads from the last 5 years and see how many have bought or started offices. The numbers would probably surprise you. Then line up the same 500 and see how many of them went into box stores or other commercial outlets. The numbers don't lie. Grads are feeding the commercial beast, while the private side of the profession dies off. The changing climate will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for newer grads to add to the private side in the future. It's a system that is unsustainable as far as private practice is concerned - that's the problem.

    I'd rather be right for 99% of the people I advise and wrong on the balance, than the reverse, especially when the cost is so high.


    You can't possibly believe this. Honestly, this is absolutely ridiculous. We're on the bottom of the income ladder in terms of providers. We've oversaturated ourselves multiple times more than other health care professions in the last 20 years. We've seen reimbursements drop, and drop, and drop, while much of our retail revenue has gone online. We're seeing higher taxation, increased overhead costs, all while income drops. The providers that weather the storm will be those who have some room to spare. As a profession, we don't. All health care providers should be fearful of what's coming under Obama's irrational vision of what America's health care systems should look like, but we're at the bottom of the pile.

    Optometry in America is being led by fools. We all know it, and it will continue to be led by the same self-serving "elite" who have no regard for the future of the profession. Dori Carlson is the embodiment of optometric cluelessness, and her style of lunacy will continue on in the AOA for the foreseeable future. Did she "Leave Optometry a little better than she found it?" DId she really "Own 3D?" Poof - just like that...we own it.

    All the pieces are there to be seen, you just have to look at them for what they are and see what's coming. I'm not saying that the OD of the future will be dumpster diving. I'm saying that he will be scrounging around for low-end work, because the enormous volume of competing practitioners will be far too large for the number of needed doctors.

    Get ready to see a lot of part-time, pissed off ODs because that's where we're going.
    Last edited: 11.20.12
  34. Optogal

    Optogal

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    Apple is the most successful company in the history of the world. Using it specifically as an example of why private practice optometrists can be successful is silly. One can make the argument that the "best" online retailer of online glasses can be successful in a world wide web full of online retailers, simply by being the "iPad" of online retailers.

    The analogy further ignores the many companies who have tried to compete with Apple and have failed. These companies (i.e private practices) opened, tried hard, and yet bankrupted.

    As well, I disagree with KHE's likening of an Acer tablet to commercial optometry. An Acer tablet is more akin to a less (but still wildly) successful competing private practice, than it is to a WalMart optometrist. The WM optometrist is a dumb-phone, or no phone at all, which still has majority market share.

    Is KHE's argument simply that through upselling, PP is impervious to modern optical market realities?
  35. KHE

    KHE Senior Member SDN Advisor

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    Nowhere did I compare an Acer to tablet to commercial practice. I simply used it as an example of a much cheaper tablet that does the same thing that an iPad does yet no one lines up around the block and pays hundreds of dollars more to get an Acer tablet.

    I am also not suggesting upselling either. I'm simply saying that if you educate your patients on the difference between a 19 dollar pair of CR-39 lenses and what you are selling in your office, they will come to appreciate that in much the same way that people appreciate the difference between a $10 disposable camera and a Nikon camera that costs several hundred dollars. To me that is not upselling at all.
  36. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    No different than saying cars are all the same. Sure a Mercedes is a fancier and more comfortable ride, but a Hyundai will get you where you wanna go just as well.

    Some people want to pay more for the leather seats and more horsepower and nameplate. But they won't be any worse off in a 4 cylinder toyota. If cheap glasses were as bad as you say, there wouldn't be millions of people happily wearing them. The 'my glasses are so much better' mindset is simply Optometric ego gone wild. I've ordered glasses from a number of on-line places initally thinking I'd check them out and show everyone how crappy they were. But I was proven wrong when almost all were spot on in Rx, measurement and quality. Try it out if you haven't already. You might be surprised. And most people would probably even tolerate a slight blur or poor fit for a 90% savings on their glasses. They can buy 5 pair for the price of a "good" pair at a private optometry office.

    I've worn all types of glasses including progressives. It's the quality fitting and good measuring/assembly that counts. There really is little difference except for the specialty lenses. It's simply marketing much like which laundry detergent is better. Soap is soap. But my opinion really doesn't matter. The American people have the only opinion that matters and they are flocking to big box and on-line opticals at an alarmingly ever-increasing rate that is not likely to slow down.
    Private optometry optical will be a niche market in the future for people that need attention and stroking or those that want to brag to their friends that they paid a fortune for their "special" glasses.
  37. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

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    This is a post from another OD from another forum. Interesting.
    ____________________________________________________



    "About 3 weeks ago I mentioned I had ordered +4.00 in a rimless frame from Coastal.com. (I am +2.00 with +2.25 add OU and I figured I could use them for readers in the boat tool box) The rimless had a bit or an oblong shape which I figured would really increase the lens thickness. The cost was $101 but I used an internet special and they cost $16.27 and that included shipping.

    They came in a couple days ago. I took them to the office without saying where they came from and asked our extern, one of my partners and our head optician what was wrong with them. I told them the Rx was correct. The said a high index would have looked better, there was some propeller, they would not have recommended a rimless like that with a +4.00.

    They liked the frame, they liked the AR coating, they liked the edging. They each wanted to know what the trick was and why I was asking. I told them no trick these are the glasses I bought off the internet for $16.27. I got three jaw drops out of it. (My first impression when I opened the mail and looked at them was "wow" this is impressive for $16) I ordered the job to show myself and my staff how our quality was different. I tried to make them look really bad and didn't get there. We are still different and we still are better quality but we are not $16.27.

    This won't change our 3 year strategic plan a whole lot but I think on the 5 to 10 year horizon it will. A lot of people who don't do specialty contact lens fitting complain there isn't any profit in contacts anymore. What if the profit goes away in the dispensary? Or is reduced dramatically? What are the strategic plans to reinvent ourselves? Does our dispensary put in video kiosks where the patient can pick out any frame in the world on line and for $50 we take the measurements, do the adjustments, and service the frames but not for breakage for a year? I could reduce my staff by 20%, cut my office space by the same amount, reduce my inventory by $70,000. A big chunk of the prepaid vision plans would go away. A very different business model then I practice right now.

    What if there is an app on my phone in 10 years that for the average eye will give a refraction within 0.25 of what I can do? Anyone think that might not happen? How would I change my practice to compete then? In thinking about it if I didn't really do refractions, didn't have a dispensary, I'd pretty much be like an ophthalmologist before the 1970's who didn't do surgery. They made a good living. Or will I be doing some surgery in 10 years?"
  38. PBEA

    PBEA Senior Member

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    mercedes=hyundai

    wow

    your point is only valid on the surface, and then it falls apart....like the hyundai or the cheap plastic/metal crap frames from walmart. You do have a point though, I'll give you that, its just that its a very small point. :rolleyes:
  39. Meibomian SxN

    Meibomian SxN

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    Sony was just downgraded to junk status by Fitch.....
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324352004578134442734112194.html
  40. thanotoriousfob

    thanotoriousfob

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    +1 million. Thank you for posting something refreshing. I used to frequent this board often but it has rapidly turned into a cesspool of negativity, where certain people just push their annoying agenda on everyone.

    Broken records.... no one likes them.
  41. Jason K

    Jason K

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    KHE is on the other side of a very tall fence from you, chief. You're, unfortunately, no different from the other 5 million students who believe they're headed for optometric greatness. Be sure to come back and post after you graduate and begin functioning as a glorified optician, as most of your colleagues are already doing. Enjoy your time in school. The real word hits about a year after graduation, when those pesky student loan bills start showing up every month.

    It's a shame that few of you take an objective, unbiased look at the trends and the information available. You instead, find a way to make optometry fit into the image you have created. That will be your downfall. Don't say you weren't warned.
  42. thanotoriousfob

    thanotoriousfob

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    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Yawn. You don't even know my financial situation or anything about me. I will be successful because I have plans in place and and I don't need you or your kin telling me otherwise.

    I've been around/interned with a few successful recent grads (08 and 09). I mentioned to them this website and the concerns that are brought up on here. They think people like you and your hyperbole is a joke. I mean for god's sake, you're an OD and you spend every waking moment on here bitching about your profession. No wonder you're such a loser. I feel bad for you, chief.
  43. Jason K

    Jason K

    Joined:
    06.10.11
    Messages:
    1,137
    Location:
    Somewhere other than Chicago
    Status:
    Optometrist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    First off, you can't throw down the "chief" card, once it's been laid on the table. Try and get a little more creative. Secondly, I'm thrilled that you have based the soundness of your career decision upon factors which have little bearing on your outcome.

    Some of you remind me of the run-of-the-mill Obamabot. You guys repeat the implanted thoughts that have been dumped into your brains by the people who stand to profit from your inability to critically evaluate a situation based on facts and real data, instead of words out of our windbag president's mouth.

    Despite your arrogant and immature attitude, I hope you are one of the few who finds a spot on the lifeboat. Most new OD grads will drown slowly out there after graduation, as many are doing now, and we haven't even begun to see the real oversupply problem yet. That will come when all of the new OD factories start pumping out their sub-par product, which will continue to decline in value. Deny it all you want now - time will tell who's right.

    ......and "every waking moment?" Really, hoss? It never ceases to amaze me how much time people claim that it takes to write a post. It takes about 5 minutes to sit down and type out a coherent thought, 6 if it's a long one. What do you do, type with two fingers?
    Last edited: 12.09.12
  44. Meibomian SxN

    Meibomian SxN

    Joined:
    02.02.08
    Messages:
    696
    Status:
    Optometrist
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Couple weeks ago a friend of mines had a new pair of glasses on so I commented on them. He told me he got them from an online company and they were PALs with A/R, transitions and polycarb (ie all the "bells & whistles). I asked him how much? He says "a little less than $200, as opposed to $the usual $400".

    The only thing that saves most opticals today is the fact that most patients do not feel comfortable with buying glasses online. Now contacts, that's another story. And so when glasses online and from vending machines become normalized, then you can kiss the entire profession goodbye. :xf:
  45. PBEA

    PBEA Senior Member

    Joined:
    05.28.04
    Messages:
    734
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    polycarb is basically the cheapest and optically the worst lens a person can wear. Hardly in the "bells and whistles" category.

    you can also get the cheapest AR for around $2-3, its crap flakes off in no time

    lord knows what garbage PAL they use, probably designed in the late 1970's

    frames can be made out of the cheapest plastic on earth, any moron can order a thousand of these frames at around 10cents each.

    not saying that's what your friend got, but I could sell all of the above for significantly less then $200. I think your friend may have gotten ripped off
    Last edited: 12.12.12
  46. Tippytoe

    Tippytoe

    Joined:
    08.20.07
    Messages:
    561
    Status:
    Optometrist
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    That's kinda what I used to think--until I began looking at people who've purchsed them and I even ordered a few pairs of glasses on-line myself. Can't speak for every on-line optical but the ones I've seen have been pretty damned good quality. Definately adequate to get the job done for most people. They won't make engineers happy but most people will be thrilled to pocket that extra $200 and still have a decent pair of glasses.

    We've only seen the tip of the iceburg with regards to online eyeglasses. I'm seeing discounts of 80%+ and that is IMPOSSIBLE for the brick-n-motor, mom-n-pop OD office to compete with. There is always be a market for the people that think they need to spend more (Rolex watches, Rollys Royce cars, expensive eyewear). The average person will ABSOLUTELY take a chance on them and most will be very happy. Studies have already shown this already. We've already have lost or will lose the bulk optical business for the most part.

    Which leaves a future of 50,000 ODs carry little fans around with them trying to induce dry eyes in people so they will have something to treat. :clap:
    Last edited: 12.13.12
  47. PBEA

    PBEA Senior Member

    Joined:
    05.28.04
    Messages:
    734
    SDN 10+ Year Member
  48. Meibomian SxN

    Meibomian SxN

    Joined:
    02.02.08
    Messages:
    696
    Status:
    Optometrist
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Exactly. Whether they were crap PALs or not, the fact is he felt comfortable with purchasing them online. And since he was happy with the product and significant savings, he'll give that word of mouth to others.

    The problem with are future is that the 99% of ODs out there rely on the sale of a product for the bulk of their revenue. We're paid less than peanuts for our services and can perform little to no procedures. Someone put that in an equation coupled with expanding schools, no chance of retirement, etc.

    Its not a "broken record ", its reality. A ~$200k debt reality for most if not all....
  49. Meibomian SxN

    Meibomian SxN

    Joined:
    02.02.08
    Messages:
    696
    Status:
    Optometrist
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    I feel bad for people who negatively criticize those of us who only seek for students to know the FULL truth about this costly & rigorous professional choice.

    Of course there are success stories but for every 1 success there are FAR more stories of regret and the feeling of being lied to. Interesting thing is, not one thing Jason has written is inaccurate or an untruth. It may be dismal but its like the state of the state of the economy: the future and truth hurts.
  50. Optogal

    Optogal

    Joined:
    01.23.10
    Messages:
    263
    Status:
    Optometrist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Safety and compliance of prescription spectacles ordered by the public via the Internet

    Methods
    Ten individuals ordered 2 pairs of spectacles from each of 10 of the most visited Internet vendors, totaling 200 eyewear orders.

    Conclusion
    Nearly half of prescription spectacles delivered directly by online vendors did not meet either the optical requirements of the patient's visual needs or the physical requirements for the patient's safety.


    This study has no clinical meaning because there is no control group. They state that 50% of online glasses don't meet standards, but they don't tell you what percentage of glasses bought traditionally from brick'n mortar stores MEET standrds. I mean, that's obviously the critical element - are online glasses WORSE than glasses bought from a store/optometrist? This study doesn't tell you. Maybe glasses out of stores/ODs fail at a rate of 75%? You don't know.

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