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Discussion in 'Optometry' started by texas110477, Dec 12, 2008.
hah! I love it. Click on the optometrist link at the bottom of the story. Did you catch the beginning of the "day in the life of" section. It starts by saying: "Your office is in a Wal-mart". Classic. Is this what our future holds.
For many optometry students, the answer unfortunately is YES.
Why is there such a stigma surrounding working as an optometrist at a wal-mart? .
I can't speak for you, but I did not go to school for 8 years and incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt so that I can see walk in patients at 3 in the afternoon on a Sunday for routine exams in a tiny "office" sandwiched between the Subway outlet and the picture studio filled with screaming children with the constant "beep beep beep" of register scanners ringing in my ears.
If you're ok with that then more power to you.
Patients? hmm... customers!
short, sweet, to the point:
as we say in the south "that just aint right"
Alright, now I feel terrible . I've only shadowed optometrists that have their own practices so I dont' know the conditions that exsists in wal-mart.
But now that you put it like that (KHE).... it doesn't seem that appealing anymore.
I've always though of wal-mart as being a really "homely" place though....:S
I think you should consider shadowing a doctor who works in corporateit'll look good when you apply/interview. You should demonstrate that you've researched the field from several different perspectives. Doesn't have to be Wally-world, you could go to Lenscrafters or Pearlevision or something like that.
Aren't the optometrists at Lenscrafters private owners who work in conjunction with the Lenscrafter store? This was the case for the one I shadowed.
Yeah.....kinda. They might technically be private owners but they are hardly really "own" anything. As soon as some young grad comes along who's willing to work more hours, evenings, weekends, or do cheaper exams, the current doc will be out on their ass in a second. It drives me nuts when I hear docs say, "I have a practice practice...inside a walmart (or LC, or Pearl, etc)." They are deluding themselves.
Ok, I've posted this before but I guess it needs repeating. We should archive this with a sticky note or something do I don't have to do post this every 6 months:
HERE'S THE DEAL WITH COMMERCIAL PRACTICE:
In some states, ODs can be employed directly by the corporate entity. I believe that New York is one of them. I believe there are 2 or 3 others. I don't know which they are.
In the vast majority of states though, an OD leases space from the corporate entity, whether it be Lenscrafters, Sears, Walmart etc. etc. The OD then, in theory, operates their own "private office" within the leased space however the OD sees fit. In theory, the corporation is to have no control over the ODs operations. Virtually every corporation however as part of the conditions of the lease will require you to provide a certain number of hours of coverage. While they may not specify what you should charge for an exam, the suggestion is strongly made to keep fees "in line" with other commercial establishments in the area.
And most of the time, that is how it works out. The corporation really cares about one thing only. And that is, selling as many glasses and/or contact lenses as they can. As long as the optical is doing well, the optometrist leasing space is generally left alone.
However, the problems will start when the optical is NOT doing well or when the optical is not doing as well as the optical manager, store manager, regional manager, district manager, etc. etc. THINK that it should be doing.
THAT is the time when they will come to you and "encourage" you to see more patients, accept more walk ins, extend your hours into later evenings or perhaps even Sundays, lower your fees, "recommend" certain types of conact or spectacle lens treatments etc. etc.
If you do not comply, you will find out just how independent the "independent doctor of optometry next door to XXX" is. In fact, you will find out that you will be so independent, you won't even be working there anymore. Every lease arrangement has a clause in it where the corporate entity can terminate your lease for any reason with 30 days notice. That is the biggest downside of commercial practice. You can be turfed in 30 days. And unfortunately, it happens all the time.
I myself did it to someone when I was first out of school. I didn't really mean to, but I responded to an ad for a doctor to take over a commercial lease. WHen I responded to it, I was told that the current doctor was not working as many hours as the corporate entity wanted. I said that I would work the requested hours. They immediately terminated the other doctor. I later came to find out that the doctor had been with them for over 10 years.
So after 10 years of service, this "independent OD" was unceremoniously shown the door.
The issue with commercial practice is rarely the quality of care. Most ODs in commercial settings provide decent care. Most commercial practices however do not practice a lot of "medical" optometry. It is mostly routine eye exams on healthy eyes for the purpose of updating glasses or contact lens prescriptions. Some commercial lease holders do bring in other medical testing devices on their own and will manage, or at least diagnose issues like glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. But again....those types of clinical activities do not end up with a spectacle RX for the optical to sell. So, the corporate entity won't mind you doing those things, AS LONG AS the optical is doing well enough. If it's not, you will be encouraged to do "less medical."
walmart is actually a pretty classy place apparently,
I love that clipping. For me Walmart is honestly one of the only places I will go in my pajamas and after days without a shower. The dollar stores are nice around here.
Very interesting. Thanks for the info.
You should just go ahead and copy that into a word doc on your computer so you can re-post it whenever this topic comes up
I sincerely appreciate this post. Thank you.
Great post KHE
Thanks KHE. The optometrist I shadowed basically said the same things as you but to a lesser extent.
When you say less "medical" what are you implying? I've been to private, corporate, HMOs for my eye exams and they all seemed the same with regards to the exam routine.
The exam is basically the same, but what is done with the results are usually different. For example, if a person in a commercial practice finds a patient to be at risk for glaucoma, more often than not that patient will be referred out to another provider because the commercial doctor usually does not have the appropriate equipment to explore that diagnosis further.
Gotcha. Thanks again.