panzer

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Has any of you pre-opts worked for Visionworks and/or any of the other brands like Eyemasters etc under ECCA [Eye Care Centers of America]?

I want to know what was your experience like in the hiring and working process. Was it good to switch there from another optical chain?
Also, how good is it on the application if say you work with the optometrist there?


I'll appreciate any informed responses.

Thanks
 

vsarge0708

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Has any of you pre-opts worked for Visionworks and/or any of the other brands like Eyemasters etc under ECCA [Eye Care Centers of America]?

I want to know what was your experience like in the hiring and working process. Was it good to switch there from another optical chain?
Also, how good is it on the application if say you work with the optometrist there?


I'll appreciate any informed responses.

Thanks

I currently work at a Visionworks so I could shed some light on the subject. Before OD school I worked for independant doctors in a Lenscrafters and I also worked for a OD/OMD practice. I must say that Visionworks is by far the worst place I have ever worked for, in any field [I'll explain in a minute]. With that said I'm going to bite the hand that feeds and tell you that I'm glad I have the job. On Saturdays I tech for the Doc--I do case histories, AR/AK, lensometry/neutralizations, NCT, EOM's, pupils, confrontational fields, and VA's. I really enjoy the Doctors side--they show me everything from punctal plugs to cortical cataracts to toric cl fits. Now the bad stuff: I am an employee of visionworks--not the Doctors side as was the case with the other two practices I worked for. The manager doesn't know [email protected]#$ about running an optical and it's quite funny hearing them upsell "their patients" [yes they call their customers patients] AR coatings because it's the healthiest thing you can do for your eyes. They constantly push sales regardless of a persons needs or situation and keep pushing me be a sales scumbag which I absolutely refuse. Because I'm in OD school they expect me to dispense all the glasses even though they have 3 unlicensed opticians and 1 licensed optician. The place is dirty--the cl training room is flooded with ants, there is a roach problem, the optical is straight out of the 80's and most of all the glasses they make are complete sh!t. I do neutralizations and quality checks on the glasses [2 weekday nights a week] and I have to reject at least 25% because they love to disregard ANSI standards. With that said I've still seen them dispense glasses with 2.00 D of cyl that were 023 degrees out of tolerance. I've seen the manager screw up transcribing a Rx from plus to minus cyl, have the lab make them with the incorrect Rx and then have the manager dispense the glasses. I've seen them sell a pair of glasses based on neutralizing the lenses alone. I've seen them sell patients glasses with expired Rx's and the list goes on and on. I constantly argue with one of the unlicensed opticians regarding quality and standards. If your a sales person and you don't sell a corporate lens cleaning kit [which is 700% profit] in most of your sales you get written up. Oh I also get paid $3.50 less an hour than I did at the other practices.

As far as the hiring process--you would think I was getting a gov't job. I had a math test, a peepee test, a personality test, an interview, a background check, etc. The process took close to a month for a job paying $8.50 /hour.

As far as school applications are concerned--any and all experience helps, regardless of practice modality.

With all of this said I'm still glad I have the job: the bs I put up with on the optical side is worth it for the clinical exposure I get on the Doctor's side.

If you have any other questions feel free to pm me.
 

Dwight Schrute

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Has any of you pre-opts worked for Visionworks and/or any of the other brands like Eyemasters etc under ECCA [Eye Care Centers of America]?

I want to know what was your experience like in the hiring and working process. Was it good to switch there from another optical chain?
Also, how good is it on the application if say you work with the optometrist there?


I'll appreciate any informed responses.

Thanks
If you're considering working at VisionWorks or any other commercial optical, do yourself a favor and don't do it. As Vsarge already mentioned, you'll pretty much be forced to do anything to up-sell a customer. Your job depends on it.

Keep in mind when you push extra material you benefit the corporation, not the doctor--not that I cared in my doctor's case since he was a total DB and a yes man for the corporation.

I always assisted a customer in the most ethical way possible, never suggesting something that would not benefit them. I was pulled aside after hours a few times because he felt that I wasn't pushing enough extras (yet I had the highest sales out of all the employees :rolleyes:). By the 3rd 'little chat', I was fed up with it; told the doctor to go F himself, that he was a disgrace to the profession, and walked out. Sorry if that sounds unprofessional, but he needed to be put in his place. Needless to say working there didn't help my application.
 

IndianaOD

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No OD should be working in such environments. Have some freaking respect and say no to the big boxes and retail giants. Take a little more time and effort and find a private or OD/MD office. ODs that work in these unprofessional setting damage optometry's image for all of us.
 

Eyegirl2k7

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Visionworks is NOT a good place. I am lucky not to be in a mental hospital after trying to be a doc there for nearly a year.
 

xmattODx

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Visionworks is NOT a good place. I am lucky not to be in a mental hospital after trying to be a doc there for nearly a year.
:D Ha ha. I was there for three years. My wife was there for about a year and a half and almost went crazy. It was so bad that, and this is no lie, I ended up taking her to the hospital with a panic attack because she was dreading the next day of work so much. Needless to say she quit shortly after that.
 
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panzer

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Hey thanks for the responses. I am not a OD yet but probably am looking for a lab position since this is where my experience lies in working for Lenscrafters.

l don't know which states you guys work in but the labs I have seen in IL has newer equipment than my current work one-hour lab. It just could be that visionworks just started in the area and bought pretty much new lab equipment, though the lab supervisor did say that we just make "one cut" on the lens unlike other labs which I think he meant that the jobs were "easy" to be done.

I did hear that they paid at least $11 for the retail eyecare specialists. The lab guys pretty much work alone but the manager said that he would be there for the first couple weeks to make sure unusual problems are taken care of when it comes to finishing the lens.

As far as the hiring process--you would think I was getting a gov't job. I had a math test, a peepee test, a personality test, an interview, a background check, etc. The process took close to a month for a job paying $8.50 /hour.
To be honest, I almost choked on laughter when I heard their "hiring program". The hiring process seems way too centralized for a private company. Heck, I haven't even "met" district supervisors for any of my previous jobs except just know them by their names. :lol:
 

Mixin Marc

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Visionworks is NOT a good place. I am lucky not to be in a mental hospital after trying to be a doc there for nearly a year.
My buddy who worked as a doctor there also felt the same way. They treat doctors like ****, and the private meetings that go on between upper management the EWS, OD Tech, and GMs force a connotation that you MUST treat the doctors like **** because they are being paid BIG BUCKS. They are greedy bastards.

I remember hearing about this so called guy named Ed Berb, who hires doctors. That guy supposedly tricks doctors into thinking the company is good.

Also, I heard about how they do NOT allow doctors to get a lunch. If you take a lunch time, you will get in ****. They want you to work 10 hours straight, so that they milk every dollar out of you. Essentially, you see about 50 patients a week, and you're making the company well over the salary they pay you.

50 x 39.00 = 1950 / week (this is if you only see patients for glasses only, and not contacts. If they want contacts, you make them 89 bucks)

They pay you 1923.05 a week. So they are getting you working there free.

Visionworks is a horrible company indeed.
 

IndianaOD

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Incredible.

All these stories and ODs are still filling in the jobs :mad:

Why can't ODs grow some balls?
 

Mixin Marc

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Incredible.

All these stories and ODs are still filling in the jobs :mad:

Why can't ODs grow some balls?
Actually, many of the problems happened with the female OD's! Visionworks treated this one OD girl so bad that she left because of harrasment! I'm not sure if it was sexual or not, but it was from upper management.
 

vsarge0708

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One of the Docs I work for left a private practice [as an associate] to work at VW. When I asked her why she would do such a ludicrous thing she said the money was way better at VW[The numbers were pretty impressive actually--the docs hold the lease so they get paid off of their professional fees]. The managers aren't ignorant to the Docs--for some odd reason the managers fear the Docs...I'm not really sure why though.

With all this said I still think Visionworks is the worst place in the world.
 

Mixin Marc

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One of the Docs I work for left a private practice [as an associate] to work at VW. When I asked her why she would do such a ludicrous thing she said the money was way better at VW[The numbers were pretty impressive actually--the docs hold the lease so they get paid off of their professional fees]. The managers aren't ignorant to the Docs--for some odd reason the managers fear the Docs...I'm not really sure why though.

With all this said I still think Visionworks is the worst place in the world.

This is only when the "docs hold the lease". In that situation, the docs have ultimate power and can destroy those **** GMs, RMs, and OD Techs. They have power because without them the company will make nothing.

HOWEVER, in states where the docs are just associates, they are treated like ****, so the GMs, RMs, and OD Techs will talk down to the doctors.
 

Mixin Marc

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the best way to summarize how Visionworks likes to operate on their customers is by listening to the song:

Paper Planes - By: M.I.A.

The main lyrics that get sung again and again will tell you what Visionworks likes to do to their helpless customers.
 
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panzer

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So how do they treat their non-doctor employees? I even see "sales goals" in my current optical job not that it has anything to do with my lab work... We have daily and weekly goals which you can exceed to get some "bonus $$$".

As for AR coatings etc. doesn't the insurance cover it for at least once in an year eyeglass purchase? I wouldn't call AR useless though you have to take care of the glasses and eventually in some years the coating would come off...
 

Eyegirl2k7

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50 patients a week? In employed settings try near 40/day. They paid me well but it was NOT worth it. At the beginning I was told by Ed Berberich that I would see about 12 pts/day and make incentives after a certain level. YOU CAN NEVER MAKE INCENTIVES. NO ONE I KNOW HAS EVER MADE A SINGLE DOLLAR OF INCENTIVES AND I KNOW AT LEAST 10 ODs that work for Visionworks. My friends and I calculated that to make incentives you have to see at least 68 patients in a day. WTF!!!! The reality is patients every ten minutes, and no lunch for ten hours. Staff screwing me over constantly. They are told to do "resource scheduling" It's in the handbook. Basically just cram them all in and let the doc sort it out, and the main point is that you never have to check with the doc before you take a walk in even if you have ten patients at once. Once I hit the floor because I had no blood sugar and got tunnel vision. One night I was driving home and almost hit the barrier on the highway because I was so hungry and exhausted. I would leave work with my heart thumping every night and I could HEAR the blood boiling in my veins I was so angry. Don' t even get me started on how much I hate Visionworks. I could write a book. Maybe I will someday HAHAHA. :D
 

Eyegirl2k7

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Okay, so my post above sounds a little crazy. Guess I'm still not over working for those @#[email protected]#$
 

Mixin Marc

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50 patients a week? In employed settings try near 40/day. They paid me well but it was NOT worth it. At the beginning I was told by Ed Berberich that I would see about 12 pts/day and make incentives after a certain level. YOU CAN NEVER MAKE INCENTIVES. NO ONE I KNOW HAS EVER MADE A SINGLE DOLLAR OF INCENTIVES AND I KNOW AT LEAST 10 ODs that work for Visionworks. My friends and I calculated that to make incentives you have to see at least 68 patients in a day. WTF!!!! The reality is patients every ten minutes, and no lunch for ten hours. Staff screwing me over constantly. They are told to do "resource scheduling" It's in the handbook. Basically just cram them all in and let the doc sort it out, and the main point is that you never have to check with the doc before you take a walk in even if you have ten patients at once. Once I hit the floor because I had no blood sugar and got tunnel vision. One night I was driving home and almost hit the barrier on the highway because I was so hungry and exhausted. I would leave work with my heart thumping every night and I could HEAR the blood boiling in my veins I was so angry. Don' t even get me started on how much I hate Visionworks. I could write a book. Maybe I will someday HAHAHA. :D
I think the worst is that they make the doctors go through an INSANE day without a decent meal. They treat the doctors like utter CRAP and the main workers all do this because they are mostly low wage employees who get jealous over the salary of the doctors.

I say doctors should get together and destroy that company. We really should.
 

Mixin Marc

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Okay, so my post above sounds a little crazy. Guess I'm still not over working for those @#[email protected]#$
Totally understandable. Visionworks is horrible. Some people come in expecting a good quality eye exam, but the doctor cannot possibly do that when they are pressured to do 6-8 an hour. They are an insane company. And they treat people like utter ****!
 

IndianaOD

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Anyone who does not believe in oversupply should read this thread. Again, how could a DOCTORALLY educated profession work in such an environment?

Any OD even thinking of working for a commercial interest: stop and hit yourself in the head and walk away!
 

xmattODx

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Any OD even thinking of working for a commercial interest: stop and hit yourself in the head and walk away!
I actually agree with this statement but remind everyone that:

1) Not all commercial jobs have you working FOR the commercial interest
2) Not all "commercial" jobs are this bad.

So if you end up in commercial or choose to work commercial know that there are far better places than others out there. Find the good ones avoid the Visionworks ones.
 
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panzer

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What about non-doctor employee experiences? Did none of you ever work at visionworks before becoming an OD?

I think that should have been "the idea" if you all were savvy enough! Like see what is the industry like... :idea:

Plus, how can private practices be competitive when it was KHE or you, indiana, who said that materals [frames and lenses] is where the profit lies? It is like pharmacy as well where with the bigger margin and less risk [more spread over] have and are squeezing out independent chains!
 

Mixin Marc

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What about non-doctor employee experiences? Did none of you ever work at visionworks before becoming an OD?

I think that should have been "the idea" if you all were savvy enough! Like see what is the industry like... :idea:

Plus, how can private practices be competitive when it was KHE or you, indiana, who said that materals [frames and lenses] is where the profit lies? It is like pharmacy as well where with the bigger margin and less risk [more spread over] have and are squeezing out independent chains!
This is how it works. You have the territory directors (TDs) who will hound down on the general staff. The general staff consists of EWS (eyewear specialists) who work the floor and make sales, the GM (general manager), the RM (retail manager), the 3rd Key (3rd key manager), and OD Tech (pretesters who need to help the main floor too). You also have LT (lab tech) and LM (lab managers)

The people on the floor will make commisions of about 1-5 dollars eye glass sale, so they fight over commisions like this is gold and diamonds.

The TD will get **** pissed over the main workers if they do not make sales or if the lab guys do not pump out enough jobs for their pay. For instance, if the people in the lab do not finish a certain number of jobs a day without any help, they are in ****. Also on the floor, if you do not sell those lens cleaning kits, you get in ****. They want to pump those out because they want to make more profit. In fact, they started to add the lens cleaning kits without telling customers and pretending they were gifts.
 

panzer general

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What about non-doctor employee experiences? Did none of you ever work at visionworks before becoming an OD?

I think that should have been "the idea" if you all were savvy enough! Like see what is the industry like... :idea:

Plus, how can private practices be competitive when it was KHE or you, indiana, who said that materals [frames and lenses] is where the profit lies? It is like pharmacy as well where with the bigger margin and less risk [more spread over] have and are squeezing out independent chains!
nice name! :laugh: but in all seriousness, i was an EWS, and you had to have over 150.00/sales/hr or you would be written up... they dont care about you, they just want money
 

IndianaOD

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What about non-doctor employee experiences? Did none of you ever work at visionworks before becoming an OD?

I think that should have been "the idea" if you all were savvy enough! Like see what is the industry like... :idea:

Plus, how can private practices be competitive when it was KHE or you, indiana, who said that materals [frames and lenses] is where the profit lies? It is like pharmacy as well where with the bigger margin and less risk [more spread over] have and are squeezing out independent chains!
Income is switching from materials to services. Plus, I do not compete with these chains. Patients might spend $30 more on a $500 pair of glasses with us but get better product, an actual warranty, excellent advice from my staff who aren't on commission, and better service after the purchase.

If you think about it, most private practices offer the patients MUCH better value for their money.
 

Mixin Marc

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Income is switching from materials to services. Plus, I do not compete with these chains. Patients might spend $30 more on a $500 pair of glasses with us but get better product, an actual warranty, excellent advice from my staff who aren't on commission, and better service after the purchase.

If you think about it, most private practices offer the patients MUCH better value for their money.
I laugh at how people enter Visionworks thinking that they provide great value for their money, only to leave upset or perplexed at how they were just charged 500 dollars instead of their 2 for 99.00 deal. The 500 dollars they spent is on a low end lens and low end frames that will break within a week.
 

Mixin Marc

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50 patients a week? In employed settings try near 40/day. They paid me well but it was NOT worth it.
Yeah, I didn't explain it properly, and what I meant was 50 a day. But yeah, basically, in one day they make enough to pay you for 1 week (in their 39 dollar eye exams). This does not include the money they make from their sales.

So essentially they lowball all the doctors and force them to work horrible hours even though the doctors make them tons of money.

I agree with you, Visionworks is a horrible company.
 

eyestrain

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I laugh at how people enter Visionworks thinking that they provide great value for their money, only to leave upset or perplexed at how they were just charged 500 dollars instead of their 2 for 99.00 deal. The 500 dollars they spent is on a low end lens and low end frames that will break within a week.
People are stupid, it's as simple as that. I fill in at a JcPenney's and I'm continually amazed by it. People are always coming in and saying something like "Ooooh, I just had to get in to take advantage of this sale." Nevermind the fact that there is a similar sale every single month. Tell people they'll get 50% off and they'll buy it no matter how much it costs or how crappy it is. It's typical retail, buy a $3 frame, mark it up to 179.99 and give people half off. What a deal! Plus, people end up having to pay for a warranty and THEN they have to pay if they actually use the warranty.

I also get a lot of PAL wearers who find their way in for the "$99 with FREE NO-LINES" sales. They always tell me how their last PP doc charged them four or five hundred dollars for their glasses and how they think they got screwed since they can get them here for only 99 bucks. Of course they're wearing Physios or GT2s with Crizal and think they're going to get the same thing for cheap at Penney's. This usually leads to a lengthy discussion about PAL technology and how they're most likely not going to be happy with what they get here. Most people are genuinely surprised and thankful for the discussion. I think a lot of PPs aren't doing a good job educating their patients on the quality of their product.
 

Mixin Marc

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People are stupid, it's as simple as that. I fill in at a JcPenney's and I'm continually amazed by it. People are always coming in and saying something like "Ooooh, I just had to get in to take advantage of this sale." Nevermind the fact that there is a similar sale every single month. Tell people they'll get 50% off and they'll buy it no matter how much it costs or how crappy it is. It's typical retail, buy a $3 frame, mark it up to 179.99 and give people half off. What a deal! Plus, people end up having to pay for a warranty and THEN they have to pay if they actually use the warranty.

I also get a lot of PAL wearers who find their way in for the "$99 with FREE NO-LINES" sales. They always tell me how their last PP doc charged them four or five hundred dollars for their glasses and how they think they got screwed since they can get them here for only 99 bucks. Of course they're wearing Physios or GT2s with Crizal and think they're going to get the same thing for cheap at Penney's. This usually leads to a lengthy discussion about PAL technology and how they're most likely not going to be happy with what they get here. Most people are genuinely surprised and thankful for the discussion. I think a lot of PPs aren't doing a good job educating their patients on the quality of their product.
I love how Visionworks tricks the customers into getting the warranty on the lenses. The people always come in expecting to only spend 99, but end up spending over 400. In addition, they add on that warranty for 30, which if they need to use it, will cost them a co-pay of another 40 bucks. So to replace a super crappy cheap frame and lens they need to basically pay 70 bucks. I've seen customers get shocked and say how they thought the warranty meant free replacements.
 

drbizzaro

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Visionworks is NOT a good place. I am lucky not to be in a mental hospital after trying to be a doc there for nearly a year.
I hope things are going better for you now.
 

PeteRose

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I'd like to defend ECCA a little bit if I could. I'm an optometrist and have worked for this company as an associate for over six years and I'm very happy with my situation. I work with 6 others who all have the same story. The majority of the docs I work with have owned and worked as associates in private practice. Not commercial lease practices, but with opthalmology or owned their own. This setting is not for everyone, but let me explain why I, and they, like it so much. I only do optometry here. I don't sell. I don't hire. I don't do administration. I don't file. All I do is sit in an exam room and do exactly what the patient comes to me for. I give the best eye exam I know how to give and if there is a service needed I can't provide I refer. I have NEVER had anyone pressure me to do anything more. I work at the speed I'm comfortable and do everything I feel necessary. Again, no one has ever dictated any of this to me. Now, of course, I get paid more for seeing more people, but doesn't this hold true for private practice? Let me explain my situation and you tell me if this sounds aweful to you. I work four 10-hour days per week. Believe it or not mostly mon-thur (others like working weekends cause money is better, but I prefer them off so it works out). I get a generous base pay salary, but contrary to another poster, I make above that base EVERY check. Now its true we don't schedule an hour off for lunch, but we certainly find time to eat throughout the day. On average I'd say I eat at least four times a day. And frankly I don't prefer to take a lunch cause anyone in this profession knows there are lulls throughout the day, and if I took a designated lunch that means I'd be at work an extra hour. I'd say on average it works out that I see around 25-30 patients per day, and remember that is a 10 hour day. I work hard, but not excessive. Yes, there are times that I see a lot more than that and times I see less than that. As an employee, I get employee benefits which is rare in optometry. I have a 401k, health ins., malpractice, 4 weeks (that's right) paid vacation, and 3 days CE just to name a few. Now, here is the good part. Last year my gross income was $136,000 and this year I'm on pace to do more. My first year here out of school I made $120,000. And that was over six years ago. When I graduated I had over $120,000 in loans. Because my interest rates are so low, I've chosen to pay them slowly. However, only six years out I have more than enough money to pay them off and then some. Good luck finding this in private practice anywhere. You won't. Again, this setting is not for everyone, but I was not ready to put down roots in one place and take on more debt for a practice out of school. Now, just a few years later and only 31 yrs old, I have the freedom to do whatever I want to do with no debt or no practice keeping me down. Yes, there is equity in private practice, but I know of many in this field who are retirement age who cannot find buyers for the reasons I just mentioned. It's happening more and more all the time. Simple economics will tell you that compounded interest will yield way more benefits in the long run than owning your own practice. But you have to have the discipline to actually save. Now back to ECCA. Of course there are things in this practice that I'd do differently if I were running the show. But in my opinion, the annoyance sn't worth the tradeoff of all that goes into private practice. It is all a matter of personality. If you like to make good money while having less responsibility and the freedom to move somewhere new anytime you like, then commercial might be for you. However, if you have to be in control and know you want to live in location x for you entire life, then private might be for you. But in all honestly, from an ethical standpoint I currently practice to the highest standards I was taught in optometry school and make every effort to treat all my patients like I would my mother or grandmother. And I am being completely honest when I tell you my boss has nver encouraged me to do anything other. In fact he encourages proper care because he is the one paying our malpractice insurance, and you can imagine the scrutiny he gets for being so successful. I know many on this board are students, and Id like to warn you that if you choose to go into commercial practice, some will think less of you. It personally doesn't affect me at all because I am completely content with what I do. However, if you think it an insult that some dork in dockers and velcro shoes comes up to you at a CE meeting only to refuse to speak to you after he learns you work for ECCA, Lenscrafters, Target, etc., then maybe this setting isn't for you. I acknowledge that ECCA is a big company and many are hired in under different circumstances and in different markets, but for what its worth I'm submitting only my experience and those I work with. Hope this helps anyone who might be searching.
 

Mixin Marc

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I give the best eye exam I know how to give and if there is a service needed I can't provide I refer. I have NEVER had anyone pressure me to do anything more. I work at the speed I'm comfortable and do everything I feel necessary.
That alone sounds like you were paid to say that. And the fact that you wrote out this long essay to defend them sounds like you a one big troll here trying to make Visionworks sound better than they are. If you actually worked there, as a doctor, you'd know that they want you to pump out 50 patients or more, and do not want you to dilate patients or do a thorough job.


Last year my gross income was $136,000 and this year I'm on pace to do more. My first year here out of school I made $120,000.
120K? Wow! Really?! That's amazing. So you were able to get incentives by seeing the requires 69 patients a day? There is one doctor here who posted previously, stating that she calculated that you need 69. She also said that no one has obtained incentives at all. It really is a lie.

Your whole statement sounds like a paid statement to try and make Visionworks sound good.
 

PeteRose

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Marc,
Not sure what to say to defend myself other than I am telling you the truth. Graduated from IU opt. school in 2002. My boss is Dr. Mark Lynn. As I stated, others have different packages I'm sure. ECCA is a large company out of San Antonio and they have bought up different regional practices. In certain markets optometrists have to be hired by optometrist. Dr. Mark Lynn is my employer and he sets my wages. As to whether someone has to see sixty some patients to meet their base I cannot speak to, but in my situation its more like 16 or 17. This is easily doable in a day. Now its true the company would be very happy if I were to do 50 exams a day, but I am paid through Dr. Lynn not the company, even though my checks and benefits come from ECCA. Its kind of complicated. And I'd put my hand on a Bible and tell you that just a few weeks ago my boss, Dr. Lynn, encouraged us doctors to dilate more patients. I'm not a paid solicitor, I'm just happy with my work situation and I had to offer my take so that there was balance to this thread. Are there people who are unhappy who work for ECCA?Sounds like it doesn't it. And I certainly don't want to speak on behalf of staff. I can only give you this Dr's perspective in this particular market. However, I can tell you that I work with others who make much more than I do because they choose to work more weekends and elect to work a 5 hour day. But 50 hours a week is not for me. I certainly can detect you don't believe my account. I suspect I could scan my W-2 from last year or previous years that has ECCA printed clearly on it, but I'd hope you could take my word. But I'm in no way calling anyone here a liar. I have no reason to doubt that the other doc had a bad setup within ECCA. But its not my deal. And I'd absolutely love to see 50 patients a day. I'd make a killing. At least in my office, the reason we are able to see high volumes effectively is that we have 2 docs every day and we hava a staff that does everything but refract, chair skills, and ocular health. And I absolutley dilate often. But in our practice dilation doesn't really take much extra time. We have a very efficient setup. Maybe I sounded like a bit of a dork pointing out that I do my best exam I can, but I honestly do. I try my best to live life as a Christian and certainly don't want to be anything but honest. I am in no way saying that you aren't being truthful in your experiences there. I only wanted to give my perspective because it is a positive one. I don't pretend to defend the company or the business practices. I am but one man who happens to find contentment in what he does everyday. I guess if I had read this post I might not have taken the job I did, but I love my job. As I said earlier I work with six other DRs. One is retired Navy, one was a mechanical engineer who returned to opt school and worked for ophthalmology, one has been there a year after completing a residency at a VA, one used to work in a commercial lease setting, and one used to have a pediatric referral practice. I guess that's five. I tell you about them to tell you that we have many different perspectives offered and they all, like me, enjoy working there. And with the exception to the Dr. who has been with us for a year, the others have all been there at least four years and some of us more than that. If it were so terrible I can assure you that these folks certainly would have bolted long ago. Maybe we have a magical and unique situation, but all that I told you was not sensasionalized at all.
 

xmattODx

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Pete - are you in KY or GA? My experience with your above named employer was, apparently, very different than yours.

And really use paragraphs.
 

xmattODx

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Wow. How many states does ML have now!?

I'm glad you're happy at Visionworks. For most ODs in the Atlanta market their tenure as Visionworks ODs was a career lowpoint. When I was there turnover on both retail and optometrist side was super high.

I guess work conditions differ from state to state even within the same company.
 

PeteRose

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Matt,
Rumor has it that ML has hundreds of OD's under him. Guy brings in millions they say. A few sources say he's the richest optometrist in the nation. I can believe it. I probably on see or speak to him once a year. We really only see the man once a year, but when we do he grumbles about the atlanta market. I am under no illusion that everyone else has it this nice. I do acknowledge that our situation is pretty unique having stayed in contact with friends from school. But I certainly am very happy here and its been a very good experience. In our market, having several docs its very nice because we can fill in for each other and swap days. Because I only work 4 days a week I really don't have to take vaction time often because I can just schedule my work days in a row and I get something like a six day weekend. Are there things I grumble and complain about from time to time. Of course, but overall considering the complensation and the hours, I'm still pretty thrilled, even after six years. And again, I apologize for lack of paragraphs. You don't realize how long a post is getting to be in this little window.
 

Mixin Marc

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Matt,
I'm in Tennessee.
well that does make a difference... however, what people posted about their hatred towards Visionworks is a very real fact....

your supposed setup is obviously good - however, in most states, the doctors are only an "associate" and are treated as such... they are not treated any better than the EWS, and are belittled day in and day out...

people do not just come on here to badmouth a company if they are treated well... and realize that the men and women that spoke badly about Visionworks were members of this forum much longer than you have been (you only recently joined to post your rebuttal of Visionworks).

You may say that you are not paid to defend Visionworks, but there is just something that is not right about your sudden commentary. First of all, the way in which you write (without paragraphs and being very longwinded), you seem to be a person on a attempted mission to convince.


You speak about how you would love to do 40+ patients a day. Then you also say you believe in treating patients very well. If you are doing 40+ a day, they are not receiving proper care at all. You are rushing them in, and rushing them out. I have seen many good setups before, and they all utilize quick methods to make more cash. Obviously all legal bases are covered - ie. tonometry, color, pupils, EOMs, etc - however, the patient does not receive the same care as the doctor who takes them with them in a private practice and spends a good amount of time (30+ minutes) with them.
 

PeteRose

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Marc,
From my small discussion from Matt above, I think I've given him enough details that he can vouch for my employment. I only found this forum tonight and saw this thread. Having read all the negatives I wanted to post my positive experience. You seem to have some misinformation. 40 or 50 patients in a proper setup is not rushed when you have a huge staff to do preliminary and charting. Have you never been to an ophthalmology office. I assure you if they are sucessful they are seeing this number or greater. Remember we work 10 hour days. At forty patients that is 15 minutes per patient. That is more than adequate to do a full dilated eye exam with proper patient education and treatment. We have staff that do all preliminary and contacts.

new paragraph: As I said earlier, I don't dispute any of the claims here. I certainly believe that Matt had a bad experience. I have no reason to doubt. Why are you treating me like a liar for simply sharing a good experience? Furthermore your math is wrong. You said in one post that Dr's see 50 patients a week acconting for something like $1900 a week. You then clarify that they see 50 a day, which would mean $1900 a day by your estimation. I certainly think anyone here would work for $1900 a day. Nonetheless your figures are wrong anyway.

I don't plan on defending myself over and over again. If you want specific answers I'll try my best to give them in order to be helpful to someone. I only chimed in here to try to be helpful, not to get tarred and feathered. Everything I have said here has been true. I'm certainly not going to lose sleep tonight because you think I'm being dishonest. I suppose that is your assessment to make.
 

Mixin Marc

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Marc,
From my small discussion from Matt above, I think I've given him enough details that he can vouch for my employment. I only found this forum tonight and saw this thread. Having read all the negatives I wanted to post my positive experience. You seem to have some misinformation. 40 or 50 patients in a proper setup is not rushed when you have a huge staff to do preliminary and charting. Have you never been to an ophthalmology office. I assure you if they are sucessful they are seeing this number or greater. Remember we work 10 hour days. At forty patients that is 15 minutes per patient. That is more than adequate to do a full dilated eye exam with proper patient education and treatment. We have staff that do all preliminary and contacts.

new paragraph: As I said earlier, I don't dispute any of the claims here. I certainly believe that Matt had a bad experience. I have no reason to doubt. Why are you treating me like a liar for simply sharing a good experience? Furthermore your math is wrong. You said in one post that Dr's see 50 patients a week acconting for something like $1900 a week. You then clarify that they see 50 a day, which would mean $1900 a day by your estimation. I certainly think anyone here would work for $1900 a day. Nonetheless your figures are wrong anyway.

I don't plan on defending myself over and over again. If you want specific answers I'll try my best to give them in order to be helpful to someone. I only chimed in here to try to be helpful, not to get tarred and feathered. Everything I have said here has been true. I'm certainly not going to lose sleep tonight because you think I'm being dishonest. I suppose that is your assessment to make.
50 patients a day makes the company about 1900.00 a day (because each eye exam is charged at 39.00 per exam). This is NOT what is paid to the doctor. Visionworks keeps that money and the doctor only receives their base pay of 380 bucks a day. What I was saying is that the company is making a crapload of money off the doctors and not paying them fairly.
 

PeteRose

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Marc,
Your new math is a little more like it, but let me explain. Lets assume $380 per day is base pay. Lets just assume for a minute that Dr's get $21 per patient. Is that number acceptable to you? If so then it would require roughly 18 patients a day to equal that base pay. Anything else is bonus. So lets say the pay scale is this:
$21 for an exam
$20 for contact fit
$5 for follow up visit
and several other fees for professional services. Punctal plugs, fb remove, etc.

Then if you do 25 exams, 8 contact fits, and 8 follow up visits. You've just made $725 a day. That's hardly 69 patients a day and those numbers are very conservative. Now follow this math: $725 per day on a four day work week works out to gross $139,200 per year. Anyone see anything unrealistic about these numbers? And I assure you there is no Dr. who would be rushed doing what I've just outlined in a 10 hour day with a proper trained staff.
 

Mixin Marc

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Marc,
Your new math is a little more like it, but let me explain. Lets assume $380 per day is base pay. Lets just assume for a minute that Dr's get $21 per patient. Is that number acceptable to you? If so then it would require roughly 18 patients a day to equal that base pay. Anything else is bonus. So lets say the pay scale is this:
$21 for an exam
$20 for contact fit
$5 for follow up visit
and several other fees for professional services. Punctal plugs, fb remove, etc.

Then if you do 25 exams, 8 contact fits, and 8 follow up visits. You've just made $725 a day. That's hardly 69 patients a day and those numbers are very conservative. Now follow this math: $725 per day on a four day work week works out to gross $139,200 per year. Anyone see anything unrealistic about these numbers? And I assure you there is no Dr. who would be rushed doing what I've just outlined in a 10 hour day with a proper trained staff.
I'll explain to you why that doesn't work with Visionworks. They are SMART. They make it seem like you get that bonus, but you cannot. The reason is because they average your patient number over an entire week. Therefore 40 patients on 2 days, and 2 patients on two days will make you receive your base pay of 380 bucks. If you think I'm making this up just to argue with you, ask any of the female doctors who posted above us (who worked for Visionworks).

Secondly, you state "And I assure you there is no Dr. who would be rushed doing what I've just outlined in a 10 hour day with a proper trained staff."

That is a wonderful statement. The reason I say this is because many of the stores have staff that are hired off the streets. They have no optical experience, and are unwilling to pretest patients at times. They get grumpy at work, and many of them are usually straight out of high school with no retail experience. Many stores are under staffed. The fact of the matter is, the OD Techs are not properly trained at all. They get upset when they have to order contact lenses, or do an extra visual field, or even teach contact lens insertion.

If there truly were well trained OD Techs that performed all the pretesting procedures properly, it obviously would be different.
 

PeteRose

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Marc,
You can continue to say those numbers don't add up, but what you are really implying is that you don't believe one can consistently see that many patients per day over a two week period. Apparently I work in a busier location than others. As for the location I am in, we consistently are voted "best of" our town year after year by our patients/customers. That isn't just a reflection on the Dr's but the staff as well. Sounds to me like your location isn't quite so stellar. Might be so. And maybe your experience is the norm.

I probably have seven OD techs that split time working my patients up. Of those seven, 4 of them are either pursuing undergraduate degrees or higher. And if you have worked in such a place do you really think there is anything difficult about checking VA's, autrorefracting, NCT, contact insertion training, VF's, or putting drops into someone's eyes? Should they be required to have a four year degree in your estimation?

Again, I'm only defending one situation. Have I had staff that couldn't get the job done? What practice hasn't? Did I say everything was perfect? Absolutely not. But to imply that because you know of a few lazy employees in location X, that they are lazy everywhere isn't exactly fair.
 

Mixin Marc

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Marc,
You can continue to say those numbers don't add up, but what you are really implying is that you don't believe one can consistently see that many patients per day over a two week period. Apparently I work in a busier location than others. As for the location I am in, we consistently are voted "best of" our town year after year by our patients/customers. That isn't just a reflection on the Dr's but the staff as well. Sounds to me like your location isn't quite so stellar. Might be so. And maybe your experience is the norm.

I probably have seven OD techs that split time working my patients up. Of those seven, 4 of them are either pursuing undergraduate degrees or higher. And if you have worked in such a place do you really think there is anything difficult about checking VA's, autrorefracting, NCT, contact insertion training, VF's, or putting drops into someone's eyes? Should they be required to have a four year degree in your estimation?

Again, I'm only defending one situation. Have I had staff that couldn't get the job done? What practice hasn't? Did I say everything was perfect? Absolutely not. But to imply that because you know of a few lazy employees in location X, that they are lazy everywhere isn't exactly fair.
Obviously your location sounds like you have enough staff to work everyone up. It's obvious that this does not seem to be the case for the majority of the locations.

A key solution would be to FORCE Ed Burberich to sign a sheet that stated an optometrist will receive ample OD Tech staff if the store gains enough patient flow. If this does not happen, the optometrist will leave immediately. You have no idea, but there are stores where the OD Techs refuse to help out, or are more concerned with making sales on the floor. A number of locations have only 1 OD tech, even though there are a consistent 40-50 patients on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

This causes a back-up in the doctors schedule, and causes the doctor to end up with no lunch at all, or stay until 9PM.

It seems like your store actually treats you with respect, but in the the stores where other members of our forum work, Visionworks does not treat doctors with respect, and would rather see them without a lunch.
 

PeteRose

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All of what you say Marc may be the case. Its true I always work with another Dr. so lunch is never an issue. He eats and I see patients and then vice versa. But your suggestion about guarenteeing a number of patients is inherent in the base pay system. You are guarenteed your base if you don't see a single patient all week. The figure you gave of $380 a day on a four day week would get you to around $80K per year on base pay alone. Not too bad a guarentee if you aren't seeing any patients and only working four days a week. However, it is called a BASE pay for a reason. As I said I never get base pay, always substantially more. But I have no reason to doubt that others don't make it in other locations. I happen to like the base pay with incentives route because you always know you'll have a minimum salary to live on and you are rewarded for working harder. There never is the concern that I won't be able to pay my bills this month. With the numbers you have quoted you'd be certain to make 80K. I think you'll find that this doesn't exist in many places. In fairness, I have never heard of Ed Burberich. I have never had dealings with him and I certainly don't have any reason to try to defend him.

I hope you'll understand that my reason for my posts here are not to diminish anyone's experiences or to brag about mine. I sincerely want to give helpful information that may be of consideration to some of you when you enter the job market. I like my job with ECCA and I thought that point of view might be appreciated by some. You can do with it what you will.
 

Mixin Marc

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All of what you say Marc may be the case. Its true I always work with another Dr. so lunch is never an issue. He eats and I see patients and then vice versa. But your suggestion about guarenteeing a number of patients is inherent in the base pay system. You are guarenteed your base if you don't see a single patient all week. The figure you gave of $380 a day on a four day week would get you to around $80K per year on base pay alone. Not too bad a guarentee if you aren't seeing any patients and only working four days a week. However, it is called a BASE pay for a reason. As I said I never get base pay, always substantially more. But I have no reason to doubt that others don't make it in other locations. I happen to like the base pay with incentives route because you always know you'll have a minimum salary to live on and you are rewarded for working harder. There never is the concern that I won't be able to pay my bills this month. With the numbers you have quoted you'd be certain to make 80K. I think you'll find that this doesn't exist in many places. In fairness, I have never heard of Ed Burberich. I have never had dealings with him and I certainly don't have any reason to try to defend him.

I hope you'll understand that my reason for my posts here are not to diminish anyone's experiences or to brag about mine. I sincerely want to give helpful information that may be of consideration to some of you when you enter the job market. I like my job with ECCA and I thought that point of view might be appreciated by some. You can do with it what you will.
Fair enough. Ed Burberich is the main doctor recruiter in the east coast.

It seems like your store is run much better because the Territory Director is also a doctor. I think when the TD's are non-doctors it is run much more horribly.

Also, try to imagine doing a 10 hour day, having no lunch, and then being forced to stay another hour because they pushed 6 patients in 20 minutes before you leave. Can you honestly say you'd still love your job? Seriously.
 

PeteRose

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Marc,
I can't honestly say that sounds appealing. I have had to stay over a few times, but I get paid for the patients I see. Its not as if they ask me to work for free. Keep in mind though, these 10 hour days mean a 4 day work week. Not a bad tradeoff for a three day weekend in my opinion. Many companies are switching to a 10 hr day, but employees get an hour lunch break, meaning they stay 11 hours. I'd much rather eat on the fly and leave sooner than be there 11 hours. What you are gonna find, Marc, is there are issues you will not like no matter what mode of practice you choose. Do you think private Dr's don't ever stay past their scheduled time. If they are successful they will be busy enough that its gonna happen. My advice would be to make sure you are always in a situation that your are compensated for such things. If you weren't getting paid it would be terrible, but the scenario you just painted (no lunch and staying over) would mean you are super busy and making a big payday. That is a tradeoff some are ok with and others not. Apparently you are in the latter camp. Your preference.
 

Mixin Marc

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Marc,
I can't honestly say that sounds appealing. I have had to stay over a few times, but I get paid for the patients I see. Its not as if they ask me to work for free. Keep in mind though, these 10 hour days mean a 4 day work week. Not a bad tradeoff for a three day weekend in my opinion. Many companies are switching to a 10 hr day, but employees get an hour lunch break, meaning they stay 11 hours. I'd much rather eat on the fly and leave sooner than be there 11 hours. What you are gonna find, Marc, is there are issues you will not like no matter what mode of practice you choose. Do you think private Dr's don't ever stay past their scheduled time. If they are successful they will be busy enough that its gonna happen. My advice would be to make sure you are always in a situation that your are compensated for such things. If you weren't getting paid it would be terrible, but the scenario you just painted (no lunch and staying over) would mean you are super busy and making a big payday. That is a tradeoff some are ok with and others not. Apparently you are in the latter camp. Your preference.
but the case is that you do not get paid extra... the reason being is it always ends up being a busy day on say Friday and Saturday, and no patients on 2 or 3 other days. That means that you do not get the extra pay because it averages less than the 380/day.

In other words, doctors are working their butts off on Friday and Saturday only to get 380 on those days.
 

Mixin Marc

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Another thing to note. I was able to get the fact sheets on all the doctors in my territory, and no doctors were able to gain an incentive bonus. In other words, they were only paid 380/day even though they saw 40+ on Fridays and Saturdays with no lunch or break, and were saying later by an hour.
 

Mixin Marc

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Honestly, I would be so happy if I really were paid per patient, because I would be making a killing. But they do not calculate the incentives on a day basis. Since it is based on a 2 week basis, it is impossible in my region at least.

If the incentives were calculated properly (on a day basis), you would not see anyone complaining because they would be paid what they deserved.
 

PeteRose

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Than a short answer to your question is no I would not like that much. I think I've given my perspective enough, so I'm not going to beat a dead horse. I think anyone interested in this thread has heard enough to satisfy questions they might have, so I'm checking out of this one. Hope I was helpful. I regret that you feel I was less than truthful.