12 Things New Graduates Want Optometry Students to Know – Part II


Continuing our list from Part I of “12 Things New Graduates Want Optometry Students to Know,” Dr. Dryer and Dr. Corte share their advice.

5. Understand that optometry and all of medicine is a business

By: Courtney Dryer O.D.

Yes, you went to school to be a doctor, but medicine is a business. With changes in insurance and government mandates, your role as a doctor has evolved dramatically. Whether you are an associate, independent contractor or owner, your income, to some degree, depends on the number of patients you see, the average fee collected per patient, and the way in which you code exams.

To be successful, you must think beyond “1 or 2.”

This is true not only in optometry, but in general medicine. See this recent article for physicians as an example, in which the author states:

“As big box stores move into your communities, are other small businesses surviving? Often the answer is no. The ones that do thrive are those that embrace change and find innovative ways to stay relevant in the lives of their customers. So too is this true as hospitals buy up smaller practices and consolidate care into larger practice models.”

As a future doctor, you must understand the environment you are graduating into!

For resources on the business side of optometry:

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About Antonio Chirumbolo

Antonio Chirumbolo
Antonio Chirumbolo, OD, is Associate Director of Marketing at CovalentCareers. Antonio's focus is in the world of digital publications and healthcare marketing, with special attention on content creation, management, and development.


  1. This three part series is invaluable to a new grad. #5 is a lesson I try to drive home with clients that are thinking of starting a business, whether it is an optometrist, a dentist or an auto mechanic. You cannot lose sight of the fact that the business is a business. You can be the best optometrist, but by not being a good business person your new business may not be as successful as you expect. I have seen clients form “partnerships” with another professional in their field who is a better business person. One “partner” only wants the patient contact and community involvement while the other is better at managing the employees, negotiating with vendors, fighting with insurance companies, tracking cash flow, etc. Their goals may be similar, but they need each other to achieve their goals. Great job Matt, Courtney, Antonio, Ryan, Patricia and Miki.

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