In the past, I conducted a survey of corporate-affiliated optometrists to compare and contrast various stipulations among corporate lessors.
The corporate optometrists that contributed to that survey had a lot of insight to share with new grads beyond the material for that article. Their voices deserve to be heard, so I’ve collected their pearls of wisdom here.
The docs who contributed these quotations work with a variety of corporations, but you will see that they all share a common commitment to their patients and our profession.
You can still be a very medically oriented practice in a corporate location.
You can practice exactly how you want to… you will find that most patients have so little access to medical care that you are the first one to suspect HTN/Diabetes.
They [your lessor] will not provide you with all equipment, so, with any business, you actually must spend money to make money. Providing medical eye care and learning to bill properly is very rewarding both professionally and financially.
Hire your own staff if given the choice!
Although a tech was provided, I believe we can have far greater success by hiring our own employees. I now have three technicians.
I employ my own staff instead of paying [my lessor] for all my support. I purchased a fundus camera, OCT, TearLab and EHR to help grow my practice. I also provide medical care and submit claims to all medical plans and many vision plans.
A lot of the success from your corporate practice comes from your commitment to the office as well as the support of your market/regional management team… Be proactive as you would be in your private practice and get involved. My staff and market manager have provided me much support and success…. much more than I received directly from corporate.
Talk to other ODs in equivalent situations before you sign. Meet your Vision Center Manager— that’s the most important relationship in a corporate practice. The corporation really has no understanding of what we do, no matter what they say to you during the recruiting process.
I’ve been an optometrist with Walmart since 1995 and it gives me a chance to have a private practice concentrating on patient care and not selling glasses and managing staff.
I have extensive experience and involvement in most modes of practice. A sublease affords an optometrist an easy entry and minimal risk or financial obligations. Both franchise and sublease modes afford the doctor complete professional autonomy to practice to their fullest extent… With both sublease and franchise modes the quality and scope of care is in the hands of the doctor and can be as limitless as the horizon…
Having been in private practice for over a decade with multiple offices and 31 employees counting 4 docs, there is no place I would rather be. The stress reduction and quality of life improvement from private practice to corporate practice is a 10 out of 10.
Remember, a practice is not defined by the box it is in, commercial or private, but by the doctor and staff that run it!
The location of your office should not define how you practice.