By Paul Salvatore, OD
May 17, 2023
When searching for a practice partner for the next phase of your career, you want great continuity of care for your patients and the ability to expand your professional horizons. And when you do become part of an organization with a vast network of peers, meeting those goals becomes much easier.
In 2016, I relocated from western Pennsylvania—where I had lived my entire life—to Charleston, S.C. This move created the need for a new job.
Two opportunities presented themselves to me: joining a surgical facility or MyEyeDr. I chose MyEyeDr. because I had been working in an MD/OD site for a while and primary care was calling to me. Not long after I joined MyEyeDr., I found there was significantly more opportunity. I followed a leadership path in the organization; first becoming a Clinical Field Director and now a Regional Clinical Director.
A Chance to Recreate Your Career
I would not be where I am without being part of MyEyeDr. Upon joining the organization, I was able to recreate my career, getting into the field to help other ODs improve their patients’ journey.
One thing I love to do is to treat eye diseases, knowing what to do and when to do it to help a patient. At MyEyeDr., I have exposure to other doctors with greater specialized knowledge than myself in certain areas. I know when to step back and learn from the best in a particular specialty.
In turn, I teach the doctors I meet about the inner workings of our organization, such as who to contact in situations needing immediate response, like human resources, payroll or equipment failure. Other times, I help them find better ways of managing patient flow, training technicians and the secrets of our EHR system, which can reduce chair time and boost both morale and productivity.
This is complemented by a robust operational team, which allows for the doctor to do what they do best, focus on the patient in the chair. From staffing, to billing, to productivity, we have leadership in place to allow for growth. Doctors can educate their patients on the best options they have to offer (lenses, frames and medical advice), and trust their team to handle whatever issue a patient may have.
Leveraging the Best Standard Operating Procedures
As we have grown, we have studied the practices that became part of our family and have employed the best standard operating procedures (SOPs) from those practices.
One person generating a great idea is hard, but grouping many ideas from people of different backgrounds and geographies makes it easier to keep pace with and exceed the changing eyecare market. Having all the best practices gathered into one organization, it is due to our growth that we were able to employ the myriad SOPs we now have.
The feeling goes both ways here. We get to learn from what makes a practice successful, but we also bring to the practice valuable lessons learned over time from our peers. There is symbiosis in that, knowing we’re all trying to exceed patient expectations and deliver topnotch care.
Maintain a Sense of Independence While Having Peers to Lean On
MyEyeDr. gives you the opportunity to continue to operate as a solo practitioner with no micromanagement of your approach to patient care. However, if you prefer to be in a multi-doctor practice, or wish to have a mentor, you can reach out to your co-workers. If there is a mutual need, we can transfer doctors to locations that align with their goals in patient care. We also encourage specialization and can support specialty contacts, dry eye, or myopia management clinics, among others.
Our organization’s communication system allows for quick access to other doctors, just by typing in their name. We also have quarterly meetings for doctors to gather, meet new hires and share patient care cases and ideas. These interactive meetings are a great driver of new business ideas.
Access VIP Relationships with Vendors & the Eyecare Industry
The impressive size of MyEyeDr. gives us negotiating and buying abilities to lower costs to us and pass savings on to patients. It has given us exposure to relationships with contact lens and frame vendors that may otherwise have been a challenge. It also gives us the ability to use our voice for the good of optometry.
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Being able to influence optometry at large through liaisons with the American Optometric Association (AOA) is a big advantage of being part of our organization. If we added up the members of the AOA throughout MyEyeDr., the number would rival some state memberships.
Mentoring the Next Generation
Giving young OD candidates the chance to learn in our facilities as an extern is one of the triumphs of MyEyeDr. I was previously a preceptor, so I know firsthand the pride of nurturing a clinician to better themselves.
I love recruiting new doctors. Getting to know new candidates for hire, and combining those individuals with the doctors we already have within our system, allows me access to a huge database of doctors I can connect with. I have joked that I feel like I know half of the doctors in the lower U.S.
We allow for doctors to develop their practice to their skill level, to their comfort level, and to the level of their patient expectations. I truly believe that doctors of all levels can find a practice within MyEyeDr. to call home, to build it, and become a stanchion in their community. All of this leads to doctors who are happy, healthy and professionally fulfilled, who can easily transition into retirement whenever they’re ready.
Paul Salvatore, OD, practices at a MyEyeDr. office in Charleston, S.C. To contact him: Paul.Salvatore@myeyedr.com