By Blake J. Hughes, OD
June 16, 2021
Leadership opportunities and the sale of your practice wouldn’t seem to go together. But in my case, these two goals did. Here is how the company I sold my practice to, MyEyeDr., is providing me with the ability to continue being a leader while remaining fulfilled as a doctor.
Part of Something Larger than One Practice
I chose to partner with MyEyeDr. in August of 2020. My situation was different from most other practice sellers, as I helped represent a large group of optometrists that were considering a partnership with a larger group. I was part of a small subcommittee that interviewed different potential buyers and subsequently chose MyEyeDr. based on the exceptional leadership and authenticity of the team.
Before my role with MyEyeDr., I had the opportunity to hold various leadership positions. My greatest hope in the sale of the practice was that I would have the opportunity to continue to grow as a leader, and that has happened. Before, I was leading a three-location, seven-doctor group of practices. Now, I have the honor of leading around 20 locations and even more doctors.
Grow as a Leader Within a More Powerful Organization
I have personal access to the leadership of MyEyeDr., which enables me to feel like a leadership partner, rather than an employee. The MyEyeDr. team is unbelievable in talent, and I am grateful to them for making it possible for me to have the highest impact possible.
I have grown in my curiosity about leadership and gained knowledge through resources like LinkedIn Learning and Harvard Business Review. I am a more knowledgeable leader as a part of MyEyeDr. than I was as the owner of a private practice.
MyEyeDr. provides substantial leadership development resources. We just launched a learning series on “Leading the Practice.” It focuses on not only optometry, but building accountability, trust, interpersonal skills and much more between the doctor and office manager. It’s for more than just our professional lives. The lessons are applicable to life and relationships. It’s good stuff and available to all of MyEyeDr.’s optometrists and office leaders.
Moving forward, I have confidence that MyEyeDr. will continue to align with my career planning. There are so many areas where I feel my abilities line up with leadership responsibilities. I don’t know what my exact future career path will be, and that’s OK. I trust our leadership to put me where I belong, when I belong, and where I will be the most effective.
A Leading Culture that Delivers Profitable Results
I learned that the best practices have the best practice culture. They want the best for the patient and team, and want to win! This is what it takes to make every day a great day, and it’s a choice. Are we going to have a great day? Well, that’s up to us. We had a challenging time in late January when, without extra effort, we would have delivered a poor close to the month. We rallied with two of the best days in our 50-year practice history and won the month!
Making a Difference for Patients
We have a saying at MyEyeDr.: If it’s good for the patient, doctor and practice, then do it. With that philosophy in mind, we had a patient who was in a car wreck (thankfully, she and her daughter were OK) , but her glasses were “totaled,” along with the car. She never came back because of COVID. She was just in the other day and we were able to go the extra mile to get her what she needed, in a an affordable way.
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One of the reasons we are able to provide such superlative service is because MyEyeDr. partners with us to provide a well-trained team. I had a patient with a macula on retinal detachment. With our practice’s advanced technology, my tech team saw it and was on the phone with our vitreoretinal surgeon before I walked in the room. The speed and confidence of our team may have saved the patient from having a poor outcome that would have significantly reduced quality of life.
Part of a Team Working for the Greater Good
Partnering with a larger group is a difficult decision. Being 42 years old with five young children, I am far from retired! That said, what means more to me than anything is the chance to leave my fingerprints behind for the greater good. I want to grow and learn and help make our profession a better place. The partnership with MyEyeDr. is helping me touch more lives, and that, to me, has great impact.
Blake J. Hughes, OD, practices at First Eye Care, a MyEyeDr. practice with three locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. He also serves as Clinical Field Director for MyEyeDr. To contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org