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Not That Again! The Questions You Wish Patients Would Stop Asking

“Can I get a trial contact?”

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  • Can I get a trial contact? (Even writing it makes me combustible.)  — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • “No, really, I just need to ask the doctor a quick question. Can you get him/her on the phone right now?”  — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Sadly, they ask if my breasts are real.  — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • How many pairs of glasses do you have? How much did they all cost?  — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • I can buy these contacts anywhere, right?  — Shimul Shah, OD, Marysville Family Vision, Marysville, OH
  • Aren’t these scratch proof?  — Jade Kowalick, Rophie Eye Care, Dunedin, FL 
  • Which frames are covered by my insurance?  — Shane Clark, Infinity EyeCare, Rapid City, SD
  • Does my insurance cover that?  — Danielle Jackson, OD, Jackson Eye, Fairburn, GA
  • Why do I have to pay a contact lens evaluation fee? I’ve never had to pay it anywhere else.  — Tammy Hazelett, Wylie Vision Care, Garland, TX
  • Does this come with a warranty?  — Jason Stamper, Eye Care Pavilion, Davenport, IA
  • How do you compare to [discount optical] — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • Why do you cost more than Costco?  — Kathy Maren, Comb EyeCare & Eyewear, Western Springs, IL
  • Do you take my insurance?  — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • Do you really need to wear glasses or do you just do so because you work here?   — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Can you do better on the price?  — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • You let them ask questions?!? Kidding… “Is xxxx normal?” … when it’s obviously not.  — T.S. Stephens, OD, Dr. Stephens and Associates, Vienna, WV
  • Why do you charge for a CL refitting ?     — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • “At your age, do you take Viagra?” Yes, but I take it so I won’t pee on my shoes.  — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • What is my insurance?  — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • Do I get that exact frame off the wall?  — Bob Schmittou, New Eyes Optical, Wyandotte, MI
  • Can this be billed to my insurance?  — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Can I get more contacts and trials even thought my Rx is expired?  — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • How come these are so expensive, when I can get them online for $20?  — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Can you write this frame down for me?  — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • Why are my glasses not free? I have insurance.  — Pablo E Mercado, Mount Vernon Eyecare, Dunwoody, GA
  • Do you carry Ray-Ban? (Or Oakley)  — Caitlin Bruno, Binyon Vision Center, Bellingham, WA
  • Are you open?  — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • Can you fix my Warby Parker’s, Zenni, or any other online glasses? I got them like this!  — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • “That’s the soonest I can get in?” when we say, “Her first opening is XYZ.”  — Bridgett Fredrickson, Whelan Eye Care, Bemidji, MN
  • “Is the doctor available? I have a question….” As if he is not particularly busy, you know, seeing patients all day.  — Cassandra Nash, HD Optical Express, Lansing, MI
  • Why doesn’t my insurance cover that?  — Richard Kemerling, Margolis Vision, Lone Tree, CO
  • Aren’t all frames made by one company?  — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy, Delafield and Mequon, WI
  • Why do I have to pay for contact lens evaluation when I already wear contacts?  — Monika Marczak, OD, Eye Candy Optical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Will you adjust the glasses I bought online?  — Kevin Bushouse, RxOptical, Kalamazoo, MI
  • What does Costco charge for this?  — Allen D. Hoek, OD, Ripon, CA
  • Why don’t you know what my insurance covers?  — James Masser, Rocky Mountain Eye Center, Pueblo, CO
  • Are your sunglasses prescription only?  — Edna Shelby, Macomb Vision Associates, Shelby Township, MI
  • Can I take my prescription elsewhere? UGH!  — Karen Santos McCloud, OD, Hamburg Vision Center, Lexington, KY
 

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Buzz Session

When it Comes to Lens Materials, Coatings or Enhancements, You Guys Have No Problem Playing Favorites

AR coatings are obviously a must and one specific material is most of your MVP.

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: What is your favorite lens material, design, coating or enhancement (brand names welcome)? Briefly, why?
  • 1.74 Hi Index for high Rxs. Crizal Easy because, like the name implies, it’s easy maintenance. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates Girard, PA
  • Trivex due to its clarity. Eyezen for people who use computers and cell phones, including kids. My favorite progressive is Shamir Autograph Intelligence because of its wide computer channel. We also use Shamir Computer as a second pair for office personnel. — Monika Marczak OD, Eye Candy Optical Center, McMurray, PA
  • Favorite lens material is Trivex; it has superior optics as compared to other materials. It is also very lightweight, as well as being nearly indestructible. I prefer Crizal AR coatings as they seem to be much more durable. — Gregory Williams, Arboretum Vision Care, Austin, TX
  • Love my Eye-Kraft DLS mobile private label progressives! Really help with night driving. — Gail Bailey, Eye Care Clinic, Grand Rapids, MN
  • A good high quality hydrophobic, non-glare lens is essential to us. It’s inhuman to have to deal with glare and tired eyes. — Diana Canto-Sims, La Vida Eyewear. Chicago, IL
  • I love the new X Design by Essilor. We have had such a positive response from our patients. — Michelle Wright, DePoe Eye Center, Stockbridge, GA
  • Trivex, IOT lens designs, premium anti-reflective coatings. IOT has a lens design for every lifestyle, I can manipulate corridor lengths and get wider fields of vision. — Sherry Berry, Eye Against Eye & Ardmore Eye Care, Ardmore, PA
  • 1.53 Trivex … everything about it is good! — Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • Trivex and Recharge. — Katie Rutledge, Arnold Family Eyecare, Arnold, MO
  • CR-39 or Trivex is my go to when it comes to material, but depending on prescription, a high index when necessary. Eyezen+’s have been one of our most popular lenses because of the clarity, Smart Blue Filter, and getting everyone in digital technology is something that is going to set us above competitors when it comes to actual product. When it comes to progressives, our office really likes to put everyone in a lens that truly caters to their lifestyle so it varies for everyone. Crizal, Shamir and Sentinel coatings are some of the only coatings I stand by for clarity, long lasting and EASY TO CLEAN! — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Poly Transitions Avancé; some plans want to use Unity lenses, some Essilor lenses. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Love Hi-Index lenses with Blue Light AR. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • I have always been a Varilux guy but since I have been using Shamir, I think I’m liking them a lot. Shamir Intelligence PAL, it’s like magic! — Rigo Lopez, Gilman & Vorster Optometry, Indio, CA
  • 99.9 percent we use polycarbonate, a generic single vision with UltraClear or UltraClear with Blue. — Susan Miller, OD, Bright Eyes Vision, Hartsville, PA
  • Anything high index. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • LiteStyle, we explain that this lens is a phenolcarbonate and NOT a polycarbonate. We also use mid index lenses (1.56 Trivex). — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Totally loving mirrors again. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • Hoya Sync with Recharge, has a small anti-fatigue amount of add in the lens with a blue light filter AR. This combo is a knockout for pre-presbyopic patients that spend many hours on devices. — Carissa Dunphy, Lake Stevens Vision Clinic, Lake Stevens, WA
  • We use a lot of poly but if I had to choose, it would either be Trivex or 1.60 but it also depends on the patient and their Rx needs. I prefer to use IOT designs from Laramy-K, there are more options than we could ever think of using and Laramy-K has the knowledge of when it’s best to use which design. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Shamir Autograph III in Trivex with Shamir Glacier. They are the perfect lens with a perfect patient adaptability score. I always want my patients wearing what is best for them and this is it. — Susan Frein, Ames Eye Care, Ankeny, IA
  • Recharge, love the bluish purplish tint. — Maureen Garbis, Compass Eyecare, Oak Park, IL
  • Hi Index 1.74 with Crizal. — Richard Frankel, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ
  • Trivex is a favorite lens material because it’s a stable substrate for coatings. We are using Camber and IOT lens designs for their superior optics and excellent margins as a house lens. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • I am LOVING mirror coatings. We use Digital Eye Lab and their mirror coatings are stunning! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • I’m wearing the Power SV lenses in Trivex with Sapphire Transitions and Retinal Bliss DES non-glare coating. My absolute favorite lens I’ve worn yet. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Both of the two top labs we work with offer a really good CO2/TD2 scratch coat with a two-year warranty, which we sell as an upgrade for $48. If a patient experiences any scratching, they get one free lens pair replacement anytime during the first two years after dispensing. I have won over so many patients who have histories of being tough on stuff and who have been erroneously sold AR coatings. Our honesty in sales wins us so many people and we capture more AR coatings on our sales than the national average. — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • 1.60 with Crizal Avancé is my favorite. It doesn’t ship or get stress fractures, vision is fantastic, and lenses are lightweight. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • CR-39! Great clarity, just add a treatment like Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect to boost your durability. I wear this lens and have had the best optical results since I’ve been in the industry. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Trivex Autograph Intelligence. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Trivex with AR for clear lenses and anything and everything polarized for sunglasses. — Pablo E. Mercado, LensCrafters, Alpharetta, GA
  • Material = Trivex. The best for low to mid prescriptions! — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Trivex for standard Rxs Autograph 2, 3 or Intelligence. Shamir Glacier Coat. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Recharge. — Tina Smrkovski, Reed Optical, Claremont, NH
  • Polycarbonate with Unity AR Coating and Tech Shield for the computer crowd. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Assoc., Citrus Heights, CA
  • Zeiss’s mirror coatings are on-trend and an easy add-on to boost slower summer sales numbers. — Kris Kittell, Torrey Highlands Optometry, San Diego, CA
  • Varilux X design from Essilor is my go to progressive usually in a poly since we have a lot of drill mounts and semi rimless frames. However, if they are going with Transitions in a semi-rimless I will change to a Trivex or higher index to cut down on de-lamination that will frequently occur with the poly/Transitions. Crizal Sapphire 360 is also my go to AR for single vision/progressives. Crizal products in general are my most used. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Trivex or 1.67, Eyezen for SV and X Design for progressives. Had a lot of success with these lenses during the ULP. Crizal Sapphire for AR Trivex. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • I love Trivex. Versatile and tough, it beats polycarbonate hands down. We only do Trivex in drill mounts because of poly’s habit of cracking at the drill points over time. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Transition Crizal Trivex. — Tabitha Fuller, Thomas Eye, Palmetto, GA
  • Phoenix Super Hi Vision EX3 from Hoya works well, no vague complaints. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • Trivex favorite material because of lightweight, clarity and doesn’t chip or crack. Very happy with Walman’s Power products, they have been working extremely well. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • IOT Camber Steady in Trivex with an AR coating in a Minima Chassis with Chemistrie Clip. You can use any lens shape and eye size. Available in 23 colors, four bridge sizes and temple lengths to 160 mm. What more could you ask for? — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • For heavy Rx, I love the 1.74 Hi Index. Couldn’t get it when I worked the chains. Crizal Easy is a no-hassle AR. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Loving Trivex and high index with or without Blue Zero. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • Lab Tech’s own FSV lenses with Peak AR. Luzerne’s SightStar+ progressive lenses and AGT AR which is compatible to Crizal. Transitions Signature 7 in fashion colors does well. — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • We see the merits of Trivex. Hard as poly but with better optics. After doing a great deal of Trivex for our entire existence, we see our customers’ glasses over a period of time. Trivex holds up and looks great! — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • I love Crizal Avancé and Sapphire. When the lenses come from lab, they look so clear and the reflection of lights are like jewels on the glasses. — Bhumika Patel, Redstone Family Vision, Indian Land, SC
  • Trivex! Blue Light AR, over 90 percent of our patients understand the need for AR and Dr. Cassar prescribes it in the exam room. Tom, our optician, is awesome at educating our patients on the need for AR as well. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Poly does so much now. Transitions, they are very versatile and healthy. — Jeff Hayden, Vision Care Center, Brighton, MI
  • Trivex because it is lightweight, has a low ABBE value — which equals better optics than poly —and is impact resistant. It is our primary material. — Bridgett Fredrickson, Whelan Eye Care, Bemidji, MN
  • Trivex material, Hoya Array Pal, Recharge coating. Durable, work well, less trouble shooting. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Trivex, closest tough lens to CR39. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Anti-reflective! It’s so worth the extra money. I can’t wear glasses without it now. — Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Hixson, TN
  • 1.67 Transitions with Avancé coating, comfortable for everyday! — Kaleena Ma, MK Vision Center, Forest Hills, NY
  • I love Hoya’s Phoenix with Recharge. It gives the patient a great scratch warranty, it’s better than poly with less aberrations and I’ve had no issues with the lens crazing. I actually use it myself. — Deanna Phillips, Clemmons Family Eye Care, Clemmons, NC
  • BlueProtect by Zeiss for people on devices all day, Eyezen by Essilor for the same reason. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • We use Shamir and their AR coating or our labs AR coating and the main reason is that Varilux/Crizal dropped the ball after promising to help my office with a simple request. I guess it’s all the same company so they win anyway. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Shamir Autograph Intelligence, first progressive in YEARS that there is a noticeable improvement in optical quality! — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Buzz Session

We Asked What Your Favorite Smartphone App for Your Business Was. Here’s What You Said …

There are some familiar faces but some fun surprises too!

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  • Thryv, helps me keep on top of social media. — Mickey Bradley, Patrick Optical, Fort Worth, TX
  • Instagram. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • QuickBooks and OntheClock. — Bhumika Patel, Redstone Family Vision, Indian Land, SC
  • Office suite. — Susan M Frick, Premier Eye Care of Eastern Idaho, Idaho Falls, ID
  • Vision Source. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • Several: Security app that lets me view the different camera’s we have at the office. My banking app to pay bills and monitor accounts. Sheets app to view staff schedules for the month. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Podcasts, makes me think. — Kristina Swartz, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • I access my banking app every morning, to see what funds were deposited overnight. I love being able to direct deposit paper checks (although I’m trying to get away from those as much as possible.) — Angela Patteson, OD, Sunset Eye Care, Johnson City, TN
  • I would say I use Google a lot to check different things out like how many Google reviews I have and to look for frames too because being 2019 we don’t get catalogs much anymore. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Plotaverse is a really cool one to add amazing effects to your photos. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Bank and credit card apps. They’re handy when I’m on the go. — Jim Williams, Eye to Eye Optometry, Mexico, MO
  • Instagram, it seems to be the easiest way to reach my clientele (current and potential.) — Siobhan Burns, The Eyeglass Lass, New London, CT
  • Later: I can plan my social media posts at the beginning of the month so that they automatically send at the designated days and times. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • My calendar. — Nicole Heyduk, Eye Centers of Northwest Ohio, Fremont, OH
  • SR Notify, it is nice to be able to reply to patients when they text. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • Map Quest. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • Canva, I can create social media posts that look like I hired a social media expert! — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • Instagram! It’s such a powerful local and non-local visual marketing tool! Instagram has a wide range of user ages, whereas other mediums have niche age groups. — Carissa Dunphy, Lake Stevens Vision Clinic, Lake Stevens, WA
  • It’s not really an app, but the ability to get on our office software (Eyecloud Pro) from anywhere and do anything I need makes it very easy to answer any questions or get things done while I’m away from the office. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Instagram. Gotta keep that social media game strong. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • I don’t really have any business apps I use but I do get the news emailed to me daily called The Hustle and it is a great/entertaining way for me to keep up in events and relate to patients. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Instagram: Engages a lot of people. Old dog, new trick for me. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • Facebook is used to increase marketing and show what’s happening in the office. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Our town has a local version of a SeeClickFix app that allows you to take a picture of something and report it to city officials. It can be a public utilities issue, a snowplowing issue, roadways, whatever. So incredibly useful, and they get to everyone’s questions and posts incredibly quickly, something close to a 2-hour resolution rate! — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Metronome and Intuit GoPayment for our Vision Therapy business. We are able to keep everything separate dollar wise between the two businesses that way. And Starbucks Rewards: Caffeine is always needed, and I might as well get rewarded for buying my coworkers coffee! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • California lottery, the only sure way to make money. — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Facebook, gets photos faster and easier to the page. — Fred Sirotkin, OD, Eagle Eye Care, Columbia, MD
  • As of right now it is a code look-up app. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Pinterest, I am able to save many ideas for ads/truck shows/office updates any time/place whether I’m at work or not. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Translate. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Too many but current favorite: Homebase, very easy to monitor employee hours and schedule. — Preet Kaur, Gary Tracy Optometry & Eyewear, New York, NY
  • My EHR app. I can do charting anywhere! — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Google and Google maps. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • I’ve tried a bunch of industry apps and have yet to find one that really offers something of value to my office, but boy would I love to hear what others have to say. Maybe I’m missing out on some winners! — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Figure 1. It helps doctors across the world work with each other on baffling diagnoses. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Amazon because I love to decorate my office and they have everything. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • Instagram. — Margot Lanham, Ulla Eyewear, Madison, WI
  • Bank. — Bob Schmittou, New Eyes Optical, Wyandotte, MI
  • Google for quick reference answers. — Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Hixson, TN
  • Word Swag, great way to brighten up a social media post. — Kenneth D. Boltz, OD, Dublin, OH
  • I like Instagram to see what’s current and trending in fashion and eyewear. — Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA
  • Santander app so I can pay my bills from anywhere. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Good Rx; lets patients know where to get the best price on meds. They can’t be compliant with treatment if they cannot afford it. — Michael Davis, OD, Opti-Care, Eldersburg, MD
  • Auto refraction, just a quick and simple tool to use in a mobile optical dispensary. — Will Taylor, Eye 2 Eye Contact, Northville, MI
  • Planoly. It makes posting on Insta so much easier. You can see how your tiles are going to look before they post. We were using Hootsuite, but we ran into a lot of problems with that app. — Leah Johnson, Central Texas Eye Center, San Marcos, TX
  • GoodRx, helps to know drug prices before they get to the pharmacy and reject it. — Bart Parker, OD, Vision Source-Fox Optical, Lake Worth, FL
  • The banking programs. I don’t have to go to the bank to make deposits. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Honestly … Instagram. It lets us share new styles constantly and interact with our “fans” a.k.a. customers. It’s fantastic. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Waze, makes sure employees get to work on time. — Steve Geis, Metro Eye, Milwaukee, WI
  • How about the weather app and the calculator? — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • My EMR — Revolution EHR — so I can see my schedule before I leave for work. — Megan Lott, OD, Lexington Eye Care, Lexington, MS
  • Amazon for ordering. — Richard Frankel, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ
  • LinkedIn is a business to business platform that helps you connect within our industry. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Iconic Eye Care, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Buzz Session

Do Over: If Given the Chance This is What You Would Do Differently

More education, earlier ownership and trusting your gut more were all pretty popular.

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  • Achieve OD or by GODS blessed MD status. — Steven Gouveia, Target Optical, Seekkonk, MA
  • Briefly?? I’d learn from other people’s mistakes and trust my gut a little more. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Run my business without ODs. — John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • I would have started making my own frames much earlier. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • Hire the personality and then train them. I have always wished for a complete training program, opposed to a ‘sink or swim method,’ prior to ever allowing the new staffer to assist patients. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • I would have started in optical sooner. I kind of fell into this position and now I love it! — Andrea Schall, Armstrong Eye Care, Kittanning, PA
  • So many costly mistakes that I don’t even know where to start! (From marketing to frame selection to working with vendors and consultants, hindsight is definitely 20/20.) — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Get everything in writing. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Stay in school and participate in activities. — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • Profit first. My heck if had only known, I would have carved every penny I earned up and allocated it accordingly. It’s like bumper bowling for expenses. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • Go into a different field. — Greg Kyser, Gallery of Eyewear, Marysville, WA
  • Go bigger and push for my goals instead of playing it safe! — Stacey Nutting, The Eye Doctors at CNY Eye Care, East Syracuse, NY
  • Change majors in college instead of completely dropping out. It took 15 years before I went back. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Take school seriously! Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • I would buy an established practice instead of starting cold. Might have given me a bit of a head start with a steady patient base. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • Went to a four-year college instead of a two-year technical. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Listen to my gut! — Michelle Wright, DePoe Eye Center, Sharpsburg, GA
  • Believe in myself and my vision. (No pun intended) — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Paid closer attention to the acoustics in our optical. — James Armstrong, Alberta Eye Care, Portland, OR
  • Get my ABO sooner. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • I would have become an optician earlier than I did. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • I would’ve made the jump from corporate opticianry to private sooner. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • Do it my way from the beginning and start earlier. Take more time not seeing patients to work on office things. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Start sooner. — Rick Pascucci, Towpath Vision Care, Clinton, NY
  • Stay working in a lab instead of an office. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char, OD, Orange, OR
  • Start at the practice I’m at now. The other place was owned by a psycho Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde situation. Y’all know what I mean. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • I am so happy with my life now and I believe that for every action there is a reaction if I did anything differently my life may not be this good. I have a most remarkable family with grandkids and great in-laws. Nothing could be better. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • I’m not sure how to answer that. — Annie Thompson, Lawrence Eye Care Optical, Lawrence, KS
  • Speak my mind more. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Gone to optometry school. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • Larger office. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • I would not buy a practice based on good will. I would purchase real estate and build a practice rather than rent. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Lose the partners and buy my own building. Rents are killing. — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • I wouldn’t do any of it differently. I feel my life works exactly the way it’s supposed to and I’m in the exact place I’m supposed to be. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • I would have stayed in U.S. Army Reserves and retired from the Reserves in 1985. — Texas L. Smith, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • In the latter part of my military career I wanted to go into flight school, but a deployment to Iraq as a flight medic changed my mind. I wouldn’t mind going back and become a pilot! — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Become licensed much, much sooner. — Pablo E Mercado, LensCrafters, Alpharetta, GA
  • I wouldn’t have taken time off school after high school. — Nicole Heyduk, Eye Centers of Northwest Ohio, Fremont, OH
  • My hobby is bidding at storage locker auctions. If I could do it all over again, I would start working in the auction business fresh out of high school and maybe have retired already! — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Go to optometry school. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • Absolutely, positively nothing! — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Would have done a residency. — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center for Vision Care, Monroe, CT
  • I would not have gotten pregnant during my first semester of college. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • I would have gotten my license earlier on in my career. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Stayed in college. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Opened my unique eyewear optical much, much sooner! It’s so fun styling customers in unique eyewear and they come back to us so happy to be our “eyewear models.” — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • I’m not sure. — Vicki Thompson, Grandville Optical, Grandville, MI
  • Nothing! I love what every experience and challenge teaches me. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • I would have picked my mentor’s brain on the business of running an optometric practice. — Kimberly Riggs, OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Make more money. — Katie Rutledge, Arnold Family Eyecare, Imperial, MO
  • Go to optical school sooner. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Go to optometry school. — David Saxton, Kern Optical, Gulfport, MS
  • Take the ownership plunge sooner. — Gerald Koss, Vision Source Partners, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Not worry so much about what other people think and listen to my own instincts. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • More education. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • I would have computerized sooner. People are impressed with technology even though it baffles me sometimes. When it works, it is amazing how much time and energy it saves. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • I’m doing it. Our new office that we opened to be closer to our kids and granddaughter has more social marketing and we are using iPads for most everything involved with patients. — Richard Frankel, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ
  • Not trust so many of our peers when purchasing used equipment. — Cassandra Brackmann, Danville Family Eye Care, Danville, IN
  • A few mistakes along the way… changed the original career choice that I never followed. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • I would have gone to optometry school. — Gail Bailey, Eye Care Clinic, Grand Rapids, MN
  • I would have done a residency, I would love to teach. — Chani Miller, OD, Park Eye Center, Highland Park, NJ
  • Never work Saturdays, be with family instead. — Hagen Eye Care, Miami, FL
  • Try to learn how to buy effectively earlier on. Also get a better background in marketing. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Be more proactive and present in the day to day operation. Staying off “autopilot.” — Jim Williams, Eye To Eye, Mexico, MO
  • I would have been more open minded about my goals. — Jessica Brundidge, Clarity Vision, Clayton, NC

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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