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    3 steps to success in clinical practice

    Know your values, and say yes to what supports them


    What works in my practice

    I practice with two other ODs. We have worked hard to figure out our why and what works for us.

    Here are our three steps to success in clinical practice:

    • Focus on a specialty that has a high barrier to entry

    • Confirm that specialty is profitable

    • Confirm that specialty fulfills your needs as a healthcare provider

    Orthokeratology and vision therapy meet all three criteria for our practice. How?

    • Most eyecare providers will not engage in these subspecialties

    • Both subspecialties are profitable when fees are properly orchestrated

    • Both fulfill our personal values of appreciation by improving the well-being of our patients

    You’ve heard the term “jack of all trades, master of none.” In our office, we struggle on a daily basis to sustain our focus on these two subspecialties because daily urgencies call for our attention.

    Related: The benefits of cleaning out your practice

    The soft lens reps tell us their one-day lenses are the best. Our colleagues tell us specialty IOLs helped them back to profitability. Others tell us purchasing equipment is profitable because it’s reimbursable. You get the picture: Focus requires discipline.

    The challenge in growing an independent practice comes down to two criteria:

    • Knowing why you’re growing a particular subspecialty

    • Having the grit to say “no” to subspecialties that are disguised as opportunities

    My partners and I have developed a successful practice because it was created to fulfill our individual values in life. The first step was defining those values; the second step was selecting just a few profit centers to grow and prosper. Even though we started as a multidisciplinary practice, we grew into a practice that offers a select few subspecialties extraordinarily well.

    So, what does grit have to do with success? It may be the best predictor of success in a person’s life, according to Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Grit is the ability to pursue a long-term goal with passion and perseverance over the long haul.2

    This relates to orthokeratology, vision therapy, or any other subspecialty because success in developing any particular area of your office requires grit, sustained focus, and the ability to say “no” to many subspecialties you’re currently engaged in within your practice.

    Nick Despotidis, OD, FAAO, FOAA, FCOVD
    Dr. Despotidis’ multidisciplinary practice offers a variety of specialty services, including vision rehabilitation, treatment of ...


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