Why don’t future optometrists want to pursue private practice?
Because they realize they’re going to be broke the first few years out of optometry school if they start in private practice. That it’s a big risk, that working 9-5 and then going home sounds sweet after a grueling optometry school curriculum. And then they’re at Costco, or Walmart, or even a big HMO like Kaiser.
Why does this happen?
For the same reason I drove to Subway for lunch today. I’ve got sandwich supplies at home, but I still didn’t make my own sandwich because the thought of cutting up the tomato, getting the lettuce and turkey and mayonnaise to assemble my own sandwich was too great of a barrier to overcome. So instead I spent MORE time and energy driving around to spend more money on a sandwich that isn’t much better than what I could have made with the supplies at home.
I did it because of barriers.
Those that will have the most success in life recognize barriers quickly and ruthlessly tear them down. Some barriers are obvious like needing a key to open a door, or opening a backpack to get a book. While others are invisible like the fact that not having a pen at my desk is an obstacle when someone calls and I need to jot something down real fast on a scratch piece of paper. Some barriers are helpful like when I want to stop surfing the internet mindlessly instead of studying, I drive to school and study there in the library or lounge.
But the number 1 obstructive barrier for anyone out there is simple. It’s not the local economy, over saturation of optometrists, OMDs, education, or lack of money. Just look into a mirror.
Just as soon as you dream a dream, you start thinking of all the things that could go wrong.
“I can’t make it in Southern California because it’s so saturated.” When you should be saying “what are the things I need to do to overcome this barrier?”
“I can’t afford to go to optometry school.” instead of “how can I afford to go to optometry school?” (wait a minute, I think I read that somewhere in a Kiyosaki book…)
It’s why when I asked my friend about getting into private practice, she doesn’t ask me about where to find one, how to market and sustain it, or how feasible it is in certain locations. She asks “how the heck am I supposed to get a loan to buy one when I have no credit?”
Some people are afraid because they aren’t aggressive enough for private practice, that they have a hard time commanding people. But who says you need to have these traits? In the words of Dr. Paugh in lecture today, “it’s fine to be an introvert!”
How do you know you need to be aggressive to make a sale? Because you see salespeople on TV do it, or at a car dealership?
It’s more important to follow one rule. Really, just one rule.
Do what is best for the patient. If what is best for the patient happens to be more expensive, so be it, but always advocate for this and you will never go wrong when you advocate for what is best for them. If wearing polarized sunglasses while driving in the morning makes it easier to see, I’m recommending it. If wearing AR coating lets more light reach pass the lenses, I’m recommending it.
In the end, if you want to get from A to Z, don’t keep creating all these mental barriers that stop you from doing something even before you’ve started. If you want something, set a goal and go for it. I know I will, so good luck to the both of us.