Real conversation the other day at SCCO.
“What are you doing after graduation Sarah*?” (not real name) -me
“I’m doing a residency in pediatrics/vision therapy in order to fulfill my goal of introducing this specialty as an associate or even in my own private practice when the opportunity arises.” – Sarah
“YES!!!! GREAT ANSWER!!!” – me
I loved it! Because she mentioned something that I personally love doing in order to figure out where I’m going and why I am going there. She set goals and decided to pursue an optometry residency because it would help her fulfill her goals.
Another friend of mine Scott (not real name) gave me this answer to the same question.
“I’m going to do a residency in primary care and then figure out what I am going to do later during my residency.” – Scott. “I’m just applying to the residencies in Los Angeles. The VA staff doc really liked me and so I figured I’d give it a shot.”
When I hear the latter I just shake my head. Scott doesn’t have a plan. Or maybe he does, but he hasn’t adequately linked his decision to do a residency to a more longterm goal. Right now, his focus is myopic. His goal is to get a residency, nothing more. If that doesn’t pan out, he’ll start his job search.
Before you do anything, it should fit in a longterm plan. Otherwise you are just performing random acts in order to achieve success. All success requires clear planning followed by defined actions.
Which is why every optometric practice, or any business for that matter, should have a mission statement. The statement should define the longterm goals of a practice and henceforth drive all decision making. Let me give you some examples: