The Holidays Are a Good Time to Reflect

By Ryan Wineinger, OD December 13, 2016

The holidays can be a great time for reflection. As another year ends, it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about what you’ve achieved before you focus on what you want to change next.

During this time of year, my family goes around the table saying a few things for which each of us is grateful. I absolutely love it. It helps me get to know my children in a deeper way because it’s not an everyday occurrence.

I apply this approach in my practice also, talking with my staff about the things we're grateful for and what we've achieved for our practice and with our patients. Reflecting on 2016, here are the three things I'm most pleased about accomplishing.

I’m able to help my patients maintain healthy eyes and vision.
Sometimes it’s for a small reason, like helping someone see their scorecard on the golf course. Other times it’s for something bigger, like helping a child to see so that he or she can learn to read. Sometimes it’s really big, like identifying a disease that could either save a patient’s vision or life. The variety of each and every patient encounter is something to be cherished, and for that variety and ability to help people see, I am thankful.

I’m able to maintain an independent optometric practice.
I have practiced with my father, and it has been wonderful to be in a community that has supported our small family business for the last 35 years. Continuing to practice in an independent model is becoming more and more challenging every day. Being in a community that supports our small business not only motivates me to stay independent, but also makes me more thankful each day we’re able to stay in such a great community and support it.

I’m able to leverage the current healthcare climate and provide steady opportunities for growth.
In my practice, medical and managed vision care plans are keeping patients coming to my office. Once I have access to those patients, I have the ability to provide the best quality of care and experience for them. These initial entry points allow me the opportunity to, of course, keep their vision sharp, but also identify and co-manage other conditions like diabetes or macular degeneration. That co-management and increased frequency helps us stay relevant in medicine. In fact, the dual access I have to see both medical and vision patients, as well as bill both medical and vision plans, is one of the more significant reasons we have been able to stay independent.

As I see it, we should all take time to reflect on what we’ve been able to accomplish within our profession. Take the time to ask your staff—and even your family—the same question, because it can be very interesting and rewarding to hear their responses. I hope each of you has a wonderful holiday season!

What are some things your practice accomplished this year?

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