(Hint: He or She Probably Is)
I write a lot about your relationship with your trusted eye doctor. It’s the foundation of living the visual lifestyle. But how do you build that trust?
I was talking with an out-of-town friend when he told me his eye doctor recommended he get LASIK refractive surgery. He was surprised at that.
When I asked why, he replied, “Well, if I get LASIK, won’t my eye doctor lose all the money I spend on glasses and contact lenses?”
“Maybe so,” I told him, “but that’s how you know he’s on your side.”
Is your eye doctor on your side? Chances are the answer is yes. I have worked with dozens of eye doctors and encountered hundreds in my two decades of practice. I have met very few who don’t have a real desire to do their best for their patients.
Your eye doctor may have other concerns, like patient scheduling, new technology, and industry regulations. And if they’re independent, there’s more: profit and loss statements, taxes, PR, and expenses. The list could go on. Ideally, you want your eye doctor to be concerned about all these things. It’s what makes your favorite eye clinic thrive in your town.
But you should come first.
Ultimately, you won’t trust your eye doctor if you think they are acting in their own best interests instead of yours. Here is how you can know your eye doctor is on your side:
He recommends surgery. Whether it’s for LASIK or cataracts, this may mean he won’t be selling you glasses or contact lenses any more. If your doctor’s goal is to change your visual lifestyle for the better, he shouldn’t mind.
She answers your questions. Your eyes and vision are biological wonders. They are very complex, and caring for them can get confusing. I’m surprised and sometimes disappointed at how few patients ask questions. When they do, I’m always happy to answer them.
He explains testing. At LaFollette Eye Clinic, we do a lot of medical testing. We see many patients with serious eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration. Today’s technology allows us to diagnose and treat these diseases earlier and more effectively than ever before. So we’re not shy about using it. But we also make sure our patients know why they are receiving testing, and what it means for their eye health and vision. If you receive extra testing at your eye doctor, chances are you will receive a good explanation.
She surrounds herself with people like her. Here’s what I mean: if your eye doctor is passionate about caring for you, she will attract others who share her passion. From receptionists to paraoptometrics to opticians, her office will be filled with people who care about your visual lifestyle. You’ll know this is so by the way they interact with each other and with you.
He will surprise you. Most people think their eye exam is about just their eyes and their vision. So they are surprised when their eye doctor talks about unusual topics. Knowing you better will help him understand you, so he may ask mention some unexpected topics:
If clear vision and healthy eyes for life is a goal you share with your eye doctor, you are sure to build a good relationship and have a visual partner on your side.