Optometric Management Tip # 566   -   Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Fighting the Gloom and Doom

Things are never quite as bad or as good as they first seem.

Lately, I have heard a great number of what I call "gloom and doom" statements about optometry. These statements are often made by vision plan companies, industry publications, optical vendors, eye care consultants or optometrists in online forums. There is usually a certain amount of sensationalism associated with the statement. In some cases there may be a hidden agenda or profit motive behind the revelation. Usually there is a basic statement that is true followed by some assumptions or conclusions, which sound plausible, but are not always based on fact.

I think optometrists have enough challenges facing them every day and we would do better if we fought the battles that are here and now. Don't be distracted and waste energy on things that may or may not happen or are simply beyond our control.

It seems to me that optometrists are masters at worrying about what might happen, even though a high percentage of the assumptions are incorrect or never actually come true. I have seen many threats and scares to the optical industry in my 30+ year career. Some of these turned out to be no big deal and in other cases, optometrists found a way to manage the issue. The profession of optometry is still doing very well and I believe there will be even more demand for our services in the future.

As examples, here are a few gloom and doom statements I've heard recently that have some ODs in private practice very worried. I'll place the statement in italics and my comments in regular print.

I recently watched a movie titled "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and I loved the optimistic quote by the main character, Sonny, which seems quite appropriate for this gloom and doom topic. He said, "Everything will be all right in the end... and if it's not all right, then it is not yet the end."

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management