Optometric Management Tip # 580   -   Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Interviewing Associate OD Candidates

With a new crop of doctors of optometry graduating next month, many practice owners are looking to hire an associate. If your practice is fortunate enough to have ample patient demand, adding an associate OD is one of the best ways to dramatically increase profitability. This can also be an opportunity for the senior doctor to reduce his or her patient care days per week. This will allow the senior doc to dedicate more time to practice management duties and possibly take some personal time off as well.

Just as in the hiring process with any employee, finding the right person can be challenging. While there is no way to be absolutely certain in advance about an OD job candidate, the interview process is extremely important. Here are a few tips and topics that I have found helpful: A valuable orientation technique I've used with new associate doctors is to let them begin to work as an optometric technician right out of school before the board issues the license. The salary level is obviously reduced until the license comes through, but it can be very educational for the doctor and helpful to the practice. Letting the associate observe (or scribe for) the senior doctor performing eye exams is extremely beneficial.
Best wishes for continued success,

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