Article Date: 1/1/2001

O.D. TO O.D.
Quest for Success
With his passion for practice management, our new chief optometric editor sets his sights on a new year of innovation.
BY NEIL B. GAILMARD, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.,
Chief Optometric Editor

I admit it. I've been an Optometric Management junkie throughout my entire professional life. I've read this magazine ever since I started optometry school (I'm a 1976 graduate) -- and I still look forward to receiving every issue. It has always been the most interesting of all our professional publications. I know many of you feel the same way.

I still have most issues in my office library -- including one from 1974! My, how times have changed, and for the better. Perusing that 27-year-old issue revealed lots of frame ads -- with frame styles that now look quite comical (although the oval, dark zyls are back in now). There wasn't a single pharmaceutical ad; the best we could do was for an artificial tear. But I must say, the 27-year-old articles were quite good, even by today's standards.

My new role at OM

I'm proud and excited to begin my new position as chief optometric editor. It's a trust that I take very seriously, and I'll do my best to continue the excellent leadership this magazine has had over the decades. Most recently, this has been through the efforts of Art Epstein, whom I have the greatest respect for as a clinician and as a thought leader in our profession. I hope to have the opportunity to work with him again.

The excitement of a true gem

Why do I love this magazine? Because I love new ideas that could lead to greater efficiency and prosperity.

And that's what the articles in OM are all about. Ideas. Innovations. Note that I said "could lead to greater efficiency . . . ." An idea that works for one practitioner may not work for another. In fact, a true gem of an idea is rare. But when I come across one that really clicks, it's a beautiful thing. The excitement takes over, and I can't stop thinking about it. I visualize the end result as I start planning a staff meeting, or as I get out my tape measure, or when I start tapping on my calculator. I'm seeing things a whole new way. Soon, I'm developing office forms or planning a new marketing campaign.

Over the years, the very best of these ideas has changed the way I practice -- and dramatically changed my life for the better. Sure, I've had plenty of ideas that were busts, but when an idea turned out to be truly great, it made the failures all seem worth it. That's why I'm on a continuous quest for new ideas -- and they're plentiful.

Viva la difference

It's wonderful that so many optometrist-authors are willing to share great management ideas and strategies, strictly because they want to help their colleagues. Learning from their experiences and from experts in other fields is the best way to develop and build your practice.

The most learning takes place when we do things differently. You may feel comforted to read about someone who's doing things the way you do, but it's not a learning experience.

Make 2001 a success story

The beginning of the new year is a wonderful time to plan for your next success. Organize your thoughts and schedule the time you need to lead your practice to great things in 2001. And continue your quest for great ideas -- I assure you, the editorial staff at Optometric Management will be there with you.


Optometric Management, Issue: January 2001