Article Date: 9/1/2002

Practice Profile
In competitive times, Dr. Dzik succeeds by setting his practice apart from the rest.

Most residents of the Chattanooga, Tenn., area have probably seen Joseph Dzik, O.D., even though they may have never visited his practice. He speaks to parent groups in schools. He has participated in many TV call-in shows. The local TV news has featured his practice about 40 times. Yet Dr. Dzik's public persona is just one of the reasons why Joseph M. Dzik and Associates thrives in today's competitive arena.

Offering special services

First and foremost, Dr. Dzik succeeds because he sets his practice apart. His is the only practice in his geographic area that focuses on the following needs:

Dr. Dzik notes that these services bring in not only people who need such special care, but their family members who might need eye care as well.

Since the implementation of therapeutics in Tennessee, the doctor has also learned new techniques for treating dry eye (inserting punctal plugs) and treating glaucoma, along with approaches to co-managing laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis and cataract surgery.

Keeping up-to-date

Dr. Dzik believes in giving his practice's 20,000 to 30,000 patients access to the newest technology. He has added a newer, faster Zeiss-Humphrey visual field analyzer to his office and plans to acquire a Topcon KR-8000 PA Supra autorefractor/autokeratometer/topographer.

The practice has telescopes and microscopes for low-vision patients and a wide range of vision therapy equipment, including computer orthoptics, veecograph, flippers and prisms.

The new technology extends to his record keeping as well. He has updated his computer to better handle patient files, recalls and insurance. He constantly trains his staff and assistants to handle the new procedures and products he brings in. His office manager sees to the day-to-day staff management. The efficient staff is important, says Dr. Dzik, in helping keep costs down.

A lab of his own

Dr. Dzik has his own lab of about 500 square feet, so he can do finishing and surfacing on premises. Patients are less likely to take their prescriptions elsewhere, and costs stay lower. The practice includes a Santinelli patternless edger and a National Optronics generator.

Dr. Dzik offers rush jobs for patients who need their glasses sooner than most or who must travel a long distance to get to his office and don't want to have to return to pick up their glasses. This makes for great word-of-mouth referrals.


In his 28-foot by 18-foot optical, Dr. Dzik's patients can compare how they look in various frames by video or TV playback. This has had a big positive impact in helping the doctor dispense more high-end frames and multiple pairs of glasses. He displays regular plastic CR-39 lenses and high-index lenses so patients can see how much thinner the high-index lenses are, and displays progressive lenses against straight-tops to highlight their differences.

Speaking their language

Finally, Dr. Dzik explains what's going on in non- technical language his patients understand. He hands out pamphlets to supplement his explanations. His good relationship with area ophthalmologists has benefited his practice growth too; they refer low-vision and other patients to him. Referrals from doctors and patients are so great that the doctor does absolutely no advertising.

Now you know

Dr. Dzik's message is clear: Learn skills unique in your area. Back up your knowledge with technology and the words to explain it well, and you too can build a solid practice.


Optometric Management, Issue: September 2002