Ahead and Take Your Shot
critics can provide us with the boost we need simply by writing a letter.
THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jim Thomas
any enterprise, OM has its share of critics. When an unhappy reader announces
himself, usually through a letter or email, we follow the same initial steps that
any concerned optometric practice would follow. First, we tell our customer that
we're sorry he's unhappy. (Many check to see if their organization can be held culpable
before issuing an apology, but that can be a mistake: If you start by informing
the customer that your organization has followed its rules, you've made this encounter
about you and not the customer.) We work toward a resolution that satisfies both
parties, and then we thank the customer and do the appropriate follow up.
This system is not fool proof. But in most
instances, when it is done with honesty, integrity and sincerity, these steps transform
a complainant into a satisfied customer.
It's not over yet
OM and other publishers take an additional
step. We consider publishing a "Letter to the Editor." This may confound our audience
and even the person who wrote the letter. After all, why publicize a criticism?
For OM, there are two answers. First,
as a matter of record, it's our duty to clarify the information we publish. Second,
in a dynamic field such as optometry, we recognize that differing opinions may exist
on any subject. It's not always a question of right or wrong, it's a question of
what works for the individual. For example, a practice management technique that
works best for a practice in Seattle may not fit the practice in Manhattan or Austin,
A new foundation
We also recognize that publications can only
provide a snapshot of any subject at any one particular time. New information is
constantly generated. From this perspective, publications are not always the "final
word," but rather a foundation on which to build a dialogue, one that depends on
So whether you agree or disagree with
what you find in the pages of OM, let us know. Give us your best shot. You
just might provide a boost for the entire profession.
A difficult farewell
Recently, Optometric Management lost a leader
and a close friend when Bob Boucher passed away. Bob was president of Boucher Communications,
the publisher of OM, from 1997 to 2005. Our prayers and deepest sympathies go
out to Bob's family at this difficult time.
Optometric Management, Issue: March 2006