Clock-watchers Need Not
QUESTION: What traits are most
important to you in an associate? I'll be interviewing with several practices
soon, and I'd like to know what skills and qualities I should emphasize.
Answer: As a private practitioner, I most value someone who will take ownership in the
practice. Nothing is more disappointing than interviewing a competent, bright O.D.
who just wants to punch a clock and go home.
example, what would you do in this scenario? It's 4:55 p.m. on a Friday and the
phone rings. It's a patient who feels he has an emergency and wants to be seen right
away. You have a dinner engagement waited 2 months for the reservation
and you're already pressed for time. What would you do?
From my perspective, the correct
answer always should be that you're more than happy to stay despite your
seems to have acquired a reputation as a "flexible" profession. Unexpected emergencies
are the exception, not the rule, thus we can lead fairly uninterrupted personal
lives after hours. However, as eyecare professionals, we have an obligation to make
ourselves available to our patients when they need us. As a practice owner, I feel
very strongly about this, and I expect my
associate to have the same values.
In my opinion, if you aren't willing to stay and handle an emergency, you don't
have the patient's best interest at heart.
My advice is to assure any potential
employer that you're willing to take ownership in the practice and treat it like
your own even staying late on occasion to help grow the practice.
A 2002 graduate of the Southern College of
Optometry, Dr. Kerksick is currently in private practice. You can contact her at
Optometric Management, Issue: March 2006