This new grad characteristic solidifies the value of adding one as an associate
One of the most common questions doctors ask themselves when considering hiring a young associate, or any associate, for that matter, is whether they can afford it: Will the associate generate substantial revenue for the practice? If the candidate is a new graduate, I would argue, “definitely.” My reasoning:
New graduates have a unique perspective to recommend daily disposable contact lenses, which are both beneficial for the eye health of our patients and can increase practice revenue.
Specifically, because new graduates are fresh out of optometry school, they likely have been exposed to the latest contact lenses on the market and can use that academic exposure to instill excitement in patients about wearing a daily disposable modality. This, in turn, can increase the sales of these lenses.
WHY DAILY DISPOSABLES?
Daily disposable contact lenses are, arguably, the healthiest modality for patients to wear because there is no multi-day lens deposit accumulation. As long as the material of the daily lens is high quality, the patient will generally experience optimal oxygen permeability and comfort, especially if the patient suffers from dry eye disease.
Something else to keep in mind when it comes to daily disposable lenses: In my experience, patients often stay with doctors based on the level of technology the doctor has made available, and this includes eye care-related products.
It’s been my experience, however, that many doctors who have top-of-the-line diagnostic equipment (e.g. fundus photography, OCT, etc.) still prescribe older-technology contact lenses. I believe this is doing a disservice to our patients who seek “high-tech” products. As optometrists, we should all make an effort to prescribe what’s best for our patients, even if it means refitting someone in a new lens who may say they are otherwise happy in their current contact lenses.
NEW ASSOCIATE IN ACTION
To increase the likelihood of a patient acquiring daily contact lenses, new graduate associates can, with great aplomb, educate patients on the ocular health benefits of the lens (described) and prompt interest in current wearers by inquiring about their overall satisfaction with their habitual contact lenses:
“If you could change one thing about your contact lenses, what would it be?”
Most of the time, the answer is either (1) “I wish I didn’t have to clean my lenses,” or, (2) “I wish they felt like they did on day one all the time.”
The associate’s reply: “Guess what? There are lenses available that can solve both of these concerns: daily disposable contact lenses! I’d love to tell you all about them and answer any questions you may have.”
Personally, I assure patients who may question the recommended switch from their habitual lenses to daily disposable contact lenses that my family members all wear daily disposable lenses, and that patients who have made the switch often provide favorable feedback.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Doing what’s right for patients is always our responsibility. Increased revenue from this motivation is a welcomed side effect. O.D.s should consider hiring a new graduate as an associate, as they could be a powerhouse for growth in the daily disposable contact lens category. OM
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