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15 things that drive ODs crazy during the holidays


The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone, but for optometrists, there are a laundry list of situations that happen in and outside of your practice that make this time of year extra hectic. We asked our Editorial Advisory Board to share one thing that drives them crazy during the holiday season.




The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone, but for optometrists, there are a laundry list of situations that happen in and outside of your practice that make this time of year extra hectic.

We asked our Editorial Advisory Board to share one thing that drives them crazy during the holiday season. 

“Christmas music!” says Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO. “Oh, you mean in the office? That would be either decorative contact lens patients who want lenses at the last minute or insurance patients who don't know their coverage.”

Our Editorial Advisory Board also weighed in with their dos and don’ts for the holiday season. Check out that story HERE.





Delaying purchases until January

"People who don’t want to buy glasses until after January 1 when benefits kick in," says Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO.






Last-minute patients

“A patient’s poor planning does not constitute an emergency for me,” says Dori Carlson, OD, FAAO. “Patients who suddenly must get in before the end of the year but didn’t think to call until the last minute drive me crazy-especially if they are repeat offenders.”

“Demanding patients with flex spending or benefits that are about to expire who expect more than anyone else because they waited until the last minute,” says Leo Semes, OD, FAAO.

"People who call December 20 for an appointment and get ticked off because we can’t see them before the end of the year," says Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO.

“Patients ‘suddenly’ have to get in to be examined before the end of the year (good thing) but insist that they cannot be dilated, do special test, because of shopping, parties-you name it,” says Bill Townsend, OD, FAAO.

“Parent calls on December 24 to get an appointment for her child while he is home on Christmas break,” says Kris VanSickle, West Union, IA, via ODs on Facebook. “Child leaves to go back to school on December 26.”

"Patients expect to be pushed through before the year ends, and patients are annoyed when you take a few days off for the holidays," says Joe Shovlin, OD, FAAO.





Know-it-all friends and family

"Relatives and friends who think that they know more about eyes than I do and argue with me about it," says Leo Semes, OD, FAAO.

"Case in point from some years ago: A relative had an Rx from California for spectacles that included a bifocal component and insisted that she did not want 'Transitions.'"  

Dr. Semes ordered the progressive as written in high-index, scratch-resistant coating, for an expensive frame.

"You know what's next," he says. "She was outraged that there was an add. Of course, I sent the spectacles to her next-day air via FedEx, so I really had a nice holiday meal!"




No shows

“Canceled appointments and no shows. Because of last-minute shopping and other schedule changes, the frequency of no shows increase,” says Kirk Smick, OD, FAAO.

“The number of patients who either don’t show or who cancel literally at the last minute,” says Pam Miller, OD, FAAO, JD.





Pressure to decorate like Martha

"Everyone expects your office and home to look like a Martha Stewart design," says Joe Shovlin, OD, FAAO.




Too busy for visual fields

"The inability to run visual fields because the office is too busy with exams," says Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO.






Bad traffic

"Horrendous traffic this time of year," says Pam Miller, OD, FAAO, JD. "This is coming from someone living in an area where the traffic is very heavy 24 hours a day, so the increase in traffic, accidents, impatient drivers, and those drivers who rarely venture out except at holiday time makes for a huge increase in stress."






Patients who don’t get the joke

“When I want follow-up patients to come back in a few weeks and I say, ‘See you next year,’ and they say, ‘That long?’ says Marc Bloomenstein, OD, FAAO.




‘Emergency’ patients

“‘Emergency’ patients who are not emergent at all but who decide they have an emergency because they have the day off,” says Danica Marrelli, OD, FAAO.





Overbooked schedule and 'I want it now'

"The mismatch between people wanting things instantly and the longer-than-usual delivery times can be stressful," says Justin Bazan, OD. "We are an office that doesn't typically take walk-ins but do so over the holiday rush. The overbooked schedule can put a strain on staff and resources."

Dr. Bazan tries to put this holiday crazy into perspective: "It's all good because with the increase business comes an increased bank account!"





End-of-year business wrap-ups

“Large aging report/uncollected for the year or feeling like you don't have good numbers or a grasp of where the business is at year end,” says Crystal Brimer, OD, FAAO.





Staff time off requests

“Multiple employees who want time off at the same time to mess up staffing for the busiest time of the year,” says John Schachet, OD, FAAO.





Inappropriate times for a eyewear adjustment

“Relatives who want glasses adjusted at Christmas dinner after I’ve had a drink or two,” says Karin Rummell, OD, Toronto, via ODs on Facebook.



The work-life balance

“Juggling my commitments to my practice, family, and friends,” says A. Paul Chous, OD, FAAO.  




The work-life balance

"I hate all the returns and especially hate the credit cards bills when they arrive after the holidays," says Joe Shovin, OD, FAAO.


Is there anything else about the holiday season that drives you crazy as an OD? Tell us on our Twitter or Facebook!

In case you missed it: 13 holiday dos and don’ts for ODs

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