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Holiday dos and don’ts for ODs in 2020


Optometry Times® offers suggestions for the holiday season with dos and don’ts from your fellow ODs.

Take a look at past suggestions:

Holiday dos and don’ts for ODs in 2019

Holiday dos and don’ts for ODs in 2018

10 holiday dos and don’ts for ODs in 2017

13 holiday dos and don'ts for ODs

Milton Hom, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Azusa, CA

DO think of things to be thankful for.

DO look forward to the year ahead.

DON’T expect everyone to respond to these times just like you.

Mo Rafieetary, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Memphis, TN

DO give your staff a bonus, gifts, etc., to raise their spirits.

DON’T let them use holidays as an excuse to lower their performance.

Kathy Mastrota, OD, FAAO

New York City

DO practice gratitude. Being an optometrist is a great profession. Optometrists change peoples’ lives.

DON’T let someone else ensnare you in bitterness.

Related: ODs look back on 2020

Chris Wroten

Editorial Advisory Board member

Hammond, LA

DO spend time with friends and family, reflecting on what really matters in life.

DO take a moment at year’s end to review last year’s successes and challenges, tangibly acknowledge staff for their efforts, and set goals for the coming year.

DON’T get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays that can take away from the true meaning of the season.

Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Bowling Green, OH

DO plan for 2021 cautiously but optimistically.

DON’T expect that things will be back to normal in 2021.

Jade Coats, OD

Editorial Advisory Board member

Rogers, AR

DO help patients maximize their insurance benefits and/or health savings accounts.

DO train your staff how to enthusiastically educate patients on the discounts and specials available so that they can help promote sales to end the year strong.

DON’T be a Grinch! Involve your staff in decorating and celebrating the reason for the season.

Especially in 2020 when morale may be low, DON’T forget to show appreciation and love to your staff.

Related: ODs look to what 2021 will bring

Paul Chous, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Tacoma, WA

DO celebrate with your immediate family that lives with you to help minimize spread of SARS-CoV-2.

DO wear masks if you encounter anyone indoors who is outside of your “pod.”

If you take insulin or can afford it, DO get a continuous glucose monitoring device to help control blood glucoses during the holidays and lower your odds of dying if you contract COVID-19.

Bill Townsend, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Canyon, TX

DO take time to enjoy family and friends in informal setting.

DON’T attend every party to which you’re invited (not really an issue in the age of COVID-19).

Leo Semes, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Ponte Verde Beach, FL

DON’T expect magic once 2020 is over.

DO stay safe!

Justin Bazan, OD

Editorial Advisory Board member

Brooklyn, NY

DO suck it up and smile through it. People are grateful you are there to help and your extra hard work is generally appreciated.

Michael Brown, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Huntsville, AL

DO buy local, sustainable, and socially conscious gifts.

DON’T make the already too wealthy barons of the world even richer.

Pamela Miller, OD

Editorial Advisory Board member

Highland, CA

DON’T give up, give in, or stop fighting for your rights and the rights of your patients.

DO take time to breathe, regroup, assess your options and set out a game plan (on paper or in your mind) so that you don’t flounder or lose direction in the sea of healthcare concerns. Holidays are a good time to sit back, look at the big picture, and re-evaluate the direction you want to pursue for the upcoming year. This is a time for giving to yourself, your family, and your friends and neighbors, many of whom have had a really tough time of late.

DO be optimistic even if it is difficult. If you need help, talk with a friend or a colleague—moral support can be a huge benefit during the holidays when your own world might be facing some difficulties or even feel like it is falling apart.

Diana Canto-Sims, OD

Editorial Advisory Board member


DO focus should be on self-care and intention-setting for 2021.

DON’T participate in random mindless give giving; let’s donate to our food banks to help those in need that have lost jobs.

DON’T really like people? Donate to your local animal shelter and help feed kittens.

Barbara Fluder, OD

Editorial Advisory Board member

Valdosta, GA

DO take some time for yourself during the holidays. It's not only about patient's needs all time. Remember one of my favorite sayings: “Negligence on your part does not constitute a crisis on mine.”

James Hill, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Charleston, SC

DON’T forget to say thank you to those you work with.

DO call and speak to your friends and family during this holiday season.

Related: What ODs are grateful for this Thanksgiving, COVID edition

Scott Hauswirth, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Aurora, CO

DO take some time off for your families and loved ones. Put the phone down and immerse yourself in the love and spirit of the season. Even this crazy year when at times there is no escape from one another, make sure to make the time special. We can’t ever get those opportunities back.

Ben Gaddie, OD, FAAO

Editorial Advisory Board member

Louisville, KY

DON’T talk politics, especially this year. You might find yourself in an altercation.

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