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Holiday dos and don’ts for ODs in 2018


Once again, Optometry Times has your back when it comes to combatting holiday stress both in the office and at home.

Related: 13 holiday dos and don'ts for ODs

Astute readers will notice themes that crop up every year, and this year is no exception. And you’ll also notice contradictory recommendations as well, which keeps things interesting.

Related: 10 holiday dos and don’ts for ODs in 2017

We have a record 29 ODs offering you their sage advice keep your holidays merry and bright.

See what they have to say!

Mo Rafieetary, OD, FAAO
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO make sure you have adequate coverage for your after-hours/emergency care during the holidays.
• DO take care of your staff and be mindful of their financial and logistical challenges during the holiday season.

Cristina Schnider, OD, FAAO
Director of global professional affairs
Johnson & Johnson Vision

• DO spend time with those who mean the most to you.
• DO reflect on the gift we give (sight) and the profession that has allowed us to do so-and think about contributing a year-end gift to your optometry alma mater in thanks and celebration of that gift.
• DON’T get discouraged over the changes you see in our world-our profession has evolved successfully from the jewelry trade to being a primary care profession, and will continue to evolve… it’s all good!

Tom Wong, OD
New York City
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO support those in our communities that are less fortunate.
• DO wish all patients, staff, and colleagues a happy holiday season.
• DON’T be negative!

Chris Wroten, OD
Hammond, LA
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO take time to wish your patients and your staff happy holidays
• DO take advantage of the end of the year timeframe to remind patients about deductibles being met, Q4 pharmaceutical company programs for ophthalmic medications they may be taking, and to exhaust their Health Savings Account before they lose that money and about ways they can do so in your office.
• DO use downtime during certain days around the holidays for staff training, insurance plan contract reviews, and strategic planning for 2019.

Sherry Bass, OD, FAAO
New York City
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DON’T wait until the last minute to order gifts.
• DO wait until you buy your gifts before you buy your gift bags.
• DO be generous this year with your giving to charities in need.

Lauretta Justin, OD
Orlando, FL

• DO savor every moment with loved ones.
• DON’T fall prey to the chaos.
• DO bring the celebration into the office.
• DON’T take yourself too seriously.
• DO help your kids donate something from their lists.
• DON’T give your kids everything on their lists.

Mark Dunbar, OD, FAAO

• DON’T waste time on Black Friday deals.
• DO watch Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman-you are never too old.
• DO try making a turducken for a holiday meal.

Jade Coats, OD
Rogers, AR

• DO open (at least) a half day on Saturdays during December to allow for last minute patients looking to spend their flex savings.
• DON’T forget about your employees; a small bonus or token of appreciation can go a long way.
• DO spend extra time with your older patients; sometimes you may be all they have during the holidays.

Read more

Michael Cooper, OD
West Hartford, CT
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO pay it forward by helping a fellow OD who needs to borrow a piece of diagnostic equipment.
• DO make sure to thank your politcally active colleagues for their hard work in state associations. Without them, we would not have the ability to practice the way we do.
• DON'T throw colleagues under the bus if they made a mistake.

Maria Pribis, OD, FAAO
Stamford, CT

• DO take a minute to slow down and enjoy the season. Be grateful for all you have-optometry is a wonderful profession, and this is a great time to reflect on this.
• DO listen to classical music or meditate when the stress starts to get to you.
• DO make time to get to the gym; even a 30-minute workout will help balance the additional calories we all take in this time of year.

Scott Hauswirth, OD, FAAO
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO take time to spend with your family.
• DON’T forget to thank those who make your success possible.
• DO take time to reflect on the previous year’s successes and failures and plan for the coming year.

Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO
Rockville, MD
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO throw a holiday party for staff.
• DO discuss flexible spending end-of-year benefits with all patients and optical staff.
• DO make a financial plan personally and business and marketing plans for next year.
• DON’T drink and drive during holidays.
• DON’T forget to take good care of your staff with bonuses.

Barbara Fluder, OD
Merillville, IN
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO participate in a giving tree to provide gifts for those less fortunate.
• DO be charitable to those who have been supportive of you throughout the year.
• DON’T forget to thank patients for their patronage.

Diana Canto-Sims, OD
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO try holiday Latin eggnog Rompope  and the more tropical version Coquito.
• DO have some type of holiday party with your optical family.
• Don’t stress over the small stuff.

Jeff Anshel, OD, FAAO
Encinitas, CA
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DON'T drive to the mall.
• DO stock up early on everything (survival mode).
• DO remember to give thanks for friendship.

Bill Townsend, OD, FAAO
Canyon, TX
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO take lots of time out of the office; the holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend extra time with family and friends. 
• DO find a way to express your appreciation to colleagues and staff members verbally or in the form of bonuses or gifts.
• DON’T wait until the last minute to shop for present. Reserve that time for fun activities and spending time with loved ones.

Read more

Ernie Cepero, OD
Coral Gables, FL

• DO shop last minute.
• DON’T plan ahead or buy in advance.
• DO drink eggnog.
• DON’T drink and drive.
• DO put up Christmas decorations.
• DON’T put out inflatable lawn declarations.

Dori Carlson, OD
Park River, ND
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO simplify. Too often we are busy at the office and trying to be all things at home. 
• DO what’s important, and let go of what isn’t.

Tracy Swartz, OD, FAAO
Madison, AL
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO post office plans for the holidays early so patients are not caught by surprise when the office is closed.
• DO take the time with family. The patients will be still be there after Christmas. 
• DO share call over the holidays if you can. 

Carl Spear, OD, FAAO
Senior vice president of eyecare

• DO be thankful for your blessings.
• DO spend time with friends and family.
• DO laugh every day-especially at yourself.
• DON’T take yourself too seriously.
• DON’T hold others to a higher standard than you are holding yourself.

Pam Miller, OD, FAAO
Highland, CA
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO schedule time out of the office-not just for the holidays, but year round; work four days a week instead of five.
• DON’T be a Scrooge; thank your friends, patients, and family for supporting you.
• DON’T wish patients “Merry Christmas.”

Marta Fabrykowski, OD, FAAO
New York City
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO call in refills early so they do not accumulate on Christmas Eve.
• DO make sure in-office fridges are set to the correct temperatures before leaving for a few days off (no one wants frozen Eylea [aflibercept, Regeneron]!).
• DON’T forget the after-hours coverage-arrange for the right support.

Joe Shovlin, OD, FAAO
Scranton, PA
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO take time to spend with your friends and family and enjoy the holiday season.
• DON’T forget to celebrate the things that have gone well for the year, including rewarding valuable staff.
• DON’T forget to tell your patients how much you appreciate their loyalty to your practice.

Jeffry Gerson, OD, FAAO
Shawnee, KS
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO take time to realize how fortunate we are and volunteer your services to help those who can’t afford care.
• DO take time to tell your staff you appreciate them.

Whitney Hauser, OD

• DO plan for 2019. Huddle up with staff and set measurable goals for the upcoming year.
• DONT go into a “holiday haze” too soon. The end of the year has opportunity, but too many docs mentally check out too early.
• DO show genuine appreciation for your staff during the holidays. 

Michael Brown, OD, FAAO
Huntsville, AL
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO share with the entire office holiday food gifts your patients bring in; your staff and waistline will thank you.
• DO take a few extra moments to ask your patients how their holiday is going. You willl get some happy and sad stories, but your patients will appreciate it that you are willing to listen.
• DON’T bring up The Elephant in the Room at Christmas parties or dinners, and if anyone else does, don’t take the bait.

Zacharty McCarty, OD
Chattanooga, TN

• DO spend time with family.
• DO thank staff.
• DON’T overindulge.

Kim Reed, OD, FAAO
Director of medical affairs ophthalmology

• DO give yourself a holiday gift-never under-sell yourself.  You are a physician with unique knowledge and skills, and you deserve to be compensated fairly for your expertise and care.

Jamie Hill, OD, FAAO
Charleston, SC

• DO cherish the holiday season with friends and family-it is a busy time of year, but make sure to slow it down and be in the moment
• DON’T drive yourself nuts shopping for the “perfect” gift; it’s cliché, but it’s the thought that counts

Marc Bloomenstein, OD, FAAO
Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

• DO tell your ulcer patients, who are at the end of the year, that you want to see them next year. It freaks them out.
• DON’T eat anything your patients bake at home. “My eight cats and I wanted you to try our favorite treats.” No, thanks…just the visual is making me nauseous.
• DON’T go to any office parties-ever! You risk alienating the one person whose party you can not make. Actually, that is a great advice for anything with the staff.

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