Looking ahead to 2021

November 23, 2020
Benjamin P. Casella, OD, FAAO

Optometry Times Journal, December digital edition 2020, Volume 12, Issue 12

How are you “eyeing” 2021?

I recently participated in a yet another Zoom conference call to discuss various aspects of practice management during the current state of affairs. My friends Gretchyn Bailey, NCLC, FAAO (our esteemed editor-in-chief) and John Rumpakis, OD, MBA, (practice management guru) were the other participants, and we had a great conversation!

Upon reflection of the conversation, my mind was drawn to what 2021 will have in store for my practice, my profession, and my country. Of course, I have my hopes and dreams for the coming year. I hope to get rid of these masks. We all hope to get rid of these masks. Rationally, I assume that is predicated upon the approval, production, availability, and widespread delivery of a safe and effective vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

So, with that aside, what else can I aspire to in 2021? I need to be more on board with myopia control. As a moderately high myope myself, I have a greater chance of having a retinal condition than, say, a 1.00 D myope. Less myopia is a good thing, and we have to get into the mindset of viewing myopia as a medical condition, not the way insurance tells us it is: a refractive condition separate from eye health. Shame on me for not always keeping that in mind, and I will do better moving forward.

Related: COVID-19 stole optometry’s 2020 thunder, but not all of it

I need to keep more money in my operating account allocated for savings. I previously wrote that, prior to 2020, I was considering cutting down a bit on my office savings account because I was being a too conservative. I am currently working toward a long-term goal of doubling the amount of savings I had back then. We may never see another “shutdown” like the one we experienced in early 2020, but we know it’s not impossible. I want to be as prepared as I can be.

I need to find a way to continue a huge positive for my practice: spending more time with patients. With my schedule still relatively tamped down, I have more time to discuss things with my patients and more time to listen to their concerns. Sometimes, the discussion just involves an extra minute to chew the fat with someone, but a little extra time always gives opportunity to discuss things which could have an effect on one’s care. Additionally, I think patients have received the extra time spent with them as a positive thing. This is good for my practice, and word of mouth means a great deal.

How are you “eyeing” 2021? Let us know. As with 2020, we’re all in it together.

Related: Show gratitude even in 2020

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