Job satisfaction is one of the biggest determinants of overall quality of life and happiness. For these three optometrists, practicing at offices within the National Vision Doctor of Optometry network offers the right combination of factors that lead to career fulfillment, and they were thrilled to tell us why.
Great benefits and beyond
Working for an independent Practice within the National Vision Doctor of Optometry network has a long list of pros and perks. First, the independent Practices offer competitive compensation, and in some modalities, opportunities to earn incentive bonuses. Other great things like medical, dental, paid professional liability insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance, and retirement savings are all factored into core benefit offerings by most Practices. Doctors can also expect generous paid time off (PTO) and paid holidays through their employer. In addition, most Practices offer something for everyone through different career pathways, including full-time, part-time, and casual part-time possibilities. For those with a more entrepreneurial mindset, there are even opportunities to pursue a sublease. And, with locations all across the country, relocation to nearly anywhere in the United States is possible, especially as the network continues growing.
Dr. Victoria Vuong currently practices at Regency Eye Care, Inc. at an Eyeglass World in San Diego California. She was initially attracted to her Practice by the wide range of benefits.
“So, when I was first presented with this opportunity, what really drew me was the competitive compensation, but also the benefits that they include—benefits including retirement savings, insurance, dental, and PTO immediately.” Dr. Victoria Vuong
In addition, Dr. Vuong said, “Work-life balance is really important to me, and working for Regency Eye Care has made that easy and possible.”
Dr. Josh Dalley, who practices in Pocatello, Idaho, echoed this: “One of the things that I love about working here [Doctor’s Exchange of Idaho, P.C.] is the stability that I have and the flexibility that it gives me with my home and family life. It also gives me opportunities to grow, to teach others, to learn from others, and to provide quality eyecare to my patients.”
For Dr. Stephanie Hubbard, who practices optometry with Gulfview Vision Associates at an America's Best in Bradenton Florida, it is the opportunity to practice true optometry and sharpen her clinical skill set that makes working at her Practice most rewarding.
“In my opinion, working in this setting is the definition of primary care.” Dr. Stephanie Hubbard
Dr. Hubbard added, “Most people come here expecting to just get glasses and contacts. They think that is what their issue is when, a lot of times, they end up having some sort of underlying condition or something that just glasses and contacts alone can't fix.”
Making a lasting difference in patients’ lives
One of the most gratifying aspects of practicing within the National Vision Doctor of Optometry network is having the ability to deliver care to a broad patient base with a wide range of conditions. This affords the opportunity to manage cases from routine to life- and sight-threatening. In both instances, you are given the opportunity to impact your patient’s lives in a truly worthwhile way.
According to Dr. Dalley:
“I love that working here I'm able to see a lot of different and interesting cases.”
Each of these optometrists was easily able to recall a patient encounter where diagnosing and managing a condition allowed them to make a significant, positive impact in an individual's life. In turn, these cases inspired them as both doctors and individuals.
Dr. Dalley shared one of his most memorable cases: A man with a history of retinal detachments came in for a routine eye exam, stating that he was missing part of his vision. After examining him, he discovered a detachment in his other eye and, with prompt action, was able to get him to a retina specialist to save the vision in that eye.
Dr. Dalley stated, “We were able to give him the attention that he needed so that we could preserve as much of his vision as possible. The patient was so grateful and made me and my staff feel really good that we were able to help him out on his journey to see the best that he can.”
Sometimes, cases go beyond vision and sight and provide the opportunity to uncover serious systemic issues. Dr. Vuong describes a similarly satisfying situation in which a Hispanic male in his sixties presented with a complaint of not being able to see up close while working. Fundus examination revealed significant diabetic retinopathy in both eyes.
Upon further investigation, Dr. Vuong found the man had been previously diagnosed with diabetes but did not understand the gravity and toll it could take on his health and vision. She explained, “Once I showed him what I found and discussed with him the importance of managing his diabetes, I was able to get him scheduled at a local clinic to get him on track.”
Working at offices within the National Vision Doctor of Optometry network provides an opportunity to continue learning and enhancing your clinical skills and knowledge. Dr. Hubbard recalls a case that challenged anything she’d seen in a clinical setting.
A 40-year-old woman presented with reduced vision, both up close and at distance. After a challenging refraction and an unremarkable slit lamp examination, Hubbard proceeded with dilation: “It was revealed that she had some pretty significant atrophy in the macula and perimacular area. But the one thing I didn't understand was why she was experiencing this atrophy in the macula.”
After referring her to a retinologist, the cause was uncovered. Fifteen years earlier, the woman had been prescribed Elmiron, which has been shown to cause pigmentary changes in the retina. Dr. Hubbard stated, “After I heard about this, I did my own research to figure out what's going on. It's just about since 2018 that things have come to surface that this drug for bladder conditions is having an impact on the eyes and vision.”
These types of encounters are a great reminder of the effects optometrists have on the lives of patients and how that contributes to incredible career satisfaction.
Experiences such as these confirm Dr. Dalley’s career choice.
“I'm proud to be an optometrist. It's really exciting to see those patients who can see again after going so long without being able to see, and I am very excited about my future working here in this practice.” Dr. Josh Dalley
Looking forward to bright futures within the National Vision Doctor of Optometry network
Doctors practicing within the National Vision Doctor of Optometry network are on a mission of helping people by making quality eye care more affordable and accessible. These three doctors have aligned with this purpose and see their Practices as places where they can truly make a valuable contribution.
As Dr. Vuong said of her aforementioned patient:
“It’s cases like that that remind me of why I chose this profession in the first place.”
Dr. Vuong went on to explain, “To be able to help others see and make a difference in their lives. This patient was just coming in because they wanted competitive pricing on glasses; what they got from it was realizing how important it was to take care of and manage their diabetes, in addition to the glasses that they were there for.”
According to Dr. Dalley, “When I first started working here, I only planned to work here for a short period of time and then move on with my career. But as I've learned more about the Practice . . . and the people I work with . . . and the level of joy that I get seeing patients, this is a place where I could see myself spending my entire career.”