New Grads - The Benefits of Being a Vision Source Optometrist

Aug 13, 2014
5 min read

This is a sponsored post by Vision Source, a supporter of NewGradOptometry & new graduate optometrists! 😎 

Through two distinctly different pathways, Dr. Corte and Dr. Dryer have experienced first-hand what it is like to practice within the Vision Source network.

What is Vision Source?

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A network of 3,500+ independent private practice optometrists who've joined together to increase buying power, share practice management ideas and lead the fight against managed care.

What Are The Core Beliefs of Vision Source?

  • The best patient experience and care comes from doctors who are free to make their own decisions about what’s best for their patients.
  • Strength in numbers – the large alliance of optometrists helps move optometry in a positive direction.

Pathway to Vision Source: Dr. Courtney Dryer

As a 4th year intern, I had the privilege of rotating through a Vision Source private practice in Charlotte, NC.  The doctors invited me into their practice and soon I felt like part of the family. During my time with them, I was able to attend local meetings, and see first-hand the benefits of membership. They provided excellent care, offered their patients the best technologies, and led as independent practitioners within the profession.

I knew I wanted to open cold and I was able to do that, thanks to the Vision Source network, in May of 2013. We are called 4 Eyes Optometry and we are a staple in our community.

Why should you join?

  • Group Buying Power: As a member of Vision Source, you receive the same discounts as large practices who do large volume. This saves you money when you use their “library” of vendors. Additionally, in North Carolina,  there has been an effort to pull our resources together for marketing to compete with box chains using social media.
  • Start-up Support: 5 of us who have been open for less then 3 years meet together to share practice problems or ask questions. It’s been extremely helpful to develop friendships with people whom will share in your practice triumphs and tribulations.
  • Maintain Independence: Most independent optometrists opened their own practice for freedom and no restrictions. I joined Vision Source for that reason. With most traditional doctor groups, a member must accept the group’s name, frame lines, and standards sent down from corporate headquarters. If I want to add a frame line or add pink furniture in my waiting room, I don’t need permission to do so.  I can design my own marketing campaign or I can use Vision Source’s designs.
  • Participation in Optometry Giving Sight: Vision Source members have donated over 2 million dollars to Optometry Giving Sight. Vision Source has paired with vendors like Modo that contribute a frame for each frame or Sauflon, who encourages patients to contribute a portion of their rebate towards Optometry Giving Sight. At 4 Eyes, we’ve had jewelry created, that when purchased by our patients, a contribution is made to Optometry Giving Sight. This “donation & charity” environment is something my patients LOVE about our office.

Pathway to Vision Source: Dr. Ryan Corte

Well aware of the strength of the Vision Source network, I was fortunate enough to land a part-time opportunity at Modern Eye Care, an excellent Vision Source practice in the area I aspired to live.

What makes my situation unique is the fact that I’m a 50/50 employee of two, non-affiliated private practices. Since only one is a Vision Source member, I’ve witnessed first hand the benefits of what Vision Source has to offer private practice ODs.

I truly believe the future of private practice optometry is contingent on strengths in numbers – an ideology clearly describing Vision Source and their mission.

Why should you join?

  • Managed Care Access: Vision Source is at the forefront of negotiating with numerous manage care organizations (MCOs) throughout the country on their member’s behalf. With the uncertainty of the ever evolving heath care system, Vision Source is taking the right steps to ensure their members successfully have access to patients under MCOs.
  • Local Comradery: Members are encouraged to attend monthly Vision Source meetings to discuss and brainstorm ideas with other local members. Vision Source vendors sponsor these meetings – providing updates on any changes or new products on the rise. Personally, I’ve found the opportunity to establish strong relationships with other local ODs to be extremely rewarding.
  • Staff Resources: Ask any practice owner – “What is your biggest challenge?” The most common answer you’ll hear is STAFF! Although I’m not an owner, I’ve found that educating and training the staff around me has impacted my practice patterns in a very positive way. Fortunately, Vision Source has a number of educational resources that your staff (and practice) can benefit from to maximize success!
  • External Marketing Tools: Vision Source purchased a national list of primary care providers (PCPs) on their members behalf – making it easier to find and connect with local providers. Even more unique is their “awareness kits” that make it easier for you to educate PCPs on the fact that your practice is a key resource for their medical model.

Our team supports Vision Source and we think it is a great opportunity for new graduates. If you are interested in learning how to become a Vision Source member, visit their website today!

About Courtney Dryer, OD

Courtney Dryer is a 2011 graduate of SCO. She opened 4 Eyes Optometry in her hometown of Charlotte, NC in February of 2013. After 5 years, the practice name was changed to Autarchic Spec Shop to renew the practice's commitment …

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