OSI Group ECP with child doing an eye exam

In today’s eye care landscape, the optometry sector is undergoing a dynamic shift toward independent practice. This movement is driven by a desire for greater professional autonomy, personalized patient care, and the freedom to innovate beyond corporate constraints. This shift is evident in the rise of boutique optometry practices offering tailored services and the growing presence of rural optometrists delivering crucial care in underserved areas. Amid this transformation, the OSI Group has launched Vision Entrepreneur, a trailblazing program designed to empower optometrists to build and sustain their own practices. This initiative offers a multifaceted approach to professional development, blending hands-on experience, personalized guidance, and a robust support network.


Jumpstart Your Career: Hands-On Internships

One of the standout features of the Vision Entrepreneur program is its extensive internship placement service. With connections to over 850 independent clinics, the program offers budding optometrists invaluable onsite experience. These internships provide an immersive look into the daily operations of thriving independent practices, delivering insights that textbooks simply can’t offer.

Moreover, Vision Entrepreneur goes beyond the standard approach, matching you with practices and communities that align with your career goals— whether you’re drawn to the buzz of urban clinics or the unique opportunities in rural settings. By working alongside experienced practitioners, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of patient care, clinic management, and the business intricacies that come with running a practice.

Your Personal Guide

Through the Professional Maze

Starting your journey in optometry can be daunting. There are regulations to navigate, finances to manage, and patients to attract. Vision Entrepreneur understands these challenges and provides personalized guidance calibrated to your career ambitions. Whether your goal is to join an established clinic as an associate, launch a new practice, or invest in an existing one, our seasoned Practice Advisors offer strategic advice and support. Their wealth of experience helps you sidestep common pitfalls and make savvy decisions about your professional path.

From Dreams to Reality:

Custom Coaching for Entrepreneurs

Ready to take the plunge and start your own practice? Vision Entrepreneur offers a coaching program designed to turn your dreams into reality. This program covers every critical aspect of establishing a practice, from crafting a rock-solid business plan to creating impactful marketing strategies. You’ll benefit from the expertise of a dedicated coaching team, receiving ongoing support that addresses immediate hurdles and long-term objectives. This tailored approach builds your confidence and skills, preparing you to go toe to toe with the complexities of optometry’s business side.

Connect, Collaborate, and Conquer: Join Our Community

Beyond its practical offerings, Vision Entrepreneur fosters a vibrant community of passionate vision care professionals. This network of emerging optometrists is a platform for collaboration, idea sharing, and mutual support. Connections are essential for those just starting out, and Vision Entrepreneur knows this well. While the program provides a wealth of resources and expert advice, it’s the community at its core that drives its success. By nurturing a sense of belonging and shared purpose, Vision Entrepreneur helps you forge relationships and opportunities that last a lifetime.


Shaping the Future of Independent Optometry

In an era where independent optometry practices are becoming increasingly vital to the healthcare landscape, Vision Entrepreneur shines as a beacon of support and innovation. By combining practical experience, expert guidance, and a strong community network, the program empowers aspiring optometrists to achieve their full potential and build thriving independent practices.

Ready to embark on your entrepreneurial journey? Vision Entrepreneur by OSI Group provides the tools, knowledge, and support you need to succeed. Contact Vision Entrepreneur today at entrepreneur@opto.com to unlock your independence and kickstart a successful optometry practice!



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FYidoctors logo trade mark

With eye health and enhancing the lives of each patient at the forefront of FYihealth group’s values, Dr. Alan Ulsifer, CEO and Chair of FYihealth group describes 2024 as a time for “growth and further establishing our position in the eye care industry.”

FYihealth group has collected notable achievements and recognitions, making it a very attractive and unique Canadian-based workplace. FYihealth group has been recognized for the following:

2023 Canada’s Best Managed Companies Award
Dr. Michael Kaplan and Dr. Frédéric Marchand Best Managed Companies 2024

FYihealth group has been recognized for its 5th year in a row by receiving a 2023 Canada’s Best Managed Companies Award, maintaining its Gold Standard status. Established in 1993 by Deloitte, Canada’s Best Managed Companies is the country’s leading business awards program, recognizing the excellence in private, Canadian-owned companies with revenues of $50 million or greater. Through an independent evaluation process, recipients are recognized based on overall business performance and sustained growth, as well as the efforts of the entire organization in addition to the financials.





Canada’s Best Executives 2024
Nancy Morison Canada’s Best Executive 2024

Nancy Morison, Vice President of FYihealth group’s very own Ophthalmic Laboratory based in Delta, BC, was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Executives 2024by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business. This recognition celebrates the unsung executives who move their companies forward. Since 2017, Morison has been known for improving employee engagement and showing authenticity in the workplace. She takes the time to chat with each team member at the lab and brings their concerns to the table, living FYihealth group’s belief in servant- leadership.





2024 Best Workplaces™ in Canada

FYihealth group ranked #41 in the 2024 Best Workplaces™ in Canada for companies with over one thousand employees. A recognition derived from its certification for the 2023 Great Place to Work®.

FYihealth group for Great Place to Work®

“Getting feedback from our team members that we have high trust, and they think we are a great place to work is incredibly rewarding! So proud to be named as one of Canadas top 50 best places to work!”

Meriya Dyble, Vice President of People & Culture, FYihealth group

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures; providing the benchmarks and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.

“We have seen a lot of great success and accomplishments from the entire organization this year, and we’re not even halfway through. I am so proud of how far we’ve grown from a group of just twelve optometrists, to over 350 clinics across Canada. I am deeply humbled and honoured that we could build a company that can receive these amazing achievements which could not have been possible without the hard work and dedication from our team members.”

Dr. Alan Ulsifer, CEO and Chair, FYihealth group


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Plants growing on piles of quarters

I received a revealing financial statement the other day. From a doctor who practiced as a phenomenally successful associate for many years. As with most Associates, the ownership motive was a large part of her career plan.

The adventure into practice ownership began about three years ago.

She was fortunate enough to be able to locate a property for sale which eliminated the landlord threat. There are too many providers in the immediate area, yet the practice is generating about $750,000 annually. That is about 20 to 30% more income than the average new startup at this early stage.

Data reveals that annual gross income for a three-year-old cold start is under $500,000. There will always be outliers and exceptions.

Let’s look at her financial journey:

  • The last year’s net income (as an Associate) was ~$301,000.
  • First year as an owner net income was ~$5,000.
  • Second year net income was ~$160,000.
  • Third year net income will be ~$225,000

And this is a success story for a three-year-old start up!

Let’s do the math:

  1. During the first three years of ownership her total net income will be ~$400,000.
  1. Had she remained a successful associate, her net income for the last three years would be over $900,000. More likely over $1 million!

What? That’s 60% MORE net income working as an associate versus an owner!

 Now let’s talk about the time invested to start and operate this new practice. I spoke about this in previous articles titled “Ownership Hours” and it is easy to invest 1,000 ‘sweat equity’ hours in the early years.

For this client, I estimate that she invested almost 2,000 hours of unpaid ownership hours. What could she have done with that time had she remained an associate?

Yes, if she were to sell the practice today there is some goodwill to be sold and that will be the return on investment in exchange for the ownership hours invested.

Pride of ownership has no price, and it cannot be appraised.

 Cash flow can be measured.

The law of diminishing returns suggests that goodwill will peak at some point and then because she is not cashing in and realizing the capital gain of the goodwill, each year she does not sell, the time-adjusted present value of her hours goes down.

Ask your accountant about this. If they do not understand, please ask me.

While she is above average and doing very well in my view, she is frustrated, and the economics of ownership are not working out for her.

The staff burden is enormous and that is why she called me the other day.

“Give it another two or three years” is what I suggested, but I do not think she will wait that long.

She is likely to sell the practice and keep the building to collect the rent and go back to being an associate.

They call it freedom from ownership.

No hassles, no staff problems, no landlords, no stress.

Ask yourself; is it better to be an owner or to be an associate?

Jackie Joachim, COO ROI Corp


Jackie has 30 years of experience in the industry as a former banker and now the Chief Operating Officer of ROI Corporation. Please contact her at Jackie.joachim@roicorp.com or 1-844-764-2020.


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Specsavers logo

A new survey by Specsavers, conducted by Leger, reveals that almost half (41%) of Canadian seniors are not up-to-date on their annual eye exam. Despite provincial insurance coverage for seniors, the cost of eyewear has been found to be a barrier for some, causing them to delay their exam. These findings are concerning as this can lead to undiagnosed eye conditions that can cause significant damage to vision.

“Eye exams are not just about getting a new prescription for glasses. Optometrists are equipped to detect the earliest signs of eye diseases. The advice an optometrist gives can be anything from helping with daily eye discomforts, to the detection of eye diseases, to ensuring that new glasses work for an individuals’ daily tasks. All of these are important for the preservation of quality of life, through better sight.”

Naomi Barber, Clinical Services Director, Specsavers

When examining the factors putting seniors’ vision at risk, half do not have vision health benefits and one-in-four have skipped or delayed updating their eyewear prescriptions due to financial barriers.

Due to their risk for potential health complications and more incidence of eye health issues, seniors should be getting regular eye exams. One-in-five do not know their family eye health history and may not be aware of their increased risk of vision-threatening diseases like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

“The number of Canadians living with vision loss is growing every day, and it’s critical that we continue to bring to light the factors that may be putting one’s vision at risk. Diagnosing conditions early is integral to the conservation of sight, and it’s incomprehensible that someone should have to delay potentially sight-saving treatment due to financial concerns.”

Jim Tokos, National President of the Canadian Council of the Blind

Specsavers partners with a network of participating independent optometrists who conduct eye exams – available at no-cost to seniors. These exams always include Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which creates a 3D eye scan that helps optometrists detect sight-threatening diseases at the earliest point of detection. Regular eye exams are important as 75% of vision loss is preventable and treatable.1

“We believe that Canadian seniors deserve better. Specsavers has a mission to help change the lives of Canadians through better sight,” says Bill Moir, Managing Director, Specsavers Canada. “It is important to break down the barriers to access eyecare and eyewear in Canada so that seniors are coming in for important eye exams.”

One of the ways to overcome these challenges is by implementing a national strategy for eyecare, through the proposed Bill C-284, to ensure better health outcomes for Canadians. This is particularly important for senior populations who are more likely to be diagnosed with eye diseases such as glaucoma and AMD.

“A national eyecare strategy is the next important step in making healthcare accessible and affordable for all Canadians, and it aligns strongly with Specsavers own vision of making eyecare and eyewear accessible to all,” says Moir. “Financially, eye exams and eyewear purchases go hand-in-hand. Recognizing the cost barrier for eyewear is important, particularly for our senior population, many of whom are on a fixed income.”

Specsavers has launched an ongoing seniors’ eyewear offer that is available at every location across Canada to make eyewear more affordable for seniors and prevent delaying eye exams.

1 A Report Card on Vision Health in Canada, The Canadian Council of the Blind and Fighting Blindness Canada. October 2022.

Methodology – Specsavers survey, conducted by Leger, Canadians 65+

An online survey of 2,012 Canadians, 65+ was completed between April 11th-16th, 2024, using Leger’s online panel. No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample (i.e. a web panel in this case). For comparative purposes, a probability sample of 2,012 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.2%, 19 times out of 20. Leger is the largest Canadian-owned full-service market research firm.


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Risky versus Safe Investments

I often hear that Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) are risk free because they protect your capital, much like a savings account would be considered risk free. Although this makes sense on the surface, these “safe” investments are anything but.

What is Risk?

Risk refers to the degree of uncertainty of achieving an expected rate of return. Thus, if all factors are equal, the degree of risk (uncertainty) and the expected rate of return should correlate accordingly. Ideally, more uncertainty, more expected return.

Impact of Inflation

One risk with all investments, including GICs is a long-term inability to keep pace with inflation. Essentially, the cost of living continues to increase and if your money isn’t keeping pace, your purchasing power decreases. A million dollars in 1988 (when the Bare-Naked Ladies would purchase a house, a K-Car, and really expensive ketchup) bought you a lot more than a million dollars will buy you today. A loaf of bread at the time was under $1 while the current average for boring bagged bread is around $3.

But Doesn’t a GIC Pay More Than Inflation?

Let’s look at an example based on known history. If you retired in 1989 with $500,000 in non-registered capital invested in a GIC and withdrew a net of $26,707 from this savings for annual spending, adjusted for inflation and taxation on the investment earnings, you would have run out of money in 20 years.(1) And keep in mind that GICs paid much better in the ‘90s at upwards to 7.1% for a 5 year GIC when inflation was 1.7% (2).

What are my Options?

Because no investment is risk free, and because hindsight is 20/20, we can use the same 20 year period invested in the TSX and S&P 500 indexes, with their fluctuating market valuation, and after 20 years you still had $360,627 left.(1)

I’m not saying you should invest in these markets specifically, especially during a withdrawal phase, but you should be aware that there are other options that can do a better job long term to keep up with inflation.

Other Components of Risk

Inflation and taxation both play integral roles in understanding your true rate of return and purchasing power for all investments, but you shouldn’t negate other factors of risk to define what is ultimately suitable for you, your goals and long-term needs.

Throughout history, variability in markets is really a short-term risk, just pull up an image of an Andex® chart to see the historical long-term growth of various investments.

Other factors to consider include currency risks, geographic and political risks, liquidity (ability to get usable cash when you want it) risks and timing of withdrawals (having to cash out an investment when markets are down create a permanent loss that can’t be recovered from).

The Bottom Line

The truth is what is often considered “risk free” is really just “comfortable”. It provides uneducated investors with a false sense of security based on knowing that their capital isn’t subject to stock market sentiment of day. Understanding that no investment is truly risk free will allow you to make more suitable investment decisions based on your comfort level as a well-educated investor.

  1. calculations provided by PlanPlus Planit
  2. 1995 values as reported https://www.ratehub.ca/blog/the-history-of-gic-rates/


Have more questions? As your Chief Financial Officer, I am here to help you make smart financial decisions that align with your business growth, personal wealth creation strategy and long-term interests. Helping you understand your money and assisting you in making informed decisions about your investment options are just some of the ways that I work as your fiduciary.

Educating you is just one piece of being your personal CFO that we excel at. Call (780-261-3098) or email (Roxanne@C3wealthadvisors.ca) today to set up your next conversation with us.

Roxanne Arnal is a former Optometrist, Professional Corporation President, and practice owner. Today she is on a mission to Empower You & Your Wealth with Clarity, Confidence & Control.

These articles are for information purposes only and are not a replacement for personal financial planning. Everyone’s circumstances and needs are different. Errors and Omissions exempt.


Optometrist and Certified Financial Planner

Roxanne Arnal graduated from UW School of Optometry in 1995 and is a past-president of the Alberta Association of Optometrists (AAO) and the Canadian Association of Optometry Students (CAOS).  She subsequently built a thriving optometric practice in rural Alberta.

Roxanne took the decision in  2012 to leave optometry and become a financial planning professional.  She now focuses on providing services to Optometrists with a plan to parlay her unique expertise to help optometric practices and their families across the country meet their goals through astute financial planning and decision making.

Roxanne splits EWO podcast hosting duties with Dr. Glen Chiasson.


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Eye Recommend

Hey, future visionaries of eye care! Dreaming of becoming the OD you’ve always wanted to be and delivering patient care with your own personal touch? Or maybe in the future looking for an opportunity for partnership or to become a practice owner and revolutionize the industry. Get ready because Eye Recommend is your ticket to making those dreams a reality!

With nearly 600 practices across Canada, Eye Recommend isn’t just a network: we’re a powerhouse of independent optometry, igniting connections and fueling your journey to success. We believe in giving you the tools and support to rock your autonomy while building equity, expanding your enterprise, and delivering top-notch patient care infused with your passion, flair, and direction!

Come aboard and become part of our dynamic community of ambitious optometrists making waves in their practices. As an associate at an Eye Recommend member practice, you’ll gain access to a wealth of resources tailored to support your professional growth. Whether it’s tapping into the expertise of our Business Coaches for savvy entrepreneurial insights or honing your skills through engaging sessions led by our Learning and Development Trainers, rest assured, we’re here to empower you every step of the way.

But wait, there’s more! Network like a boss at our industry-leading conferences and explore partnership opportunities that could skyrocket your career.

We’re not just keeping up with the trends; we’re setting them! Dive into our cutting-edge events, workshops, and resources that keep you on the pulse of optometric research and industry developments. Plus, we’re all about nurturing your passions and helping you carve out your niche within independent optometry, whether it’s in specialized areas like dry eye treatment, vision therapy, myopia management, or even delving into the world of aesthetics!

At Eye Recommend, your success is our mission. We’re not just listening; we’re taking action. We’ve got everything you need to thrive in the competitive world of independent optometry.

So, what are you waiting for? Join the revolution with Eye Recommend and let’s make your optometry dreams a blazing reality!

Connect with us to learn more!

This is a sponsored post.


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Patient centered strategies

In the ever-evolving landscape of optometry, increasing revenue per patient is a key objective for any practice. By implementing strategic approaches and leveraging innovative technologies, optometrists can not only enhance patient care but also boost their bottom line. Here are some effective strategies to achieve this goal:

1. Set Your Eye Exam Fees Higher: Make it a World-Class Experience

● Elevate the standard of your eye exams by offering a premium experience to patients.
● Invest in state-of-the-art scanning technology such as OCT, Wide Angle Retinal Imaging, Glaucoma Management, Telehealth, Neurolens, and Meibography.
● Emphasize the value proposition of your comprehensive eye exams and the advanced diagnostic tools used, which justifies higher fees.

2. Hand Off in the Exam Lane: Doctor Recommended

● Encourage doctors to recommend additional services or products during the exam.
● Studies have shown that implementing this approach can increase revenue per patient by up to 15%.
● Ensure clear communication of recommendations and echo them during the handoff to the optical team.

3. Offer Multiple Glasses Solutions

● Cater to diverse needs by providing various glasses solutions such as office pairs, progressive addition lenses (PALS), hobby-specific, sport-specific, and prism glasses.
● Present multiple options to patients and emphasize the benefits of each solution tailored to their lifestyle and preferences.

4. Retain Your Spectacle Prescriptions

● Provide patients with a detailed quote that includes features, benefits, and lifestyle dispensing options.
● Offer budget-friendly packages and be proactive in addressing objections to ensure a successful sale.

5. Sunwear Selection and Promotion

● Curate a wide selection of sunglasses, including premium brands like Maui Jim and Ray-Ban, and integrate them with ophthalmic frames.
● Educate patients about the health benefits of wearing sunglasses and demonstrate the advantages of polarized lenses.
● Encourage browsing by displaying sunwear prominently and offering trials while patients wait.

6. Contact Lens Sales

● Streamline the process of obtaining contact lenses by reducing barriers to access, such as offering trials and including contact lens fees with exams.
● Simplify pricing structures with a per-box strategy and ensure transparency by providing quotes to all patients.
● Specialize in fitting multifocals and complex contact lenses like orthokeratology (ortho-K) to meet diverse patient needs.

7. Myopia Management and Vision Therapy

● Offer comprehensive solutions for myopia management, including glasses, contacts, and vision therapy.
● Utilize advanced techniques such as axial length measurements to tailor treatments for each patient.
● Emphasize the long-term benefits of myopia control in reducing the risk of vision-related complications.

8. Dry Eye Centres and AMD Wellness

● Establish dedicated dry eye centers offering a range of products and services, including drops, cleansers, masks, and dry eye packages.
● Incorporate innovative treatments like Retina Rejuvenation techniques for managing conditions like Dry AMD, along with recommending vitamins and at-home photobiomodulation (PBM) devices.

9. Premium Boutique Frame Lines and Events

● Differentiate your practice by offering exclusive boutique frame lines and hosting trunk shows and special events to showcase new collections.
● Create a buzz around these events to attract both existing and potential patients.

10. Recalls and Follow-Ups

● Implement a proactive recall system to schedule follow-up appointments and keep patients engaged with their eye health.
● Utilize tele-optometry for convenient follow-ups, improving patient compliance and satisfaction.

By implementing these strategies, optometric practices can enhance patient satisfaction, improve clinical outcomes, and maximize revenue per patient, ultimately achieving sustainable growth and success in the competitive healthcare market.

Other tips from Dr. Trevor Miranda – Click Here.


Dr. Miranda is a partner in a multi-doctor, five-location practice on Vancouver Island.

He is a strong advocate for true Independent Optometry.

As a serial entrepreneur, Trevor is constantly testing different patient care and business models at his various locations. Many of these have turned out to be quite successful, to the point where many of his colleagues have adopted them into their own practices. His latest project is the Optometry Unleashed podcast.


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FYidoctors logo trade mark

FYihealth group makes two new additions to its senior leadership team: Jim Black as Senior Vice President of Information Technology, and Damian Zapisocky as Chief Financial Officer.

With eye health and enhancing the lives of each patient at the forefront of FYihealth group’s values, Dr. Alan Ulsifer, CEO and Chair of FYihealth group describes 2024 as a time for “growth and further establishing our position in the eye care industry.”

Jim Black
Jim Black

Black is a senior technology and digital business executive with over 20 years of experience at the leadership level. Black has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta and an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University. Working in three different industries at the Chief Information Officer level, Black is also recognized as a strategic partner to the CEO, Executive Team, and Board of Directors in translating business needs into process and technology solutions that move businesses forward during times of rapid technological change.

“I’ve been nothing but impressed with the quality and authenticity of the people that work here and am very confident in the future trajectory of this organization,” shares Black. “The culture is what most attracted me.”

Jim Black, Senior Vice President of Information Technology

Damian Zapisocky
Damian Zapisocky

Zapisocky has experience in CEO, COO, and CFO roles previously, where he developed his skill sets in financial management, strategy, acquisitions, governance, budgeting, forecasting, and treasury. Damian has a Bachelor of Commerce and a MBA from the University of Alberta, is designated as a Chartered Accountant, as well as is designated as a Certified Internal Auditor, has received the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors, and awarded the honour of Fellowship by CPA Alberta in 2024.

“What got me hooked on joining the team was the amazing people I met through the hiring process. FYi has had tremendous growth in the past few years, and I am thrilled that I can be part of its next stages as the company continues to expand.”

Damian Zapisocky, Chief Financial Officer

“I am pleased to have Jim and Damian join our organization. Culture is everything for us and it was important to find exceptional individuals who fit our servant-leadership model. Both check these boxes for our organization, and they bring years of valuable skills and experience to the team.”

Dr. Alan Ulsifer, CEO and Chair of FYihealth group

FYihealth group was named one of Canada’s Top Growing Companies in 2022 and 2023 by Globe and Mail’s Report on Business. The addition of Black and Zapisocky is part of the organization’s strategy to continue its growth in 2024, with plans to continue its expansion to provide eye care access to more Canadians.

This is a sponsored post.


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worried person waiting

Picture this scenario: A brightly lit, sterile-looking waiting room of an optical clinic. The reception desk buzzes with activity as patients come and go. A nervous patient, Emma, sits fidgeting in a chair, leafing through a magazine. She periodically glances at the entrance, her anxiety palpable.

When she checked in, Emma had mentioned to the receptionist “I’ve never been very comfortable with eye exams. The thought of someone poking around my eyes makes me squirm.”

After checking her in, the receptionist instructs her to sit in the waiting area like they would for any other patient and let’s her know someone will be with her shortly. And so here sits Emma, waiting, worrying, and contemplating leaving the office due to her increasing anxiety. At this point, she’s not sure she will be able to make it through the appointment.

Finally, the pre-tester comes to get her, and she makes it through the pretesting and is seen by the optometrist. She doesn’t voice any concerns, even though she has a few, because she has already maxed out her mental bandwidth for managing her own anxiety about this appointment for the day.

Even though she is handed a prescription for some simple anti-fatigue lenses, she quickly pays for her exam and goes home to order online. Emma would describe this experience as “Terrible. I felt a huge lack of empathy from the staff, and no one answered my questions.”

The staff who helped Emma would view this appointment as being a success, because they got her through the whole appointment, and she didn’t vocalize any complaints at the time. Sure, she didn’t purchase anything, but she wasn’t angry, upset, or irate in any way. That’s a win in our books, right?

As eye care professionals, we must remember that fear isn’t always loud. Sometimes it takes the form of quiet and polite.

We focus on the loud individuals; however, we need to keep in mind that there are quiet and reserved patients whose needs can often get missed and overlooked if you don’t have the skills to spot it and take preventative action.

So how can we do this?

We increase our emotional intelligence! Specifically social awareness.

This will change their perspective and can stop those walkouts from buying online!

Cues to watch for:

Body Language:

  • Tense posture, such as crossed arms or legs.
  • Fidgeting, such as tapping feet or playing with objects.
  • Avoiding eye contact or shifting gaze frequently.
  • Clenched fists or jaw, indicating tension.

Withdrawal or Avoidance:

  • Attempting to delay or avoid the examination.
  • Pulling away from the optometrist or medical equipment.
  • Expressing a desire to leave or reschedule the appointment.


  • Rubbing or massaging temples or forehead.
  • Clenching fists or wringing hands.
  • Restlessness, such as shifting in the seat or pacing.

By attentively observing these social cues, you can start to provide some simple strategies to alleviate the fear, stress, and/or anxiety that your patient is experiencing.

If we think back to Emma’s story, she gave a very direct verbal cue to the receptionist: “I’ve never been very comfortable with eye exams. The thought of someone poking around my eyes makes me squirm.” That was her way of outright telling her “I’m uncomfortable and fearful”.

If the receptionist had picked up on this, she could have done multiple things to help start Emma off on the right foot.

Bonus Tip: Describe the pre-tester to the patient and let the patient know she is very friendly and kind.  This helps build Emma’s perception of her interaction with the pre-tester as being a friendly and kind person.

We have can hone our skills to become more aware of these cues in our patients and provide an amazing experience for them. The first step is becoming more aware of those cues and the next step is having clear steps to help guide them through the experience and influence their perception in a positive way.

If you are one of those amazing individuals that can see the values these skills hold, I invite you to visit https://www.emotionalintelligenceconsultinginc.com to increase your social awareness and skills for influencing a patient’s experience from a negative to a positive one.

Jade Bodzasy

Jade Bodzasy

Jade Bodzasy, Founder of Emotional Intelligence Consulting Inc., is a dedicated Coach and Consultant for Optometric Practices. Her extensive background includes over 20,000 hours of expertise focused on customer relations, work structure refinement, training method development, and fostering improved work culture within Optometric practices.

Certified in Rational Emotive Behavior Techniques (REBT), Jade possesses a unique skillset that empowers individuals to gain profound insights into the origins of their behaviors, as well as those of others. Leveraging her certification, she equips optometry practices with invaluable resources and expert guidance to establish and sustain a positive, healthful, and productive work environment.


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FYidoctors logo trade mark

Approximately a year ago, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Mary-Kate Alliston during her signing journey with FYidoctors in July of 2023. Her unwavering dedication and passion for optometry left a lasting impression, prompting us to offer her the opportunity as the Lead OD of one of our clinics.

FYidoctors Dr. MK ALLISTON
FYidoctors Dr. MK ALLISTON

What truly stood out about Mary-Kate’s journey was not only her signing as a new graduate in a leadership role but also her confidence in serving as the sole OD in that clinic.

FYidoctors is fortunate to have been chosen as her inaugural practice space, and is happy to share a little about herself:

  1. Tell us about yourself

I am originally from Ancaster, Ontario and I have worked with FYidoctors in different capacities since 2018. I began my post-secondary education at Western University and obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree with a double major in Physiology and Biology. I then went on to study Optometry at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science and graduated in spring 2023.

  1. What made you choose optometry?

I knew from a young age that I wanted my career to be centered around helping people, becoming involved in my community, and making a difference in people’s lives. I entered my undergraduate studies with the ambition of becoming a medical doctor but with the goal of exploring other healthcare-related options that fit my lifestyle and priority of work-life balance. I always endeavored to work in primary healthcare because I love interacting with others and building relationships over time.

  1. What do you love about your job?

I love so many things about the job. I love that at the very least, we are improving patients’ lives simply by improving their vision with either glasses or contact lenses. I love that the profession has so many different facets, including eye health and binocular vision, and that we have the potential to make a difference in the patient’s overall health as well as being a part of their larger healthcare team. I love that, as optometrists, we are always learning new information that can benefit our patients and the profession is always evolving. I love the lifestyle and the work-life balance the career provides as well, and that I get to do what I always aspired to do in my career, which is help people and enhance their lives every day.

  1. What advice would you offer soon-to-be graduates?

I have placed a lot of importance in my life on experiences, and have made that a priority throughout my post-secondary years. I have volunteered, shadowed, and worked in a variety of different clinics including other FYidoctors locations, and have learned so much about what my goals are as a practitioner and what I prioritize in a workplace environment. I took an opportunity to do one of my externship rotations in another province I had never been to before, and I have worked in both rural and urban areas. My advice would be to seek out new experiences outside of your comfort zone to gain different perspectives and discover what your goals will be once you become a practitioner. I would also recommend starting the job search early and taking your time to decide what is right for you, and do not be afraid to ask the “hard questions” of your future workplace.

Dr. Mary-Kate Alliston currently practices at our Kitchener-Waterloo clinic and is happy to chat about her experience with future graduates.

Looking for career opportunities with FYidoctors?

Contact me at Michelle.Melnyk@fyidoctors.com

This is a sponsored post.

FYidoctors Michelle Melnyk

Michelle Melnyk

With over a decade of dedicated service, Michelle Melnyk has been proud to have influence across various roles in Talent Aquisition. At FYidoctors, she began as the Optometrist Recruiter for the Ontario region, and soon after, stepped into her current role as Manager of Campus Engagement. Her journey began with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Mount Royal University with a minor in Human Resources, where she developed an understanding of human behavior and organizational dynamics. Beyond her professional endeavors, Michelle is known for her advocacy for work-life balance and her passion for family, plants, and travel. With her background and dedication, Michelle continues to shape the careers of individuals while making meaningful contributions to the field of talent management.


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