Dr. Michael Naugle provides an in-depth explanation of how the FYidoctors’ Future Vision Leaders program works with NextGenOD’s  Nyah Miranda, a first-year OD student at New England College of Optometry (NECO).  Nyah and her Canadian compatriots account for 39% of the year 1 class at NECO.


Dr. Naugle explains how the $100,000 loan forgiveness program works, how it is tiered by geographic location, explains eligibility and all the details involved with the program.

He also explains that while it appears that income is higher if OD students stay in US, this is actually not the case when you take everything into account. (10 Mins)

Related Links:  
Dr. Naugle’s EyesWideOpen Podcast with Roxanne Arnal 




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In his current role as VP, Optometric Partnerships, Dr. Michael Naugle oversees the growth and development of the FYidoctors banner in Canada and is a key figure in recruiting new optometrists. From the company’s inception in 2008 up until 2015, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and Vice Chairman of the Advisory Committee.

About the Guest

Dr. Naugle has held many leadership positions throughout his career. Since 2011 until 2016, he served as the Optometry Chairperson of the Canadian Coalition of Eyecare Professionals (CCEPro), a grass roots coalition of ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians.

He is the a past President of the New Brunswick Association of Optometrists in 2000-2002, before which he served as the Registrar of the New Brunswick Association of the Optometrists from 1997-1998.

Dr. Naugle was part of a large group practice in Moncton, New Brunswick, that was one of one founding groups of FYidoctors. In 2017 he transitioned full time to the FYidoctors leadership team and is the executive sponsor for the Future Vision Leaders Program supporting the next generation of Canadian optometrists.

Episode Notes

EWO host, Dr. Roxanne Arnal talks with Dr. Michael Naugle about the challenges facing Optometry today, with a focus on those faced by the newest generation of ODs.

Dr. Naugle outlines how the Future Vision Leaders forgivable loan program is tiered by location providing an up-front loan of up to $100,000 which is forgiven by $20,000 for each year the recipient is with FYidoctors. He outlines eligibility and how the program is tiered based on geographic location.

Dr. Naugle breaks news regarding a new collaboration with New England College of Optometry (NECO) which supports 3rd and 4th year Canadian students with a full forgivable loan to cover 3rd and 4th year tuition.

He provides concrete examples of how the “doctor-owned – doctor-driven” DNA of the company has lead to providing superior patient care through the unusual acquisition of diagnostic tools for members.

Dr. Naugle explains how the traditional binary roles of owner/manager or clinician has been expanded at FYidoctors to accommodate different perspectives for ODs at all stages of career development by adding options that include leadership without ownership and ownership without the burden of management – an innovative and flexible approach.

Listen to the full 29 min. podcast for further insights into the FYidoctor story and evolution.




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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Being an optometrist isn’t easy as there are so many things to look after, primarily when you are subleasing and don’t have control of the optical staff. Subleasing has plenty of benefits to offer, including having trained staff who work under your wing and assist you in your daily operations via your contract.

So, what happens when your staff makes errors and makes it difficult for you to run your practice? Such errors include not collecting payments on time from patients.

This isn’t beneficial for your practice and can result in significant losses. So, what should an optometrist do in such a situation? Let’s find out:

Collect Payment Before Treatment
This practice may not be allowed in some jurisdications, which is why it’s crucial to check before implementing . When you collect payments from your patients first, it can help you have clarity whether the patient has paid or not.

If your optical staff fails to collect payment from the patients after the treatment, you’ll be looking at a loss. You would have provided quality treatment to the patient and would note  even get paid for it. See if you can collect payment first.

Hire Your Staff
When you sublease space to run your practice, you will likely have to work with the existing staff. However, it can become problematic once the optical staff makes enormous mistakes. I

In such a situation, you should hire your staff. You can interview yourself to see their potential. When you have the right people for the job working under you, you’ll experience fewer errors and more ease.  Interview potential candidates thoroughly before appointing them, and have a much smoother experience at work.

Set Up Online Payment
If your staff forgets to collect payment from the patients, one thing you can do is ask them to call those patients, apologize for the oversight,  and ask for the payment.

Since your staff made the mistake of collecting payment, they should be the ones who make the call. Also, another suitable way to collect payment would be to set up an online payment option where patients can pay before getting the treatment. This way, you’ll receive the amounts, and your staff wouldn’t have to go after the patients regarding payments.

The Paper Trail
There should be paperwork for everything, including collecting payments from patients. You should have access to the invoices stating that the patient has paid a certain amount of money to receive a particular treatment.

Once you have all the documents, you’ll have proof that the patient has paid, and your staff didn’t forget to ask for the required money. Also, if there’s an invoice missing, you’ll immediately know that your employees failed to fetch the payment.

Do it Yourself?
This isn’t your job as an OD, but if your staff is not on top of things, you’ll have to step in. If you want to ensure your patients pay you the money you’re entitled to receive, you should collect it yourself at the end of the treatment. This way, you won’t have to run after optical staff to do so, and you’ll have your dues as well.


is the founder of Corporate Optometry, a peer-to-peer web resource for ODs interested to learn more about opportunities in corporate optometry. Canadian ODs and optometry students can visit www.corporateoptometry.com to learn more.


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There is an generational effect  on the optometry industry that is changing expectations from optometry clinics. Millennials and optometry have an important correlation since there are steady changes happening in technology, practice management, work-life balance, patient care and diversity and inclusion. For many millenial ODs, there is a good fit between their expectations and values and a corporate optometry career path.

Trends in Optometry
While millennial ODs need to face an economic reality they do have the flexibility that can help them face future uncertainties.  Going through school and building their careers might leave many millennials with high debt, and without the capital to pursue independent optometry.  Corporate optometry has become an attractive option.

Millennials are part of the digital generation, where, like most industries, technology is prioritized. They also wired to expect high efficiency and productivity. They also have a comfort level with technology that can help build relationships with patients.

Digital Future of Optometry
Modern offices are turning towards digital space to increase efficiency. This can include  software for billing, appointments, and booking – things like cloud access and digital imaging for records and patient data. Optometry offices are being expanded to digital spaces for greater accessibility.

Cloud Adoption
The willingness millennials have to turn towards the cloud is a great asset.

Millennials and optometry involve incorporating IT setups, hardware, and software. It can mean more training as well as costs from tech glitches. If an optometry clinic has different office locations, it can mean the use of multiple IT systems, which can lead to expenditure cost.

Millennials are turning the trend to optometry offices towards incorporating the right sort of technology into the right spaces.

This model needs patient privacy compliance and has a fully-managed and secure structure. It also gives room to optometry clinics to be more transparent with their customers.

Through seamless integration, there is increased accountability of the optometry clinics as well.

Diversity and Inclusiveness
Young ODs want to feel part of something bigger. They make sure the promotion practices throughout the organization are unbiased and equitable.

They are looking for a structured internal mobility program to provide equal opportunities. Many corporate opticals, like Warby Parker, have taken steps to help grow diversity in optometry. Many millennial ODs feel they belong in organizations that provide these opportunities, and have taken subleases accordingly.

Millennial ODs have changed how the industry performs and works with its patients and workforce. This can be quite a positive change in terms of relationships, efficiency, and ability to expand.


is the founder of Corporate Optometry, a peer-to-peer web resource for ODs interested to learn more about opportunities in corporate optometry. Canadian ODs and optometry students can visit www.corporateoptometry.com to learn more.


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Career Pathfinders

The employment market in eye care has always been a challenge but today, catalyzed by the new opportunities from eyecare organizations eager to acquire new talent, the challenges, options and opportunities are greater than ever.

An overview of the employment situation will be shared with attendees as well as some sage advice from employment gurus.

Hiring organizations will provide insights into their culture and benefits. Attendees will be able to meet with the leaders behind Canada’s largest organizations and get first-hand perspectives. OD members of the Canada’s largest optometric buying groups share their perspectives on independent optometry. 

This interactive event is ideal for early career stage eye care practitioners looking to chart their course and those, at any career stage, considering upon a change in direction.


  • Tim Brennan, Chief Innovation Officer, FitFirst Technologies
  • Dr. Michael Naugle, VP Optometric Partnerships, FYidoctors
  • Dr. Daryan Angle, VP Business Development, IRIS Group
  • Dr. Laurie Lesser, Eyecare Director,  Canada/UK, Bailey Nelson
  • Nicholas Perry, Cofounder & Managing Director, Canada/UK, Bailey Nelson
  • Dr. Kyla Hunter, Aurora Eye Care, Grande Prairie, AB , Eye Recommend
  • Dr. Trevor Miranda, Cowichan Eyecare BC
  • Dr. Maria Sampalis, Founder & Owner, Corporate Optometry
  • Naomi Barber, BOptom, Director of Optometry, Specsavers

All events will be hosted and moderated Roxanne Arnal, OD, Certified Financial Planner. Dr. Arnal brings a unique combination of experience as a former independent practice owner and certified financial planner to the proceedings.

Mingle with your colleagues and presenters in conversation rooms following the presentations.


  • Presentations and Moderated Panel discussions
  • Private Video Chat tables
  • Interactive Text Chat
  • Direct Links to valuable information

Event registration is now open. Click Here for Details. 












Events in the Series:  

Registration for the first event Monday October 25th,  “Technology Drivers of Change” is still open. Click here for detailed information on this event. 

Registration for the second event Monday November 1st,  “Selling & Buying a Practice” is still open.  Click here for detailed information on this event. 

Click here to register for any of the Changing Landscape Events 


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