FYidoctors logo trade mark

FYidoctors is Canada’s largest network of optometrists. Doctor-led, professionally managed, and patient-focused, the organization concentrates on delivering outstanding eye care with patient-centric products and services.

In this article, we will be getting to know Dr. Devin Almond, Lead Optometrist at the FYidoctors Kelowna Spall Plaza clinic.

Dr Devin Almond, Lead Optometrist at the FYidoctors Kelowna Spall Plaza clinic

  1. Tell us about yourself!

I was introduced to Optometry through my father Dr. Brad Almond. He was an Optometrist in Calgary and Kelowna for many years. I always gravitated towards healthcare and decided to become an Optometrist after job shadowing at a few clinics in Kelowna. I went to Pacific University and graduated in 2014. Upon graduation, I moved back to Kelowna with my wife and opened a cold start practice with my dad in 2014. It was a humbling but invaluable experience building up a patient base from 0 to what it has become today. During the first few years of opening the practice, I locumed at FYidoctors in Penticton, and that was how I became introduced to the FYi organization.


  1. Why did you choose to join FYidoctors?

In 2022, my dad had decided that he wanted to retire so our practice was going through a transition. I had to choose between buying him out, bringing on a partner, or merging with FYi. I chose to merge with FYi because it would allow me to have more work-life balance, reduce the stress associated with running a business by myself, stay competitive against large optometry chains, and still maintain autonomy over my optometric practice. I am very grateful that I made this decision. I believe that FYi is the future of optometrist-owned practices in Canada. With climbing interest rates, excessive amounts of student debt, and rising costs to buy existing practices, I don’t think it’s realistic for many new grads to buy-in to practices anymore. FYi provides a way to not only own shares within a single practice but of the entire company as well. In my opinion, this is a better investment than owning your own practice in this market.


  1. What was it like to switch over to FYi?

Anytime a practice is going through a transition, it is difficult. The staff must learn new processes, new products, new sales techniques, and have more meetings. When transitioning, there will always be some resistance and you can expect it to take around a year before everyone has fully adjusted. FYi has a great management team at Home Office for support to make the transition as easy as possible. After getting through the transition period, I believe my staff is performing at a higher level than before due to the training and support they received from FYi. The best thing about FYi has been the centralized recalls. This has taken the burden off my staff from taking time out of their days to call patients and it has improved our patient retention. We have been getting lots of patients returning to the clinic for their eye exams, some of whom haven’t seen in 4 or 5 years! FYi is also great at ensuring its practices have state-of-the-art technology, which some independent practices may not be able to afford – when our OCT machine went down a few months ago, we received a new one very quickly, which is a powerful benefit of being part of a larger organization.


Overall, I am very grateful to have joined the FYidoctors team. They provided me with competitive compensation and being able to optimize my work-life balance has improved my quality of life. If you’re an optometrist in Canada, definitely consider joining FYi if your practice is going through a transition or you’re looking for a new job.


Looking for career opportunities with FYidoctors?

Contact me at

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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After-Tax income

With all the recent talk about potential changes to capital gains taxation, now is an excellent time to revisit strategies for maximizing your after-tax income. Here’s a breakdown of the 4 D’s: Defer, Deduct, Differentiate, and Divide. These strategies can help you manage your tax bill today and in the future.

  1. Defer: Shift Taxes to Future Years

Deferring tax is a smart move, especially if you’re currently in a high tax bracket. The idea is to reduce your current tax burden by shifting it to future years when you expect to be in a lower tax bracket. A few examples are:

  • RRSPs: The most common tool for tax deferral is the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Contributions are tax-deductible today. The growth and contributions are tax-deferred until you withdraw the funds in retirement.
  • Capital Gains: Managing the timing of an asset sale to defer capital gains tax can also be beneficial. This is especially true given the proposed changes to the capital gains inclusion rate that bumps up the 50% inclusion to 66.7% for personal gains over $250,000 in a given tax year.
  • Corporate Accounts: For business owners, leaving funds in your corporate account can delay personal taxation. Keep in mind, this strategy may also come with some negative implications to your overall corporate tax bill. Balance is key here. Speaking of which, is it time to consider full deferral of investment growth tax through the use of permanent life insurance?
  1. Deduct: Maximize Your Tax Credits and Deductions

Everyone likes to pay less tax, and one of the simplest ways to achieve this is by ensuring you’re taking full advantage of all available tax credits and deductions. A couple of common credits that are often missed include:

  • Charitable Donations: Instead of small donations at the cash register, make larger donations directly to registered Canadian charities to get a tax receipt.
  • Medical Expenses: These can be claimed for any 12-month consecutive period. Sometimes it’s more advantageous to run calculations outside of the calendar year, like May 1 to April 30.
  1. Differentiate: Understand Tax Rules for Different Types of Income

Different types of income are subject to varying taxation rules. This differentiation is particularly valuable when managing investment income, especially for non-registered accounts. Another differentiation point worth exploring is the age old question of:

  • Salary vs. Dividends: Business owners can choose between salary and dividends, or a blend of both. Even though recent tax changes have led to near-perfect tax integration, those who opt for a salary will need to make CPP contributions, which entitle them to CPP disability, death and retirement benefits. Understanding what is important to you and your current situation keeps this a very individualized discussion.
  1. Divide: Income Splitting

While opportunities for income splitting have been reduced in recent years, some options remain.

  • Spousal RRSP: Contributing to a Spousal RRSP can help divide income more evenly between spouses when it comes to early retirement.
  • Non-Arm’s Length Employees: Business owners can still hire family members to help spread the household taxable income, as long as the salary paid to family members is reasonable.
  • Family Shareholders: In certain cases, naming family members as shareholders can be beneficial. Typically I recommend a different class of shares per family member so dividends can be distributed as needed. This can also be beneficial when it comes to selling your business as all shareholders may be entitled to the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption.

A Holistic Approach to Tax Management

Reviewing various tax strategies that apply to you is just one part of our holistic financial planning approach. Working together as a team with other key advisors, including accountants and lawyers, ensures that no stone is left unturned.

If you’re curious about how these strategies might benefit you, don’t hesitate to ask. Effective tax management is not just about today; it’s about planning for a secure financial future. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you navigate the complexities of the tax system by calling (780-261-3098) or email ( 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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In the dynamic world of optometry, where precision, empathy, and effective communication converge, self-awareness within emotional intelligence stands as a key component for success. For you, cultivating self-awareness is not merely a professional enhancement but a crucial element for delivering exceptional patient care and fostering a harmonious work environment.

Understanding Self-Awareness in Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) encompasses the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions while also recognizing and influencing the emotions of others. Self-awareness is the foundational component of EI. It involves having a clear understanding of one’s own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, values, and the impact of one’s behavior on others.

In practical terms, self-awareness enables you to navigate your emotional responses to daily challenges, whether it’s handling a difficult patient interaction, managing the pressures of a busy clinic, or collaborating with colleagues. By being aware of your emotional states, you can maintain professionalism, make informed decisions, and build stronger relationships with patients and coworkers.

Why Self-Awareness is Essential for Optometric Staff

1. Enhancing Patient Care

You frequently interact with patients who may be anxious about their vision health. Self-awareness allows you to recognize your own emotional responses, such as stress or impatience, and manage them effectively. By doing so, you can maintain a calm and reassuring demeanor, which is essential for building trust and rapport with patients. For example, a self-aware person can identify if they are feeling frustrated with a patient’s repeated questions and instead of showing irritation, they can consciously choose to respond with patience and understanding.

2. Improving Communication Skills

Happy people talking


Effective communication is critical in optometry. Self-aware people are better equipped to express themselves clearly and empathetically. You can gauge how your words and tone affect patients and adjust your communication style accordingly. This is particularly important when explaining complex eye conditions or treatment options. A self-aware person can recognize if they are using overly technical language and switch to simpler explanations to ensure the patient comprehends the information.

3. Fostering a Positive Work Environment

Self-awareness contributes to a positive and collaborative workplace. When you understand your own emotions, you’re more likely to engage in constructive interactions with colleagues. You can navigate conflicts with empathy and respect, reducing workplace tension. For instance, if a disagreement arises over scheduling or patient care protocols, a self-aware individual can address the issue calmly, considering both their own perspective and that of their colleagues, leading to more effective resolution.

4. Personal and Professional Growth

Self-awareness is a catalyst for personal and professional development. By understanding your strengths and areas for improvement, you can seek opportunities for growth. This might involve pursuing additional training, seeking feedback, or reflecting on your interactions to continually enhance your performance. For example, a person who recognizes their discomfort with certain administrative tasks might take steps to improve their skills in that area, ultimately increasing their efficiency and job satisfaction.

Cultivating Self-Awareness

Person tending to a plant


Developing self-awareness requires intentional effort and practice. You can start by regularly reflecting on your emotions and behaviors, seeking feedback from peers and supervisors, and engaging in mindfulness or self-assessment exercises. Techniques such as keeping a journal of daily interactions or participating in EI training programs can also be beneficial.


By honing this skill, you can enhance patient interactions, improve communication, contribute to a positive work environment, and embark on a path of continuous growth. Ultimately, self-awareness empowers eye care professionals to provide compassionate, effective care and thrive in their roles, benefiting both their patients and their practice.

Take the next step in your journey towards mastering emotional intelligence by exploring our continuing education resources at Emotional Intelligence Consulting Inc.. Start your learning journey today and empower yourself with the skills to excel both personally and professionally. Visit us now and transform your approach to patient care!


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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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 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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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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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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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 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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Commercial real estate

For over a decade, the Canadian real estate market has experienced growth that far surpassed any rational expectations.

In 2023, the reset of interest rates slightly cooled the market’s fervor, yet the core momentum remained unabated.

Currently, the prospect of rising interest rates looms, driven by increases in the Government of Canada’s five-year bond yields—a precursor to changes in the bank’s prime lending rate.

This development casts doubt on the possibility of interest rate relief in the spring or summer of 2024. I could be wrong.

Understand Ownership and Operating Costs

This context underscores the substantial costs of owning and operating commercial real estate for business owners.

While the residential market garners extensive coverage in media, this discussion will focus on the less-discussed commercial occupancy costs. I recently spoke with a Vancouver practitioner who highlighted a modern, high-tech development in an upscale neighborhood.

The going rate for a vacant commercial condominium there is $2,400 per square foot. Consequently, acquiring a 1,000-squarefoot space demands an investment of $2.4 million, excluding closing costs.

This price tag does not cover the additional expenses for leasehold improvements, which could ascend to another $500,000. Moreover, equipping the practice with necessary technology and equipment may require a further six-figure investment.

Hence, the total initial investment for launching a fully operational new practice in a 1,000-square-foot commercial condo in this elite Vancouver area could reach over $3 million.

This figure represents the debt burden from day one. A metaphorical $3 million ribbon-cutting ceremony, indeed. The journey to debt freedom begins thereafter, patient by patient, potentially spanning decades for the ambitious doctor.

To some, this scenario may resemble a perpetual commitment to a financial institution.

  • Amortized over 20 years
  • At the current prime interest rate of 7.2%
  • Monthly payment: $27,557
  • Total payment over 20 years: $6.6 million
  • Interest cost alone: $3.1 million!

A Harsh Reality

The financial strain on a young doctor would be immense, with the pressure to generate income being nearly insurmountable. Including wages, supplies, lab fees, and other operational expenses, the breakeven point for such a practice is a minimum of $60,000 per month.

And this calculation hasn’t yet accounted for personal living expenses. Therefore, anticipate an additional $250,000 in line of credit usage within the first year, with potentially more in the second year. In summary, within the initial years, this scenario could see the doctor facing $4 million in debt.

By the third year, with some fortune, they might manage to draw a salary between $50,000 and $80,000, yet still grapple with a $4 million debt and over $25,000 in monthly interest payments.

This is the harsh reality of real estate ownership for a new, state-of-the-art practice occupying 1,000 square feet in downtown Vancouver.

For illustration, consider doubling the space to 2,000 square feet and recalculating the figures—truly startling!

Navigating this level of debt while adhering to ethical standards in practice is a formidable challenge for any doctor.

Do you have a debt repayment story to share?

Contact me at: – I might feature your story anonymously and enter you into a draw for a free appraisal.

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 or 1-844-764-2020.


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In the bustling environment of an optometry clinic, where precision and empathy intertwine, the relationships among staff members play a pivotal role in shaping the patient experience and clinic efficiency. From receptionists to optometrists, each member contributes to the seamless functioning of the clinic. Therefore, prioritizing and nurturing inter-staff relationships isn’t just an idealistic pursuit; it’s a practical necessity. Here’s why it’s crucial to focus on maintaining these relationships and how it can positively impact the clinic’s dynamics and outcomes.

Ask yourself this question:

When I walk into any healthcare setting, what is the thing I observe the most?

Answer: The staff.

Next question, “What influences my perception of how this appointment is going to go?”

Answer: Interactions between staff members.

We all do it. We are born observers. That’s how we learn, survive, and thrive as human beings. We watch and we make assumptions as to what’s coming next. It makes us feel safe and more at ease to do this.

Now for those of you that are thinking “That’s not a good enough reason to invest in supporting these inter-staff relationships” here are a few others that might peak your interest.


Clinics with Strong Inter-Staff Relationships Experience:

  1. Enhanced Communication and Collaboration:

Effective communication lies at the heart of any successful organization, and an optometry clinic is no exception. When staff members maintain healthy relationships, they are more likely to communicate openly and collaborate effectively. Whether it’s discussing patient cases, sharing insights, or coordinating schedules, a cohesive team fosters an environment where information flows seamlessly. This not only reduces the likelihood of errors but also enhances the quality of patient care.

  1. Boosted Morale and Productivity:

A positive work environment characterized by camaraderie and mutual respect is conducive to high morale among staff members. When employees feel valued and supported by their colleagues, they are more likely to feel motivated and engaged in their work. This, in turn, translates to increased productivity and efficiency. A team that works well together is better equipped to handle challenges and adapt to changes, leading to smoother clinic operations and ultimately better outcomes for patients.

  1. Culture of Trust and Support:

Inter-staff relationships built on trust and support form the foundation of a healthy organizational culture. When employees feel trusted and supported by their peers, they are more likely to take initiative, innovate, and contribute to the overall success of the clinic. Moreover, a culture of trust encourages open dialogue and constructive feedback, allowing staff members to learn from each other and grow both personally and professionally.


  1. Reduced Turnover and Enhancing Recruitment:

A clinic that prioritizes inter-staff relationships is more likely to retain its employees and attract top talent. Staff members who feel connected to their colleagues and supported by their workplace are less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. Additionally, a positive work culture characterized by strong relationships can serve as a powerful recruitment tool, drawing in skilled professionals who are eager to be part of a collaborative and supportive team.

Now are you starting to see why focused effort on creating these strong relationships can benefit your clinic?

I hope so at this point! Because you can clearly see that this is a win, win for all people involved.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on fostering these inter-staff relationships:

  • Increase your approachability: Take trainings on self regulation, self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness to increase your team’s comfort around you.
  • Recognize and appreciate staff members for their contributions and achievements through verbal praise, written commendations, or employee recognition programs.


  • Celebrate milestones, birthdays, and work anniversaries to show appreciation for the dedication and hard work of the staff.
  • Acknowledge personal achievements in life. Congratulate team members on personal accomplishments that they share. This will encourage others to share their own and increase connection among the team.

What it comes down to is if your staff have relationships that they value and have been encouraged to value, the clinic performance increases and so does the positive perception of patients.

If you can see the value in fostering inter-staff relationships I invite you to visit to learn more about how you can start implementing this in your own clinic.

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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