UK Trained Optometrist
PhD in Vision Science University of Waterloo (2005)
USA Board Certification FCOVD designation (2011)
Founder & Director of Optometric Services, VUE³ Vision Therapy Clinics

Dr. Quaid founded VUE out of his passion for visual rehabilitation, Having suffered the consequences of a brain injury at age 8 years in an auto accident, he knows first-hand what it can do to the academic potential of a child. He has also written a book for parents of children with learning difficulties on how vision is often a missing critical piece that is overlooked.

Dr. Patrick Quaid

Optometrist, FCOVD, MCOptom, PhD
Immediate Past-President, College of Optometrists of Ontario


Why did you choose your field?
When I was about 8 years old in Ireland, unfortunately I was involved in a car accident and ended up with both double vision and a speech impediment as a result. After quite the search, we eventually found both a speech and language pathologist and an Optometrist who made a massive difference to me.

At the time, although it was a very basic form of visual rehabilitation, it made a massive difference in my life by eliminating the double vision at near.  This inspired me to pursue eyecare and try to make the same difference in the lives of others.

What is something you have done in your practice to set you apart?
After being extremely disappointed not to have learned a lot about VT in optometry school, I opted to pursue a PhD in Vision Science. After having completed the PhD and post-doctorate year at Waterloo (and some time in private practice), I opted to set up a “vision therapy only” clinic to essentially integrate research and real-world clinical interventions and track all data with the intention of publishing it and using it for further enhancements to our protocols. In essence, our clinic is a “living lab”.

Peer reviewed evidence is not just published papers but also clinical experience. Both of course are vital, but the latter has been majorly ignored and needs to be acknowledged. This “iterative process” allows us to constantly improve the rehab process to achieve higher rates of graduation from our program.

Have you changed since high school?
Majorly. In high school, although on the junior AAA national team (point guards are not meant to be tall), I was a very quiet and introverted student. Although “a straight A student” – few knew that it was a lot of work for me as I still had visual issues (i.e., tracking issues, headaches). I got through high school out of pure sweat equity.

Now in my 40s, one of my biggest lessons is realizing that wisdom and intelligence are not necessarily correlated. I know plenty of wise people who barely finished high school (my dad) and plenty of PhDs that lack common sense. I honestly had way more fun during my PhD years, when I was allowed to “think for myself” and form my own ideas.

I think primary school and high school are more about “teaching you what to think”, but of course education should be about teaching you how to think. As WB Yeats says, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”, could not agree more.

Tell me something few people know about you?
By pure luck, I ended up being an extra in the movie “Saving Private Ryan” and got to meet Mr. Tom Hanks personally (as he wished to hear someone speaking my native tongue Gaelic). I was serving the Irish Defence Forces at the time. I also speak three languages (Gaelic, English and French) and am learning my fourth (Turkish) thanks to my wife!

What business books would you advise other ECPs to read?

Definitely “The Ideal Team Player” (by Patrick Lencioni). The approach Pat Lencioni takes with his “Humble, Hungry and Smart” rubric is pure genius. Not just in terms of figuring out “who to hire and ensuring you have the right team”, but also his additional  “Working Genius” model also allows you to ensure you have “right person right role” essentially. Game changing book!

What habits in your opinion make you a successful person?
I have made my share of mistakes over the years like everyone else. However, I firmly believe that these three habits have saved me (i) never being so entrenched in my position that you are unwilling to change perspective, (ii) always taking the position that everyone (yes, even people you don’t like) have something to teach you and (iii) realize that everything is earned and not “deserved” and that the world is not always fair. Also, as we all get older, we tend to be less “full of fire and vinegar” and some more humility. We tend to get to “know ourselves better” over time.

I am always on a journey to know myself better – sounds odd, but you would be amazed how many people have not taken the time to figure themselves out. “Know thyself” is key to being successful. For example, impressing people is something younger people always try to do, this gets less as we get more self-confident and older. My dad (a career drill instructor in the army) always used to say, “if you knew how quickly we forget the dead, you would try less to impress the living”. Having serves for 35 years and done over a dozen tours internationally with the UN, I think he has a point. Being successful #1 means “knowing thyself”.

Which ECP leaders do you admire?
It is important to have people you admire, mainly because you then think about “why you admire them” which invariably moves you to emulate them in a good way. Two people come to mind immediately here. Dr. WC Maples OD FCOVD (Southern College of Optometry, retired; USMC retired) and Dr. Eric Singman MD PhD (Johns Hopkins Neuro-Ophthalmology).

Dr. Maples (or simply “WC” as most call him) is a gem to optometry to be frank. He is one of the wisest, most humble men I have ever met. In his 80s now, he is not only an absolute GENIUS in vision therapy and knew the “OD originators of VT”, but he is also a published researcher and a veteran (USMC, Vietnam). He is always willing to help others and has that quiet strength” that is only attained by “success with significant adversity.

Dr. Eric Singman is simply a powerhouse in “bringing people together” by always wanting to collaborate to publish data, regardless of politics. I think the main reason I admire both, is that they have achieved so much yet remain so humble and have a habit of “telling it like it is”.


0 / 5. 0

Experienced C-Suit Executive

Previous positions in the Beverage Industry

CEO of Eye Recommend for an 8 year period from 2009 to 2017

Believes that Optometrists deserve a more rewarding professional career and a better personal lifestyle

Ken Barbet

President and CEO, Vision Alliance  Partnership

University of Calgary and Queen’s University


Describe your favorite vacation destination?

I love to travel and explore new destinations and old favorites, especially when I travel for what I call “Festival Travel”.  This is when you travel to experience a “once in a lifetime festival” that showcases experiences that cannot be replicated anywhere else.  I have experienced quite a few of these festivals (New Years Eve at Times Square, Octoberfest in Munich, Running of the Bulls in Pamplona Spain, the last day of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, etc.) and am always looking for other ones to experience in the future.

Favorite TV Show / Netflix Series?

Ozark has been my latest Netflix passion – waiting for the next season to start and then binge-watching every episode until the season is complete.  I enjoy movies and series where I really cannot guess what twist or turn is coming next. It gives it a freshness and a reality to the characters and their predicament.

Favorite past-time/hobby?

I enjoy playing golf as often as I can.  Golf is one of those activities that allows you to spend 4 or 5 hours with people you enjoy on golf courses in some of the most beautiful and secluded environments around. Once you start playing, everything else melts away so that you can focus on the game.

What metrics do you track in order to gauge your success?

Metrics are critical to business success.  By choosing and tracking the right metrics, you can identify when things are off track or going off track.

These seven metrics can be used alone to quickly and easily monitor the business or if one of the metrics seems off track, then each can be further broken down into more metrics to help you zero in on the issues that need to be addressed:

  • Appointment Book Efficiency – used to ensure a proper blend of appointments are made that optimizes the doctor’s time
  • New Patient % – used to understand the effectiveness of the practice marketing (for both word of mouth and your website/digital marketing)
  • CL Sales % – used to ensure a balance of new fits and re-orders
  • Conversion Rate – measures conversions from appointment to other purchases
  • Revenue per patient – measures what each patient contributes to your revenue
  • Labor Cost % – measures the adequacy of staffing levels
  • Net Income % – measures the profitability of the practice and your return on investment (Note: should be calculated after all doctors and owners have been compensated)

How do you choose who to hire in your office?

I think hiring is the most important skill a leader needs to develop – nothing gets done without having an incredible team around you, and it all starts with hiring.

I think a blend of current industry skills, passion and personality is what makes for the best employees. So, I look for the passion and personality first and then see if the industry skills that the candidate has are enough to start with.  This often means that I am hiring people who need to learn the eyecare portion of the business, this is okay with me as I really enjoy training people and watching them grow and advance from within.

What habits make you a successful person?

My success comes from the people and teams I have worked with over the years – I cannot think of one thing I did all myself. This means doing things that make the people and teams part of the strategy:

  • Success comes from creating a new path despite the naysayers who want to always do it like it has always been done
  • Being successful means taking responsibility when things go wrong and giving credit to the team when things are successful
  • Taking care to hire the right people with passion and personality
  • Having the team accountable to each other as well as the leader
  • Spending more time listening what my team thinks than telling them how we are going to do it

What advice would you give a new grad today?

You have spent 4 years learning to hone your chosen profession, now spend some time learning the fundamentals of business and how to lead and manage people.

Over the years, I have interacted with hundreds of brilliant optometrists who are best-in-class at providing exceptional eye care to their patients but who struggle with the hiring and management of staff, practice leadership and business principles. In fact, from my perspective only about 10% of optometrists can do both at the same time.  Those able to do both are often the most professionally satisfied and well-compensated optometrists in Canada.

Many new grads confuse being the individual who defines and implements the medical and clinical standards for the patients with practice ownership.


0 / 5. 0

Glen Chiasson discusses all things Vision Therapy with Dr. Virginia Donati, president of Vision Therapy Canada.

About the Guest

Dr. Donati attended the Pennsylvania College of Optometry where she first learned about vision therapy by becoming a patient herself and graduated in 2006. Upon returning to Canada she brought her passion for vision therapy to her own patients and to the profession at large as the founding VP of COVT&R and the current President of its successor organization, Vision Therapy Canada.  She is an Instructor of the  Optometric Extension Program’s Clinical Curriculum in Vision Therapy and the lead instructor for VTC’s Practical Vision Therapist Accreditation Program (PVTAP). She lectures across North America in the field of binocular vision and is keenly interested in the education and training of new and existing Vision Therapists and Optometrists.


Episode Notes

Virginia Donati shares her personal story of how a life changing experience while studying at PCO cemented her intense interest in and passion for Vision Therapy.

Glen plays devil’s advocate around some of the professions perceptions of vision therapy, including on “the science”, and the perceptions of expense to patients.

Donati, of course, stands her ground, and opines as to why the medical profession, and even many in the optometry world including optometric educators, do not take VT as seriously as it deserves.

She outlines the challenges facing the sub-specialty and encourages ODs to think about their future role with Vision Therapy being a part of their practice and how Vision Therapy can help differentiate their practice.

Lastly, Dr. Donati outlines specific steps that can be taken by ODs to learn more and become a VT specialists if they so desire.

Key Quote:  “Demand is there, patients are there but this may not be recognized”.



Dr. Glen Chiasson

Dr. Glen Chiasson

Dr. Glen Chiasson is a 1995 graduate of the University of Waterloo School of Optometry. He owns and manages two practices in Toronto. In 2009, he co-hosted a podcast produced for colleagues in eye care, the “International Optometry Podcast”. He is a moderator of the Canadian Optometry Group, an email forum for Canadian optometrists. As  a host of  “Eyes Wide Open”, Glenn  looks forward to exploring new new technologies and services for eye care professionals.

Dr. Chiasson enjoys tennis, hockey, and reading. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.

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


5 / 5. 1

Practicing optometry in Peel since her residency in 2005. She was born and raised in Brampton.

Founding Vice President of COVT&R, now know as Vision Therapy Canada (VTC), now President of VTC.

Lead instructor for Practical Vision Therapist Accreditation Program (PVTAP).

Dr. Virginia Donati

Optometrist, FCOVD

University of Waterloo, Bachelor of Science

Optometry, Pennsylvania College of Optometry

President of Vision Therapy Canada


Why did you choose your field?

I actually decided that I was going to be an optometrist when I was 10 years old. I remember the day very clearly. My mother took me to the optometrist (my first visit since pre-school) and I was in awe of all of the machines and lenses and knobs. When he was done, he put a trial frame on my face and I almost cried. To me, he was a hero! That afternoon, I asked my mother to take me to the library so that I could research what I needed to do to become an optometrist like him. Many years later, he also gave me a summer job at his front desk, an extern position for high-school co-op, and wrote a reference letter for me for optometry school. A special thank you to Dr. R. Lapienis!

What is currently the most exciting thing in your field to help patients?

The most exciting thing for me is the Vision Therapy scope. When you see patients who are incredibly symptomatic, or those whose struggles they didn’t even know were due to a vision problem, and intervene with treatment that provides relief, it is an incredibly rewarding experience. In our profession, Vision Therapy remains underutilized and under-prescribed. My wish and hope for our profession is that more optometrists learn about what it is that Vision Therapy can provide for patients and that more optometrists start to provide Vision Therapy in their practice. We need many more providers across the country!

What advice would you give a new grad today?

I would say that new grads shouldn’t be satisfied to sit around and refract all day. Find a niche, a “specialty” area of our profession which you are passionate about and educate yourself. Whether that’s Vision Therapy, low vision, contact lenses, dry eye, etc. Find something that you find mentally stimulating, fun and that brings you joy. When you do that, every day is different and every patient a new adventure. You will never work a day in your life!

What is something you believed to be true for a long time only to find out you were wrong?

I believed that “the” prescription was what you measured in the phoropter. In reality, it’s really a negotiation between what you measure and what you know the patient is truly asking for. It’s a mix between the patient’s vision system and your expertise. There’s a certain amount of artistry and individuality to it. To ignore this fact is to become a living auto-refractor and to become obsolete.

What is one thing you own that you probably should throw away but never will?

I still have my first pair of glasses from 1989. They’re small, weak, dated and scratched beyond belief, but I can’t bring myself to throw them out. For me, they are a reminder of the awe I experienced that day at my optometrist’s office and a reminder of why I decided optometry was the profession for me. After all, who doesn’t want to feel like somebody’s hero? They are also pretty darned cute!

Tell me something few people know about you.

I actually had a very difficult time in my first year of optometry school. A binocular vision problem caused me to struggle to keep up with all the reading and studying that was required. I sought treatment at my school’s pediatrics department. It was my first experience with Vision Therapy. That intervention allowed me to not only improve, but thrive! It gave me the passion for Vision Therapy that I carry with me today. Looking back, I actually feel very lucky to have had that struggle!

What is your favourite past-time/hobby?

I find it incredibly relaxing and therapeutic to crochet. It’s something I taught myself to do when I was expecting my first child and something I continue to do. Some of my earliest work, with all of it’s dropped stitches and uneven tension, is work that I am the most proud of. When I look at it, I see someone who was not distracted by failure. At this point, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at it, but good enough that I won first prize at my town’s fall fair two years in a row!


0 / 5. 0

One of the key metrics we track in SIMI Analytics is Revenue Breakdown. What products and services are bringing in the most revenue? We compare this to how much time is spent to offer these products and services on the exams side to evaluate the effectiveness of the time invested.

According to SIMI Analytics, a healthy primary care practice brings in 26% of their revenue from exams, diagnostics contribute 10%, spectacles 50%, contact lenses 12% and miscellaneous (OTC products and optical accessories) 2%.

Detailed Breakdown

We often break this down further to look at how much chair time is being dedicated to services as compared to products. For instance, we always evaluate the revenue generated from contact lens assessments in comparison to how much revenue is being generated from contact lenses (both gross and net dollars). As contact lenses have become a commodity, it has become even more important to the financial health of the practice to ensure that the chair time associated with the care of contact lenses is covered.

A number of practices we work with have successfully introduced Specialty Contact Lenses, Vision Therapy, and Dry Eye Clinics as a means to both meet patient needs and increase revenue. In these practices, the Revenue Breakdown in SIMI Analytics looks a little different.

Here’s how you can expect to generate your revenue:

Impact on Staffing Decisions

Note in particular how primary care practices are much more dependent on optical sales for financial health. A practice offering Vision Therapy generates a much greater percentage of their revenue from the services of Vision Therapy versus selling frames and lenses. From this information, the practice can make more sound business decisions. For instance, if your practice is predominantly offering Vision Therapy as the main means of revenue, our recommendation would be to hire a frame stylist for the optical instead of an optician and concentrate your staff cost resources on hiring skilled and passionate therapists for Vision Therapy.

For practices offering medical contact lenses, such as Ortho-K and Scleral lenses, the differences to note are the increased revenue sources from both Exams and Contact Lenses. In this case, the products are much more profitable and it makes sense to expect more revenue from this source as compared to Eyeglass Revenue. Another metric we like to follow in our Contact Lens clinics is sunglass sales. Our expectation is that the revenue from plano sunglasses should be significantly higher. Again, staff decisions will be impacted by this information. Not only do you want to hire someone who is knowledgeable in contact lens care to assist your patients but you will want that person to also be passionate about sun protection. There is also an implication to your inventory decisions. This practice will carry a large selection of plano sunglasses.

The most interesting change in revenue generation for a Dry Eye clinic, besides the increased Exam revenue, is the increase in sales of OTC products. Drops, vitamins, wipes and make-up all contribute to increased revenue in this type of clinic. Given this, it is our recommendation to hire a dedicated staff member to be your Dry Eye Clinic coordinator. This is the person who will confidently explain all the products and solutions to each patient and follow through with after-care instructions.

Whether you choose to differentiate or remain focused on Primary Care, the key to success is to decide on one and stay focused. Keep track of the time it takes you to generate your income and use that information when making decisions about changing or adding extra staff, services, and products.



is the co-founder and managing partner of Simple Innovative Management Ideas (SIMI) Inc. and expert Practice Management contributor for Optik magazine. She can be reached at


5 / 5. 1

Vision therapy is a richly rewarding aspect of optometric practice. It provides opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of old and young alike as you to equip them with the tools to learn, socialize, and achieve their dreams.
It also happens that vision therapy is a powerful practice-builder for an optometric practice. The strong family bonds you form in working with children and their families can provide numerous referrals that can grow your patient base exponentially.
In order to succeed in incorporating this optometric specialty into your practice, you need to acquire training and skills in the clinical aspects of vision therapy—and you also need to develop a professional network that provides you with a growing patient base. In this series of videos and links to resources, Review of Optometric Business provides a primer on “Vision Therapy: How It’s Done!”

Acquiring the Tools to Practice Vision Therapy”
To learn more about vision therapy, begin by building your knowledge base and skill level through a host of resources. >>Click HERE to View>>

“Vision Therapy: A Great Practice Builder”

If new in practice, or even if you are established, vision therapy offers growth opportunities. It is a revenue-builder as a fee-for-service specialty. It also is a strong generator of referrals for a patient population (children and young families) that often has yet to choose an eye doctor. Remarkably, one successful case in vision therapy can provide up to 50 referrals. >>Click HERE to View>>

“Key to Referrals: Work with Occupational Therapists”

To generate referrals, work closely with the occupational therapist that a child may already be working with. Inquire about this at intake, then ask the parent for consent to contact the therapist. The key is to work as a team with other professionals for the good of the child. Once you establish working relationships with occupational therapists, their influential referrals to your practice will prove to be a powerful patient-base builder. >>Click HERE to View>>

“Plan to Expand…and Offer More Services”

When you succeed with vision therapy, the need to expand comes quickly. Think ahead toward bringing in associates to provide more services and meet growing needs. Your alma mater or nearby optometry school may prove a fertile source of associates who share your values and work ethic. Further, in this mobile society, patients frequently move, and new potential patients move to your area. AOA resources can help you to locate and recommend capable optometrists who provide vision therapy in other areas of the country—and can help other optometrists to find you and refer families to your practice. In addition, embrace the AOA InfantSEE program to serve a vital need and build your practice in the process. >>Click HERE to View>>

“Caring for Children: Helping Kids to Be the Best They Can Be”

In our society, children are greatly underserved when it comes to eyecare. By offering a comprehensive eye exam to the young, you can spot vision conditions that, if left untreated, can result in a child being labeled learning disabled—and this can hold them back in life. In many cases, vision therapy can turn that around. Equip yourself to give a child the visual tools that enable them to be a great student. >>Click HERE to View>>


Andrea P. Thau, OD, FAAO, FCOVD, is founder of Dr. Andrea P. Thau and Associates in New York City. She is an AOA Trustee and past president of the New York State Optometric Association. To contact her:


0 / 5. 0