This is not a “how to be a super successful optometrist” white paper. I could never write a paper on that because my definition of someone “super successful” is simply “do something you like to do and get someone to pay you to do it.” As Oprah reminded us, money only gets rid of one problem.
No, this is about hunger. I myself am actually starving. For some reason my lovely wife, Renee, feeds me like she doesn’t want me to drop dead of a heart attack. She apparently only wants me to starve to death. I guess that’s her love language.
Food is an integral part of our day. We want our staff members (and ourselves) to have energy and be focused, not bloated and hangry. So why do we fill our break rooms with donuts, kolaches, cookies, chips, pies, cakes and, if we’re lucky enough, pizza, burritos and tacos? If you Google the top 50 things that kill people, these are all on the list.
Staffers cram as many combinations of these deadly substances into their mouths as they can between patients and wonder why we find them asleep in the bathroom stalls. Don’t ask me how I know. Ask me about our secret in-office camera surveillance system instead.
We should offer salad, broccoli, cauliflower florets, sliced tomatoes and an assortment of anchovies instead. Why don’t we? Easy. Because we would have a lot of people quitting. Carbs instantly become sugar, sugar is addictive and addicts always come back. Always.
Now, I know you health nuts out there will complain that, prepared properly, vegetables are actually very tasty and satisfying to even the most sugar-addicted among us. I agree. Carrot cake is a great example of that, especially if you add about three inches of cream cheese icing on top.
Enough about you. Back to me. I am still hungry. I’ve made several observations regarding how optometrists and food coexist.
1. An optometry office should at least have a skeleton crew operating during the lunch break, not the eye doctor. They must eat no matter the emergency.
2. Upwards of 75% of optometrists eat lunch at a restaurant every day. At least 30% eat at the same exact restaurant every day. Of those, 30% eat the same thing at the same restaurant every day. The rest are more adventurous, bravely ordering a whole different burger, perhaps with a whole different cheese, for example.
3. A recent survey found that the three most popular foods are beetles, grubs and ants. Turns out this was from interviews with aardvarks and optometrists who offer free eye exams.
4. Food from sales reps and cataract surgeons used to be really common, but somebody woke up some 80-year-old senator who decided that these were like payola or bribes and banned them from the healthcare world. Then he flew to a private beach in the Bahamas to make sure the lobbyists who paid his way and wined and dined him for the weekend would build a factory in his state. There is no greater cause than service to our country.
5. I’ll admit I snack at work. After all, Renee isn’t there, and I love her too much to upset her. I like cashews and peanuts. I like beef jerky. I like sardines. Hey, I make sure to brush my teeth after every snack. Nothing better than nutty, meaty, fishy mint breath.
Food is life. Don’t make excuses. Eat what you want. With any luck you won’t live long enough to end up in a nursing home. I hear the food there is hard to chew.
Dr. Vickers received his optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1979 and was clinical director at Vision Associates in St. Albans, WV, for 36 years. He is now in private practice in Dallas, where he continues to practice full-scope optometry. He has no financial interests to disclose.