We don’t write enough letters. In fact, these days we don’t write any letters at all. And it’s really too bad, isn’t it?
When I open my mailbox… you know, the one that is used by the US Postal Service? (I put that in here for the young doctors who thought I meant Gmail or something). When I open my mailbox, it is filled with catalogs, grocery store flyers, offers for cheaper insurance and, at my age, stuff about Medicare and Social Security. Yuck is right.
Oh, I get a bill every once in a while too, but this happens very rarely since everything is set to autopay these days. It’s sad that the most personal thing I get is some random bill I forgot to pay.
I can’t remember the last letter I received that wasn’t sent to tell me about something I should buy or someone I should vote for. My guess is that you feel the same way I do, so rather than write to each of you, I decided to send you something herein (Mad Libs style).
Letter to anyone.
Just checking in to see how your _____________ is going. Were you able to _____________ after all? I know sometimes _____________ can be a _____________, but I just wanted you to know that, in me, you will always have someone who thinks you’re a _____________. Don’t forget to get your _____________ checked every year. They are irreplaceable.
Letter to your patient.
Dear friend and patient, but mostly friend,
I just wanted to thank you for your trust. My staff and I enjoy having you as a friend and patient, but mostly a friend. Although, when I think about it, I actually don’t know you that well, and friendship doesn’t pay the bills, but the part of you that supports our office financially is, to us all, not the most important part of you because the most important part of you, to us all, is your eyes since that’s the reason you come to see us, which makes all of us happy to also be your friends.
OK, whew! Stay in touch.
Letter to your staffers.
For some of you, I have an idea! Smile. It won’t crack your face, I promise. If you already smile, I have another idea! Be serious. What you do is very important and not funny. Posterior detachments matter, I promise.
For my techs, I have an idea! At least dress like you have an iron at your house. Please tell me you don’t sleep in your scrubs.
For my opticians, I have an idea! Don’t give me a blank stare when I say the patient needs computer glasses. You remember computers, right? I know you’re 30, but the patient is 51. Remember that thing called presbyopia? Trust me, you’ll be familiar with it soon enough. Better start now.
And, thank you for your hard work. I really appreciate it very, very much! Donuts are in the break room, but I have an idea! You don’t have time for a break. What are you thinking, anyway? Get back to work.
See how easy it is to simply write the perfect letter, especially with the help of a trusted template or three? Oh, no, no. Not to me. Don’t get any ideas. My mailbox is full. As a matter of fact, all of them are.
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.