When I visit optometrists in their offices or at educational meetings, I occasionally hear this complaint: Some of your editorial content is beyond the scope of the average practicing O.D. like myself. I always follow up on such statements by asking what he or she would like to see us replace those sections with.

What, doctor, would you like to read more about? The answers I dread most (and which are requested least) are office design, staffing and spectacle remakes, two of which are topics in this months issue. The reason I dread these topics is because they seem simple, which makes them horribly difficult to write about.

Imagine you had to write a compelling how-to guide on brushing your teeth. Few would argue that oral hygiene is essential to overall heath, much like good staff is essential to the health of your practice. But what do you say about these topics that doesnt sound like common sense? Hold the brush and gently sweep it across your teeth in a circular motion. Keep your waiting room near your dispensary so patients can browse your frames while they wait. Boring. Boring. Boring. But do you know what? Most people dont know how to bush their teeth. And most optometrists dont use their office space to their maximum advantage.

Sometimes, the most basic things in life prove to be the greatest challenges. We do them without thinking and, therefore, we rarely make an effort to improve them. The problem is that these seemingly basic details tend to be the foundation upon which we build our careers, businesses, dreams and lives.

The first thing a patient sees when she walks through your doors is your office dcor and design. If your patient is under-whelmed before she even meets you, youre going to have to work twice as hard to win her over. Architect John Marascos optometry clients dont have this problem. In A Game Plan for Better Office Design, Mr. Marasco reveals surprising ideas to improve your office layout and, ultimately, your practice.

The concept of office design seems so simpleand even perhaps out of place in an issue whose ceneterpiece is comanagement and includes a number of primary care articles. But, in reality, while it may be a sharp contrast to the cover, it is a necessary building block on which a sucessful practice rests.

Kudos to Mr. Marasco for his insightfuland, yes, interestingpiece on office design. I promise youll find it more interesting than your dentists brochures. 

11th Annual Comanagement Issue
This months cover focus is Reviews 11th Annual Comanagement Report.  The report begins with an introduction by Comanagement Q&A columnist Paul Ajamian, O.D., entitled Is Your Patient a Heart Attack Waiting to Happen? (This issue also includes a special CE program by H.S. Ghazi-Birry, O.D., M.D., Ph.D., in which he calls to your attention the fact that ocular findings may offer the first warning signs of hypertension or hyperlipidemia. Youll gain the know-how for understanding and detecting these conditions, so you can intervene when needed.

Vol. No: 143:03Issue: 3/15/2006