Optometric Physician



Vol. 23, #38  •   Monday, October 3, 2022


Off the Cuff: Hmmm…On Second Thought

After completing my residency, I was an employed optometrist for 11 years and then taught at the optometry college here in Arizona before Epstein and I opened Phoenix Eye Care. The planning and preparation involved in building the practice, finding the location, and working with the architects and contractors suited my “I-love-a-project” personality. I put my heart and soul into the financing, credentialing, research, and purchasing, as well as the design and patient flow and feel of the practice. When our friends started selling their long-time practices to venture capital groups, I just couldn’t imagine giving up something that we had just created.

This week, I had a bigger patient whole-body flop into one of my exam room chairs. Something popped, and the chair will no longer stay in an upright position. The repair company came and said a bolt on the inside was sheared off, and he had never seen such a thing before. They’re still trying to figure out if it can be fixed or if I have to replace the whole chair. Then last night we were finishing up patients and the unfortunately recognizable reek of sewage came wafting through the office. Another space in our building undergoing construction was doing plumbing work not realizing other people were still in the building. One traumatized cleaning lady later, we’re up and running today.

New grads are staying employees in record numbers, and an increasing number of established private practice doctors are selling to venture capital groups and becoming employees in their own practices. Despite our initial intransigence at the mere thought of selling our baby, after the week we’ve had, we better understand why so many of our colleagues have decided to allow a management team to handle all the details rather than being mired in managing the minutiae and putting out the endless fires.

Note about Epstein:
Somewhat good news to report, Epstein is stable enough to be released from the hospital and is getting transferred to a short-term rehabilitation facility. He wanted me to share that he thanks all the colleagues who have sent notes, texts and emails. He has a lot of hard work ahead of him.

Correction: In the “Congratulations, California” editorial last week, the state passed legislation to allow for trabeculoplasty, not trabeculectomy. Thanks for the catch, Dr. Wooldridge.


Shannon L. Steinhäuser, OD, MS, FAAO
Co-Chief Medical Editor

Want to share your perspective?
Write to Dr. Epstein at artepstein@optometricphysician.com. The views expressed in this editorial are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Jobson Medical Information LLC (JMI), or any other entities or individuals.