An article from students participating in the University of Waterloo Mentorship Program.
We arrived at Queensways Optometric excited but not knowing what to expect. Dr. Joe Chan shared a bit about himself over, so we knew a bit about him. He served as president of the OAO and was active in his community. We were just a bunch of students visiting after Friday afternoon labs. Even so, he opened the door, and welcomed us in.
The first thing we noticed was just how big it was. 6 lanes, 5 front desks, and a waiting room that can accomodate 20. There was a full dispensary and a small room in the back for fitting lenses. We started off by going over the dispensary and talked about some pros and cons to the dispensing fee model. Next, we went over to the offices where he showed us the flow of patients, how their staff was organized, and what to expect on a typical day. It became clear to us that in a large practice, it was important that they had someone overseeing the whole operation. Having someone manage staff, patients, and resolve conflicts really increases the efficiency of the practice. He also emphasized how important it was to give patients the full value that they expect and deserve from an optometrist. Simple things like taking the time to explain medical diagnoses and using trial frames, to complex things like purchasing or leasing OCTs and fundus cameras all help increase the patient’s perception of value of a visit.
We finished off the night talking about some of the company retreats that the staff went on. When staff know that they are appreciated and feel that they are part of a family, it all works together to keep the office running and everyone happy. Going out to sushi after also kept us happy too. Overall, it was an amazing visit, and we thank Dr. Chan for his time in sharing just some of his experience and wisdom.