The Blessing That Is A Pediatric Ortho-K Practice

My situation may be quite different then yours when it comes to Optometric practice.  Usually as a practitioner ages, his average age of his practice gets older.  I witnessed this first hand in my Dad's fifty year old practice on the south side of Chicago.  My practice, however, has gotten younger over the last fifteen years - despite the fact I will be celebrating forty years of it this year.  One of my patients recently observed that he did not realize I saw "older" patients as my waiting room is usually full of young people.  I told him that some of my long time patients refuse to go anywhere else when they seek vision care and like me, they are getting pretty old.  You see,  I have a practice that is made up mostly of patients who are under 25.  When the holidays roll around, as they just have, I am inundated with young folks on winter break.  The first three weeks of March I find my appointment book packed with college students on spring break.  I dare not take off too much time during  summer vacation because that is when my patients will need my services.  My vacations typically happen when my patients are in school during the "off peak" season.  The fact that my practice is so heavily pediatric is no accident.  I have been very specific in how I've shaped it to produce the given results.  The fact that I practice preventative care has also been a factor in this development.  The one overwhelming influence, however, is corneal reshaping since about 70% of my patients are doing Ortho-k and close to 80% of those are children! Food for thought.

- Cary Herzberg OD FOAA