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TOA Member Moments

2017 March - Justin Mays, OD



Justin Mays, OD

1.   Can you describe the moment you wanted to become an optometrist?

2.   What tips would you have for a recent graduate?

3.   How has TOA helped your practice?

4.   What is the best part about being an optometrist?

5.   In your opinion, what does a successful optometrist look like?

 

1.   Can you describe the moment you wanted to become an optometrist?

The moment I decided I wanted to be an optometrist was soon after my first internship with General Electric. I was a finance major and had decided in my adolescent years that I wanted to be the guy who had an office in a skyscraper. After my first internship with a fortune 500 company and sitting in a cubicle all day working on excel spreadsheets I decided that there had to be something else. Out of the blue at my college apartment one day, my older brother of whom I always yielded advice told me I should be an eye doctor. I still to this day am not sure why or how that came into his mind, maybe because he was a recently diagnosed diabetic and had been apprised of what an eye doctor did (our family is all emmetropes). Within minutes or hours of that comment, I was reading an article in Money Magazine that laid out the best 50 (or 100, I can't recall) jobs in the country, based on income and stress level. Low and behold optometrist was number three. The rest is history.

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2.   What tips would you have for a recent graduate?

Aim high. Most recent grads are so nervous and eager to make money that they settle for what is being given to them. I have seen so many colleagues be paid horrendously low salaries and are forced to work terrible hours because they take the low hanging fruit. Hold out for the higher paying and more rewarding jobs. We have dedicated years of our lives and forgone years of salary and benefits to be in our positions, we are worth a lot

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3.   How has TOA helped your practice?

To me the TOA is more of a behind the scenes asset. I've learned through school and at CE meetings that if we lower our guard in the bureaucratic realm that all the progress we have made as a profession can be taken from us. We need a collective force to take the wheel while we are on cruise control to make sure that our rights, of which many have worked tirelessly for, are not infringed.

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4.   What is the best part about being an optometrist?

The best thing to me is being an owner. I have the best boss. He is funny, caring, and heck I'll even be so bold as to say handsome! Being an OD gives you an instantaneous ability to be an owner of something that is proven to be successful. There's not many people who can just open a business (without being a trust fund kid) and pretty much know it's going to work if you put in the effort. That's a privilege optometrists have that I think is often overlooked. Be an owner, control your destiny.

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5.   In your opinion, what does a successful optometrist look like?

A successful optometrist is someone who has mastered their time. Finding the right mix between work, friends and family is paramount. When I picture a successful optometrist I picture someone who shows up to work on time and sees patients who value his or her time. This person would then leave the office at a time that was right for him and would spend the rest of the day with his loved ones, whoever that may be. If we all have to work, we might as well be happy doing it .