Finding the right eye doctor for you may be more challenging than you think. After all, there are numerous eye specialists out there, and your needs may be drastically different from those of your friends and family. Contrary to what many patients believe, it’s not as simple as just browsing through your insurance network’s list of recommended doctors.

If you want to find the right eye doctor for you, put these five strategies to work to give you a solid pool of candidates to choose from.

Experience counts

Experience matters – and when it comes to your eyes, it matters quite a lot. Your eyes are precious. You only have your two eyes, so you want to be sure to go to a doctor who is trained, experienced and proven in treating a range of issues. Find out how long an optometrist has been working or has operated their OWN private practice and not a corporate setting one.  Private Practice Optometrists will always give you their all since it is their small business reputation that is at stake and not some large corporate location where they blend in with the rest of the optometrists that come and go over the years.

Inquire about particular areas of specialties, like Orthokeratology (Ortho-K), Specialty contact lens fittings and/or ocular disease management in order to gain a better understanding of their skill set in any one particular area of practice besides primary care.  

Read reviews

In today’s digital age, where so many of us live on social media, reviews still hold weight. Sure, some review platforms may be skewed, where advertisers are rewarded with more positive reviews (think Yelp). But reading Facebook and Google reviews is a good starting point at gauging an optometrist’s bed-side manner, likeability, experience, and overall professionalism.

Look for a residency

You may be surprised to learn that not every optometrist goes through a residency, or is even required to do so. Look for an optometrist who has gone this extra length in their education. A residency is far more than a year of hands-on training; it’s an opportunity for a doctor to round out their experience, build relationships across many professions and gain a well-rounded understanding of the whole of eye care. Optometrists who undergo residency training have a broader knowledge base of their profession besides clinical experience, period.

Ask friends and family

While not everyone is going to send you the perfect fit, there’s no harm in asking friends and family for recommendations. These recommendations will likely meet your needs in the service department, above all else. You will have to ask your referred optometrists about areas of expertise, such as Ortho-K.

Again, Go for the private practice!

We all have our deal breakers. If you’re looking for exceptional service, and for an eye doctor who truly cares about you and who will spend time and care addressing your particular issues, then you need to be looking for a private practice optometrist. Private practice gives doctors more flexibility and autonomy to run their businesses the way they see fit. They are far more motivated to seek better outcomes for patients when they’re in business for themselves.

Here at Carlsson Family Eye Center, we pride ourselves on our service and our deep commitment to our patients. Have a question? Reach out to us. We want to know more about your concerns and how we can help.