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Associates Can Be Leaders

OD enjoys management opportunity to grow contact lens business

victoria riesVictoria Ries, OD, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, says she knew she didn’t want to take on more debt after her New England College of Optometry graduation, so she planned to start her career as an associate. Her residency with the Philadelphia VA Medical Center proved her passion for providing medical care, and she’s worked in two OD/MD offices since then.

“I love working with specialists, and I feel like I learn something new every day,” she says. She’s often been the only OD on the team, but there is a great respect among her employers. “They value what I bring to the relationship, and I’ve had positive environments that are conducive to working as a team.”

One of the most fulfilling responsibilities she’s had the opportunity to take on is a management role in the contact lens department. Through running that part of the clinic and growing the contact lens business, she could further explore her interest in specialty fits. She’s appreciative that her work didn’t require a tremendous financial investment and that her employer let her take hold of the reins and lead in the direction she saw fit.

In addition to the patient interactions, Dr. Ries also enjoys the part of this position that involves discussing new products with her contact lens manufacturer representatives. “I enjoyed the whole process and learning about what is out there and what patients really want and need,” she says. “I can see what fits my patient base.” Her expertise is in fitting healthy teens through presbyopic patients, as well as specialty fits in the middle.

Read more: Dr. Ries spoke with Dr. Hardeep Kataria and WO about the benefits of being an associate, as well as negotiating and financial transparency.

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