Despite having opportunities to practice elsewhere, Dr. Beth Esposito chose to spend her career next to Walmart
When Beth Esposito, OD, first became an optometrist, she wanted to make sure she had the opportunity to also focus on being a wife and mother. After her 1995 graduation from Salus University, long before job search sites and LinkedIn connections, she wrote to local optometry offices looking for a full-time position with the flexibility she was looking for. When she heard back from an independent practice next to a Walmart Vision Center in Morgantown, West Virginia, about an hour from where she grew up, she took the job. Now almost 28 years later, she doesn’t plan on going anywhere.
Dr. Esposito’s commitment to helping the community stems in part from growing up here. As a child, her eye care provider put her in eyeglasses for the first time. “I was a -5.50D myope. I could suddenly see the leaves on the trees,” she says.
She still recalls the wonder of that moment, and she relishes being able to provide it to others. “I love to see patients’ smiles when they experience that for the first time. I want to continue to do this for people every day, and Walmart has helped me do that.”
THE BEST EQUIPMENT AND SUPPORT
Throughout her time in this practice, she has been well-supported by Walmart Vision Center associates, Dr. Esposito says. That was a factor in her decision to take over the lease in 2014. Dr. Esposito decided which space and equipment options made sense for her practice, so when she started the two contracted exam lanes were already set up with “all the equipment needed” to provide a comprehensive eye exam, so the practice was profitable starting on day one. Dr. Esposito was able to invest in additional diagnostic instruments, such as the Topcon Maestro.
If she has a question or needs extra support, Dr. Esposito says Walmart Vision Center managers are “extremely responsive with a quick turnaround” and get her the answers she needs.
Through Walmart, independent optometrists next to a Walmart Vision Center have the option to lease additional equipment, such as retinal cameras, based on availability.
“I’LL BE HOME FOR DINNER”
Since Dr. Esposito sets her own schedule, she usually chooses to take a break during the week and will see patients on a Saturday or Sunday. Her patients, especially the many coal miners who have a hard time getting away during a business day, appreciate her accessibility on weekends. “Some patients can’t see a doctor 9-5,” Dr. Esposito says. “Not only can I provide them with the eye care they need on their schedule, but I gain more flexibility in my week.”
Dr. Esposito’s children are now grown, but “Walmart has always given me the freedom to set my own hours. I could take a day off to watch my daughter’s soccer or lacrosse game.” These days, Dr. Esposito enjoys spending time with her family, attending concerts (she’s a pianist and musician herself) and traveling.
Dr. Esposito says her confidence in her relationship with Walmart grew during the pandemic. “Walmart’s first priority was to keep everyone safe, including patients, staff and customers. The company was transparent and there for us when the world was still uncertain. Walmart updated its policies and procedures to help us continue to provide for our patients in a safe environment. Walmart has been so good to me.”
Despite having opportunities to practice elsewhere, Dr. Esposito “chose to stay,” she says. She’s currently booked out eight weeks, staffed six days a week and plans on continuing to “help people see better every day.”
Read how other ODs have developed their careers next to Walmart here.