Optometry is all in the family: The Moses Family

Optometry is all in the family: The Moses Family

Robert Moses Sr., O.D., has owned and operated his own optometry practice, Moses Eyecare Centers, in Indiana for nearly 40 years.

"No matter what squabbles we have, we get over it and we move on..."

It wasn't until son Robert Moses Jr., O.D., and daughter Jennifer Kohn (Moses), O.D., graduated from Indiana University School of Optometry (IUSO)—in 2006 and 2008, respectively—that the practice became a family affair.

To make the family ties to optometry even stronger, Dr. Kohn is married to a fellow eye doctor and IUSO graduate, Andrew Kohn, O.D., who practices in downtown Chicago, and a third Moses sibling, David Moses—who is not an OD, but completed his MBA—is involved in finance and management aspects of the practice.

Did you ever expect your children to follow in your professional footstep?

Dr. Moses Sr.: I always hoped they would be interested in coming into the practice. My wife and I never pushed the issue, but the opportunity was always there.

Did your father influence your decision to become an OD?

Dr. Moses Jr.: He didn't influence my decision initially. Both my sister and I had no intention of going into the field; I had an interest in business and my sister had an interest in general medicine.

After college, we got to see more of what was going on in the practice. Jennifer realized she would be able to see patients regularly but still have an opportunity to have a family.

I saw that my dad was running a successful small business, which continues to grow. So, for me, this is the best of both worlds—I'm able to help people and, in addition to that, run a business.

Why did you decide working at a practice with family was best for you?

Dr. Kohn: I thought about a residency for a while, and I also considered going into the academic side. But at the end of the day, here we are able to do exactly what we want to do and see patients how we want to see them.

Dr. Moses Jr.: There was never any question that I would come back home and be part of the family practice.

What are the best and most challenging parts of working with family?

Dr. Moses Sr.: It's the good news and the bad news. Sometimes you carry family into the business, and sometimes you bring business into the family. It's challenging, but you work through that.

We are also able to talk about issues, relative to the business, in a more candid manner than if it were a practice with employed optometrists. We're able to plan for the future as a group.

Dr. Kohn: No matter what squabbles we have, we get over it and we move on, because no matter what happens, we're family.

Dr. Moses Jr: When you're working with other employed doctors, you aren't as candid. So it took me awhile to realize that I need to treat my family like I would treat anyone else-and to not be as blunt with them. But at the end of the day, there's a sense of family and loyalty in the practice, and optometry is something that brings us all together.

Read about more of AOA's optometric families in the June 2014 issue of AOA Focus.

Photo courtesy of the Moses family

December 29, 2014

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