Excerpted from page 13 of the January/February 2019 edition of AOA Focus.
For couples who work together, striking a balance between work and home life can be a challenge. AOA Focus asked doctor of optometry duos for their tips on marrying the two.
1. Maximize each other's strengths.
Maria Santullo Richman, O.D., and Harvey Richman, O.D., have been practicing together for 25 years. That's enough time to discover and build on each other's strong points. "At home and in the office, we get the best outcomes by sometimes working individually and other times as a team," says Dr. Harvey Richman.
Dr. Maria Richman adds, "We try not to step on each other's toes. Each of us offers different specialties. I work with low-vision patients; my husband sees the pediatric and vision-therapy cases, and together we share the vision rehabilitation patients."
2. Focus on shared goals.
For Erlinda Rodriguez, CPO, and Rodolfo Rodriguez, O.D., it's important that both partners are working toward a common goal.
"We have different roles in the practice. He is the optometric physician, and his role is to provide the best care to his patients. My job, as an office administrator, is to make sure he receives the necessary assistance and organize his practice so that he can successfully concentrate on examining and caring for his patients. We discuss all aspects of how the practice must function, what our goals are and how to achieve them together," Rodriguez says.
"We also find it helpful to maintain a professional attitude in the workplace as well as recognize and respect each other's role," Dr. Rodriguez adds.
Outside of the office, both serve as AOA volunteers and are active in their state association, as well as serve their community by working together in their local Lions Club.
3. Prioritize your time.
"Working together makes each of us more cognizant and respectful of the rigors of work and home," says Timothy LaFreniere, O.D., who has practiced with his wife, Courtney Shay, O.D., for six years.
"We each have a different day off during the week and alternate working every other Saturday. We also have our specific chores/responsibilities at home and at work."
Dr. Shay emphasizes the need for striking a balance. "There certainly has to be a mutual understanding that any disagreements from home have to be left at the door the second you set foot in the office."
September marks Paraoptometric Appreciation Month, the only formal observance dedicated to honor optometric practice staff. Three ways for doctors to honor their staff and for paraoptometrics to advance their careers.