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This information is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent a product or service endorsement or recommendation by the American Optometric Association

Doctor Spotlight: Saied Hashemi, O.D.

Saied Hashemi

It all started when we changed our patient information form and expanded it to include patient occupation.  This simple question during case history helps us to better determine our patient’s vision requirements and better provide recommendations.  For example, one of my patients named Paul was a real estate agent and he was having trouble seeing the computer screen and difficulty reading his bible during Sunday church. Well, sadly I had to break the bad news to him that he was over 40 years of age and he needed progressive lenses.  I explained to him that at church he may need to look at his pasture at distance and suddenly at near to read his bible therefore PAL would better serve his needs.  He was happy with my recommendation and during our conversation he told me how he lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years and that he knew everybody in town.  He advised me of a local car show that was taking place at his church as a fund raiser.  They would also have local vendors and tons of barbecuing.  I asked him to send me some information and it turned out that this event was one of the cities largest fares and they had estimated 2,000 people to show up.  This was a great opportunity to produce exposure, market our services and contribute back into our neighborhood by doing vision screening.  It cost us $50 to purchase a space to set up a table. The money was donated directly to the church.

I had only 1 month to prepare for this event so I needed to act fast.  I immediately turned to our partner Wal-Mart vision center manager Theresa to provide me with support and to see if they wanted to participate in this event.  Theresa was all for it and very motivated They offered us the vision screening machine, the table and a large tent as the event took place outside under the sun on a large grassy field.  Theresa also assigned one of their finest staff members Donna to do the actual vision screening and to top it all off they decided to raffle off a pair of sunglasses and we decided to raffle one routine eye exam and one contact lens exam. 

Saied Hashemi
To attract more patients to our boot with more free giveaways, I contacted our Vistakon Rep Cordrea by email to see if they would sponsor our event.  He replied that they have special packages designed for such events that contained, T-shirts, balloons, contact lens cases, posters and a large banner that he would be happy to donate.  After all it would be promoting their products and why not, AcuOasys is my contact lens of choice and my patients seem to love it in their eyes. 
Since the event took place on a Saturday I was not able to attend this event except during my lunch hour.  I didn’t want to miss being part of the event and the open pit barbecues which is one of the best in Texas.  I did send my tech Maritza who was the most excited to be there and to promote our services.  She was able to meet with wonderful people from the church and educate people the importance of annual dilated eye exams.  She attended the event with Donna from 8:00 to 3:00 and they were able to do about 25 screenings that led to 10 in office exams.  It was truly all worth it considering the exposure and the amount of time I spent to organize the event.

I believe knowing your patient's occupation can help you serve them better and a great way to become aware of the events going on in your community. Therefore, when a opportunity like this presents itself you should just go for it and get everyone involved to build your reputation and ultimately more patient referrals.

I have currently become the official eye doctor of our local high school football team and it was all because I did a contact lens exam for one of the players from the team.  I attended my first game last week and actually removed a foreign body from one player’s eye. 

I can perhaps write you an article on this project at the end of the football season.  It’s been a great ride so far and it’s all because I am not afraid to ask questions and become involved. 

Thank you for allowing me to share my experience and hope it will be helpful to all Wal-Mart doctors