Circles of Change:Conversations with Dr. Zara Larsen
on Change Leadership and Career Fulfillment
April 26, 2009
“The Eye’s Have It:Keeping Your Future in Sight”
Guest: Dr. Marc Berson
I grew up in a family of medical professionals, being instilled with a goal to be my own boss and be in charge of my own destiny, regardless of the field.
A college advisor suggested optometry to blend of medicine, technology and people. It is the only one of the health professions that really allows the second hat of selling products and the fun of managing a retail showroom.
Over the past 25 years optometrists have become primary care professionals recommending annual exams, going beyond just treating sight, to helping the patient with and his lifestyle – exercise, diet, stress-related disorders, as well as spotting other medical conditions.
Patient use of computers and handheld devices are keeping me challenged, given how focusing muscles need to be flexed (near and far) to allow relaxation and prevent myopia or near sightedness.My rule of thumb, you can use a device as many minutes as you are old, before you need a five minute break.
Biggest advances have come in contact lenses, moving from pure hard and soft lenses, to blends of materials, coatings and tints based on medical need, work environment and sports.Specialty contact lenses can address needs where glasses cannot be worn.
New instrumentation (computer controlled imaging) allows early detection and understanding of the multiple facets of eye disease. We can deal with concerns before vision is inhibited, thus our recommending annual exams.
What may appear difficult is sometimes not that hard, but we still must be very well versed in our profession.When you hear hooves, don’t think zebra.But, the corollary is it ain’t rare, if it’s in the chair.
I am probably an undiagnosed ADD, when as an adolescent my strengths may not have been appreciated.My ability and need to multi-task led me to invest in properties, work with my hands to fix them up – a second career in real estate – plus own bagel stores, perform as a magician, teach in a school of optometry, build custom wooden boats, and run marathons.
I like the idea of horizontal integration and not putting all my eggs into one basket -- diversify my holdings and “me”.Each focus is about connecting with people, keeping a close hand on each of my businesses and customer relationships, bringing me real joy and fulfillment.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008