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OD Spotlight: Dr. Alan Glazier, O.D., F.A.A.O.

Posted by Amanda Dexter on Oct 19, 2016 12:00:00 AM


Describe your career path from graduation to where you are today

Upon graduation, I hustled! I worked 3 or 4 optometry jobs so I could earn as much as possible to start paying down my loans.  I worked in retail optometry, ophthalmology and a private optometric practice at the same time making myself available for fill-in work wherever and whenever I could.  In 1995 I started my own practice which I worked hard to grow by “pounding the pavement” and learning marketing.  We moved from a small facility in 1999 to a more visible building and have expanded from 1000 square feet to 2500 square feet and finally in October 2014 to our state of the art facility of 5000 square feet. 

What other optometry related work are you involved in outside of your practice?

I founded and admin the industry’s largest online community for ODs, “ODs on Facebook”.  I serve on several charitable organizations and corporate boards within our industry and consult for several companies in our industry

How/when did you decide to start ODs on Facebook?

In 2010 I had been having some challenges engaging in what was then the largest online community for optometrists.  The perceived distance the internet created to act towards others in ways they normally would never act to their face.  There was a lot of hurtful and hateful behavior that went on and it was difficult to sift through to find the good information I sought.  It was “the wild west” as their admin concedes; there was no real monitoring of the conversation and it is a very negative place to share.   They allow brand-bashing as well, and this was unacceptable to me.
Up until that time, online forums were “OD only”. One of the characteristics of these forums was when there was a challenge in the industry that came into the discussion the group would go around and around about it, never coming up with any solutions. The way they were structured they were gripe-fests and I felt having ODs only in the discussion created a constraint in terms of their ability to problem solve.  My belief was that these forums were unable to influence positive change because the composition of the group didn’t mirror the composition of the workplace in which the challenges were generated. In other words, at my job I engage with the other ODs to discuss issues, but much more with opticians, office manager, ophthalmic techs, industry reps etc.  I thought that if they had a window into what was going on in the ODs mind during the typical work day that they could use the information to better themselves which would in turn better the practices of the doctors who were engaging.
Prior to then I had been active on facebook and it occurred to me that if I could create a group with just 40 or so of my closest colleagues, create guidelines that prohibited the type of behavior that was occurring in another group and actually implement those guidelines we could have a great and productive discussion about the issues that impacted us.  After my revelation about including industry, on September 9, 2011 I set up the community, wrote the guidelines and started my day at practice.   A few hours later when I went to my computer and looked at facebook I saw a plethora of messages that read “what a great idea Alan” and “we really needed something like this”.  By the end of day one we had 125 members and ever since have averaged 40 new members each day without a sign of slowing down.  ODs on facebook became the first true “industry forum”. Now almost every day the conversations in ODs on facebook are observed by the entire industry and the industry is heavily influenced by the conversations in this community as well.  It is a safe place to share, and it makes sense there is so much sharing as people can freely express themselves without the fear of being put down or having to deal with divisive topics like politics.  It is a “kinder, gentler” place to share, a great place to get clinical and practice management info as well as network with colleagues and keep ones ear to the ground.  I’m proud of what it has become and the difference I’ve been able to make.

Did you ever expect ODs on Facebook to have so many members and to be so successful?

No!  I thought it would remain relatively small and exclusive! I was happy to learn tens of thousands of others must have felt the same way about communicating online and am proud to be able to provide a safe place for them to share, but no, I never expected it to get to this point, and we still get between 30 and 80 new members requesting membership daily without a sign of it slowing down.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Any new ideas you plan on exploring?

I’m pretty maxed out on ideas right now. It’s a full time job running the community. I do have help from Marci Moskowitz, our new executive assistant, and am about to launch a website for ODs on facebook as well. We also have a few surprises, BIG surprises around the community this year, but I’ll have to keep you in suspense at this time….

Any advice for a young optometrists starting their careers?

Work hard, pound the pavement; whether you have ownership where you are or not, work like you do and opportunities will come.  Learn specialty contact lenses and be the best diagnostician you can – this is where the future of our profession lies.  Support your national organization the American Optometric Association and get active at the state level – legislating our profession is the most important thing you can do for your future and the future of the profession, and support Optometry Giving Sight charity.

What do you do for fun outside of optometry?

I am a huge sports fan, bibliophile and audiophile. I love to follow my teams and go see live music.  I love watching my two sons, Jacob (15) and Ari (13) play sports as I always thought I was a great athlete but they actually are great athletes!  I like to work out, run and love to ski.

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Topics: Optometrist Spotlight



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