Dental and Medical Counsel Blog

5 Things Optometrists Look For In An Associate

January 11, 2023
Things optometrists look for in an associate

If you are an early career optometrist securing an associate position is probably your main focus. Knowing what established optometrists are looking for in associates can help make the process easier. 

Skills That Compliment Their Practice 

Optometrists who own their own practices typically seek to develop their optometry office by hiring another optometrist with expertise in the areas they want to focus on or build around.  If pediatric patients aren't their specialty, then an accomplished and knowledgeable optometrist specializing in children's vision care should be considered for employment.  As such making sure you promote your individual capacities which distinguish you from other candidates is vital to make yourself stand out! 

Those Who Show Interest 

If you're an early career optometrist looking for a new associate position, then it's wise to identify the region where you'd like to live and make the practice owners in that area aware of your interest. You may be shocked when they reply by saying, "I've been wanting to add an associate but I never knew how". By taking this initiative, you are expressing yourself as being proactive and eager about finding employment opportunities and making sure that if any openings arise in those areas, you'll be top-of-mind! 

To find great associates, practices may reach out to the right individuals and make them aware that a spot in their clinic may become available soon. Furthermore, they can seek doctors who have taken initiative by proactively letting them know about their interest in working for their practice. And lastly, those with excellent communication skills both with colleagues and patients are ideal candidates – since these ODs will be able to confidently interact perfectly within our optometry family. 

Hr Process, Hr, Selection, Interview

Those Who Perform Well During the Interview Process 

The whole hiring procedure for potential associates follows the same rules as those for other workers, but it takes longer and involves much more interrogation. Associates enjoy a greater impact on an office compared to support staff members, therefore selecting the proper person is vitally important. It's wise to always make your best first impression even when not in formal interview circumstances; their assessment of you continues beyond what they ask during interviews. Practice owners seek out a comprehensive understanding of prospective associate backgrounds before making any decisions. 

For those looking to land a job after graduation, some doctors may desire you to work as support staff in order to get acquainted with you. During your final year of school, working during vacations could be the key to creating strong ties with potential employers; and most physicians attempt to foster healthy long-term connections with associate ODs. As an example, if they have undergrad students on their staff who plan to attend optometry school. They may be in the midst of a "pre-interview" for a spot as an associate once graduating from college. This is far from formal; it's all about creating potential possibilities. 


When doctors are looking for an optometrist, character is always at the top of their list. By having strong moral values and decision-making abilities, ODs can provide a patient-centered approach when prescribing care. This not only reinforces existing practices in optometry but it also shows empathy and concern to ensure each individual's well-being above all else. Additionally, employers may look beyond the clinic walls by researching social media profiles as they should reflect qualities that echo those good character traits both inside and outside of work hours. 

Those Who Remain Teachable 

Don't be concerned if the first contract is only for a year - it's normal. Afterward, your doctor may decide to renew and invest in you through a longer-term arrangement that mutually binds both of you together. Optometry also requires perpetual knowledge acquisition; thus, doctors are looking for associates open to learning and maturing within an engaging team setting. When the new associate OD demonstrates willingness towards mentoring or being tutored, this will reveal their suitability for the role. In most cases, these successful candidates ultimately become mentors themselves down the line! 

Schedule a Free Consultation

At Dental & Medical Counsel, PC, we understand optometrists have trouble navigating the legal process. We believe every optometrist deserves the best advice and service so doctors can do what they do best, treat their patients. We make optometrists' lives easier by providing expert guidance, so they can focus on their personal and professional aspirations.

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About Ali Oromchian, Esq.



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