As declining reimbursements and Internet vendors continue to chip away at the traditional profit centers for optometrists, many ODs are looking for ways to remain competitive. Specialized services have attracted the attention of many practices looking to differentiate themselves. If you have a passion for sports, helping your athlete patients enhance their vision and improve their athletic abilities can be a rewarding and profitable niche.
We had a chance to speak with Dr. Don Teig. Dr. Teig is former Director of the Institute for Sports Vision in Ridgefield, CT and served as a vision consultant to many professional sports teams. He has authored numerous articles, lectured throughout the world on this topic, and appeared on several national television and radio programs discussing vision and sports. Dr. Teig recently retired from private practice to devote his time to his sports vision consulting business, High Performance Vision Consulting.
New Media OD: Tell us a little about High Performance Vision Consulting?
Dr. Teig: I established this program last year to train doctors to be able to incorporate a “soup to nuts” Sports Vision / High Performance Vision specialty niche into their practices. I provide 16 hours of lectures over two days, a 700 page manual that covers all aspects of this specialty from testing, training, marketing, p.r., fees, testimonials, etc. I also provide as part of the package, 6 months of follow up e-mail and telephone accessibility to all who take this training. Each doctor receives a certificate indicating that they have completed the course. I conduct these programs once a year in a group setting for a fee of $6500 as well as one-on-one programs on site at doctors offices for a fee of $7500. My next group event is scheduled for January 24-25, 2014 at the Hollywood Beach Marriott in Hollywood, Florida. Doctors can register by calling me at 203-312-3123 or on my website www.ultimateeventsllc.com.
New Media OD: Can anyone start a sports vision specialty, or does this require a background in, say, vision therapy or developmental vision?
Dr. Teig: Without a doubt, any doctor who has a passion for this specialty can do this! There is a misconception among many practitioners that this specialty is an off shoot of vision therapy or developmental vision. Although some early stages of this program incorporate some vision therapy procedures, most of this program involves equipment and techniques specifically designed for the athlete population. I should also point out that this niche is applicable to other careers and recreational interests like law enforcement, aviation, dance, etc.
New Media OD: For someone starting out, what is required in terms of basic equipment and costs?
Dr. Teig: The equipment and costs to bring this niche into your practice can vary from just a few items costing as little as $25,000 to a full array of equipment that can exceed $100,000 in cost.
New Media OD: Considering advancements in technology, are there computer systems available that provide sports vision testing and training?
Dr. Teig: By all means! At least a dozen companies manufacture computer based equipment specifically designed to enhance visual motor performance.
New Media OD: What are some effective ways to market a service like this?
Dr. Teig: The opportunities are endless! Certainly, getting out into the community and giving talks to little league coaches, sponsoring teams, using social media, all are helpful. Working with athletes always provokes an interest from the media so the opportunities for interviews on TV, radio and the internet are always a possibility.
New Media OD: Besides your consulting services, what are some good resources for practitioners interested in learning more about this field?
Dr. Teig: I have written a book which will be published by Square One Publications this spring. It will be titled, “High Performance Vision” – An Athlete’s Guide To Keeping Your Eyes On The Ball! Also, Dr. Graham Erickson has published a text on this subject that is quite good. Courses can be taken at the AOA Congress each year and you can gain some knowledge as well by perusing the internet.
New Media OD: Thanks for your time Don! Below is a Sports Vision marketing video that we created for the Institute for Sports Vision.
About: Steve Vargo, OD, MBA is founder of New Media OD, a company that specializes in online video marketing for doctors. He is also a consultant for Global Eye Ventures and frequent contributor to Review of Optometric Business. Dr. Vargo practices optometry at Eagle Eye Optique in Crown Point, In. To contact him: NewMediaOD@gmail.com