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Protected: VTODs on Facebook Mentor Page

Welcome to Dr. Simonson's VTODs on FB mentor page:

GRAVITY (GRoup of Awesome VIsion TherapY docs)

Please note that I will use this page to upload resources and links for the group. The benefit of being in a small group is benefiting from the questions of other participants and having the opportunity to add your own insights and suggestions.

First, who are the members of this group:

  1. Dr. Katya Bej, Private Group Practice, Red Bank, New Jersey, USA
  2. Dr. Aaron Nichols, Completing residency in Southport, Connecticut, USA
  3. Dr. Aakash Shah, Private Group Practice, Hanford, California, USA
  4. Dr. Tanya Polonenko, Private Practice, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  5. Dr. Valerie Lam, Private Practice, Costa Mesa, California, USA
  6. Dr. Jen Simonson, Private Practice, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Step 1: Get to Know Each Other

Thank you for your private FB Messenger communications. I think that is an easy format for individual questions. This page will be more for the entire group. From the communications I've had with each of you, I think that practice management is the biggest area for us to discuss. Remember that what works for me in Boulder, Colorado (highly educated, wealthy city) may not be the best fit for your practice. Just know you can take the suggestions that resonate with your goals.

(1) Business Plan. Here is a template you can use: Gravity-VT-Business-Plan

(2) Office Manual: Here is a template you can use: Gravity-OFFICE-MANUAL-template-2019

(3) Fellowship in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development - I am unable to mentor you in this area as I am on the International Examination and Certification Board (IECB). Valerie and Tanya have already completed the process! The COVD office can help you find a mentor for this certification program. It is a tremendous learning process for clinical testing and treatment. It will gain you referrals. More information here:

(4) Curriculum Vitae: Is yours up-to-date? I submit my current CV often. Essentially every time a lecture needs approved for COPE or state credit, every time I apply for financing, any involvement in publishing, and any time I work with a lawyer as an expert. Here is my CV so you can get to know my professional background. Gravity-Dr.-Simonson-CV-2019

I think these references will start to have you think about the business side of practice.

Next Steps: 

  1. I have communicated with a few of you about developing letter templates and progress graphs for other optometrists, parents, and work/classroom accommodations. I will post more on this in May. Here is a preview: Gravity-Graph-2019-copy
  2.  I've also talked with some of you about hiring and training a new therapist. I will need some time to put together some resources for you on this topic. Plan for this to be our June topic.

Please let me know of the topics important to you and I will do my best to give sound advice and recommendations, or to refer you to someone with more expertise. This may be professional consultants like Toni Bristol, Aimee Lecoq, Cleiman etc.

I am planning to work on one topic a month. Thanks for requesting me as a mentor, I am really honored. I am fortunate to have amazing mentors myself! - Jen


The Mentorship Plan:

Step 1 of 6

Get to Know Each Other

Introduce yourself and share what you hope to get out of this program. Discuss what will make this mentorship more successful like how you prefer to communicate and what your schedule is like.

Step 2 of 6

Identify Your Strengths

Make a list of your favorite parts of your work. Then make a list of the parts of your job that you find the least interesting or inspiring. (Post your lists in this mentorship so you can refer back to them.) Together, review your lists and discuss how to create a career that focuses on the work you enjoy most. Discuss What are your strengths? How has knowing your strengths influenced the career choices you've made? Meet with your partner over video chat to help them identify their strengths

Step 3 of 6

Setting Goals

What career goals fit your strengths? What small steps you can take to achieve your career goals. If you want a promotion, what job title do you want to have? If you want to switch careers, what job do you want to move into? Then start thinking about how long you should give yourself for these goals. Can you do it in six months or will it take a few years? There are no wrong answers. Once you've identified your big goals, you'll break them down into individual tasks and milestones so you can track progress. Discuss What career goals have you set for yourself in the past? How did you go about achieving them? If your partner has been working at their goal for a while, ask them what currently stands in the way to them achieving it.

Step 4 of 6

Making a Plan

Work with your mentor to identify what steps you need to take in order to achieve your goal in the ideal amount of time. This can include: • Education: Online or in-person classes, workshops or conferences, or going back to school. • Opportunities: Gain new skills at your current job. • Networking: Build relationships with people who can help achieve your goals. Once you've decided what steps you need to take, share them in a post in your mentorship so you can hold yourself accountable.

Step 5 of 6

Measuring Success

This week, take some time to reflect on your progress so far. Have you reached some of your goals? What challenges have come up? How hard or easy has it been? Meet with your mentor to review your progress using video chat. Keep working with your mentor to update your task list and reflect on your progress. You can always change goals and tasks if your needs change. What's important is that you keep trying and work as hard as you can. Discuss Are there any challenges that keep coming up for your partner? What changes can be made to make better progress?

Step 6 of 6

Celebrating Wins

This week, review all that you have accomplished together! When did you feel most confident? Is there anything you'll do differently in the future? This is the last step in the mentorship, but you and your mentor can keep using this space to keep your relationship going. Talk about how often you want to communicate and celebrate your success. Discuss What are you most proud of your partner for so far? How do you want to keep in touch with your partner going forward?