Are you one of those annoying doctors who is always sure? Well, me too, and that’s why I know the only thing sure docs can be sure of is that we are mostly just pretending. 

But, since we are the doctors and it all flows from the top, we ODs have to pretend to be sure so the rest of the office and all of the patients don’t burst into flames at any given moment. I want to help you by reminding you of some things that we can be sure about and some things that we can be sure we should not be sure about. Here goes:

  1. You can be 100% sure that a patient who shows up 20 minutes late for his appointment is “in a hurry” because he has an appointment with someone else who is much more important than his eyesight—such as his barber. (Remedy: take a pupillary distance, refract him and send him and his hair on their way.)
  2. You can be sure that the number of no shows is directly related to the hours of sunshine on any given day. Double book beautiful days, and if they all show up, refer to the remedy above.
  3. I am sure staffers think bonuses are actually salary, and when they don’t get the bonus they think they took a pay cut. How’s that working for you?
  4. It’s a sure bet that when your contact lens sales rep gripes to you off the record about one of your competitors, that his company gives that jerk a better rate than you. Just be the jerk!
  5. We can all be sure that the final patient of the day will opt for dilation rather than retinal mapping. I just throw mapping in or use 2% atropine so they’ll never do that again.
  6. Are you really, truly sure that you will go out of business if you don’t accept that crappy vision plan? You might, but studies show that halitosis is a more common cause of your business failing, so drop the plan and use the empty time to floss.
  7. Don’t be so sure you will ever get around to reading any journals you have stacked up five feet high beside your desk. I’ll save you the trouble… contact lenses are totally different than they were when the journals were published in 1994.
  8. Are you sure that patients really want to drag their butts out of bed to see you on a Saturday morning? No, and that goes double for their teenagers. Having Saturday hours is cruel. How could you!
  9. You can be sure that when a patient cusses out your office staff because they got billed for that $11 of unmet deductible you deserved. You should have collected $20 extra on the front end and just reimbursed them $9.
  10. I am 100% sure that when a patient has their exam in September and comes back the next July to complain they never could wear those glasses that (a) they did not buy them from you, and (b) you will love the look on their face when you ask “have you had a phone at your house over the past 10 months?” 

It’s a good thing to be sure of yourself, and I applaud you for working toward that goal. Combine that with a well-developed sense that you don’t actually have control of any facet of your life and you will seem almost normal to most people around you.