Dr. Adam Reid, Optometrist


Based out of IRIS in Parksville, BC, Dr. Reid has been with IRIS since 2013. Here is what he has to say about his professional life and his experience with IRIS.


"I grew up in the thriving metropolis of Bowden, Alberta (population 1200) and spent my whole childhood in a small-town environment. I started my undergrad at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta and spent two years there. I then moved over to the University of Calgary for a year to finish my optometry prerequisites. From there, I spent four years at Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Oregon. I graduated in 2013 and have been with IRIS ever since. The balance between home and work life was a big motivation for me entering optometry. Growing up in Alberta, I saw many of the high-paying jobs requiring people to be away from their families for days or weeks at a time, and this is not what I wanted. I wanted a career where I could make a good living but was able to go home for dinner every night with my family. 


Parksville is a more rural location but still close to a "bigger" city in Nanaimo. The biggest professional advantage to this is the decreased competition in the area. With only one other optometrist in town, it is easy to stand out and "wow" patients. It also makes it easier to develop relationships with ophthalmologists as they will recognize you more easily. On a personal level, there are many advantages to getting out of the big city. The cost of living is lower, traffic is non-existent, and the pace of living is generally a bit slower. It is a great place to raise my two daughters. 


I am a committee member for the IRIS electronic medical record project and am in the process of becoming a partner in the location that I work at. Working to develop an electronic medical record has been a ton of fun, as we have been able to make it exactly how we want from scratch. Being able to tell the programmers that there is a feature I feel could be improved and seeing it come to fruition in the next update is very rewarding. In terms of the partnership discussion, once completed, this will allow me to build equity and share in the store's returns that I work in. It is an excellent model, as I have IRIS to do many of the things that a typical practice owner would spend large amounts of time on (advertising, staffing, inventory management, etc.) and yet I can still benefit from the growth of the practice and build equity for my eventual retirement. It has all the benefits of practice ownership without worrying about many of the things that drive practice owners crazy.    


I know that money can be a "taboo" subject in many cases, but it is important, and as a new grad, you need to know what your options are. IRIS has one of the most generous pay structures out there. When I first graduated, I had two offers—one with a flat daily rate and one with IRIS paid on a per-patient basis. At the time, it was nerve-wracking not to have that guaranteed amount, but I made the call to join IRIS anyway, and I am very glad that I did. IRIS has supported me these last 7 years to build my practice, and a few months ago, we added a second exam lane (fully paid for by IRIS) as we were booking weeks in advance. This has allowed me to see many more patients, and I am currently making more than triple what I would be making if I had taken the other job I was offered. Even in my first year with IRIS, I made substantially more than I would have made with the other offer and working with IRIS means I have zero overhead expenses. Once I become a partner with IRIS, I will really have the best of both worlds as I will have equity in my location, and I will have the home/work-life balance I desire. Moral of the story: Don't take a below-market offer, bet on yourself and work hard, and you will do well!"