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Look . . . and See

BeSpoke Vision

March 21, 2024

I know you are looking at patients every day, but do you really see them? If you are asking yourself, “How do I get into aesthetics?” This is where you start. If you’ve been doing it for a while, this is the skill you should still hone and expand – looking and really seeing. In my opinion, you should never stop doing that – looking at people and really seeing them. It begins by having a curious mind and investigating what is and what could be. (On a side note, this is how you should hire, develop, and coach those around you too.) It’s about so much more than vanity. It’s giving people joy, power, confidence, and hope. Remember, this is a two-way street. You are giving people those things while also giving them to yourself. Trust me, the investment both in others and in yourself is worth it.

Begin with a keen sense of observation by asking questions, and then take action to incorporate what you know into your patients’ experience. Start with learning all you can about eyelid diseases such as ocular rosacea, blepharitis, and lumps/bumps. Expand into skin and what energy-based devices can address. You are the trusted advisor to your patients, and the doctor-patient relationship still remains sacred in optometry, so give your patients even more value by expanding your conversations beyond the science of seeing.

Double down on the art of how you deliver care to your patients. What we do and can do is special; you should be incredibly proud of giving people the gift of sight. Walk them through the harmful habits and makeup ingredients that could jeopardize their vision for life. When you master one conversation look to the next one. I’m now adding a specific aesthetics questionnaire and consult so that I can spend more chair time devoted to nothing but a well-rounded treatment plan for patients, bespoke to their needs and wants. (Remember, the name of my practice is BeSpoke Vision. I’m nothing if not intentional.)

There is nothing more special than your patient expressing gratitude for something you and your team did to help them. These moments should be celebrated when they happen. When was the last time you stopped and recognized how far you’ve come, what you’ve accomplished? I was fortunate enough this morning to have three dry eye disease consults from other doctors who have grown to trust me with their patient care. Two of these led to aesthetic treatments alongside their dry eye management, the third led to their spouse signing up. These were mixed in with neurotoxin appointments, IPL maintenance, and dry-eye progress exams. A dream come true, literally. I always take a moment to pause and recognize how far I’ve come, what it means to our profession, and how grateful I am that I get to do what we have fought so hard to do. It’s incredibly humbling, and it’s absolutely empowering to be able to give my patients something that others haven’t been able to . . . hope. Do you look for those moments of awe in your day? It’s taken me 10 years to build the reputation I have, and it’s been worth every sacrifice.

My journey has not been easy, and neither will yours, but it will be worth it. I’ve been told “no” more than I’ve been told “yes,” but I’ve never let that deter me. Let me be abundantly clear, it takes hard work, long hours, perseverance, and most of all being comfortable being uncomfortable. I had a dream 10 years ago to build a practice that surpassed what optometry was known for at that time. I decided to go all in and do something different.

Welcome to the next chapter of your optometric career. Whether it’s aesthetics or another passion, shine a light on what you and only you can bring to your patients’ quality of life . . . and your own quality of life.


  • Selina McGee, OD, FAAO, Dipl. ABO

    Dr. McGee is Founder and Owner of BeSpoke Vision, a boutique private practice that offers patients a wide range of optometric care via its dry eye center, specialty contact lens clinic, and aesthetics suite. She is the first optometrist in the country to perform neurotoxin injections and laser resurfacing. She performs radiofrequency, intense pulsed light, and surgical lid procedures. She is a renowned national and international speaker. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Northeastern State University College of Optometry. She currently serves as President for the Intrepid Eye Society and as a Trustee on the SECO Board and on the Board of Examiners in Oklahoma. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry. She is Past-President of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians.

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