Dr Alan Glazier
Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, Rockville MD
“My father was an optometrist and I remember how happy he was with what he did. I’ve been lucky enough to share that joy and passion throughout my career. So, when I decided it was time to sell my practice, I knew it had to be a company that was a good fit for the way I practiced, was good for my staff, and was good for my patients. The “legacy exit” model drew me to Total ECP – that and the quality of the people that founded the company.
It’s been a great move for me. My life has improved – taking the business management side away from me has enabled me to focus more on family and my own health. The responsibilities I have gained within the Total ECP team have been fun and challenging. The practice continues to thrive and our patients have no idea there has been a change of control.
For those that are looking to sell – think about how your quality of life could change. It’s not just about the money, but also the value of the time that you will get back.”
Dr Eric Schmidt
Omni Eye Specialists, Wilmington NC
Bladen Eye Center, Elizabethtown, NC
“Finding the proper exit strategy for your optometry career is not an easy or pleasant task. It is made more difficult for most of us because we lose control of the way the practice is run and the direction that the practice moves. Furthermore, my personal journey was cluttered with the knowledge that many of my friends and colleagues who had made the decision before me, were wracked with what I call “Seller’s Remorse.” As I drew closer to this decision I was determined to not suffer the same fate. I wanted to truly partner with a company that would not only help my practice and associate Doctors continue to grow but also one which I could help shape the vision and move that company forward in the only type of optometric model I believe in. In Total ECP, I found just that. A company that is committed to the medical model of optometry. A company that is committed to excellence in patient care but also that values the doctors and wants to continue to work to improve the doctors’ skill sets as well as conditions under which we work.
Now with the elevation of Dr Ben Gaddie to the position of President, I am convinced more than ever that I made the right decision. Ben has a vision for the company, much like his vision for optometry as a whole, that we will be the primary providers of premium eye care in America. I am honored to be a part of Total ECP and look forward to helping us grow into our vision.”
Dr David Grosswald
The Eye Center, Conyers GA
“When I started my practice, exit strategy is something I did not like to think about. I enjoy what I do, and with my practice size, I felt I would probably never get the full value from a Doctor or a group of Doctors. My personal goal was to have someone take over the reins and for me to keep doing what I do. Total ECP is allowing me to do just that. They are keeping the brand of my practice, which was important to me. Plus, they have a commitment to medical optometry and a very fair valuation.
Since Total ECP took over, very little has changed. Everyone has been very friendly and helpful. Total ECP was sensitive to my team’s perception of them and they have been impressed. But they have taken over the parts of the business that allow me to spend more time with patients.
Everyone’s situation is different, but to me it seems Total ECP is the best company for most private practice docs.”
Dr John Musick
Ditto and Musick Eye Care Center, Nicholasville, KY
“David Ditto, my partner of almost 40 years and a fellow graduate of the UAB School of Optometry, and I wanted to preserve the legacy of our thriving optometry practice. We wanted to realize the best financial worth of our practice as well as bring in optometrists who could provide the high level of professional care our patients were accustomed to receiving. We also wanted to have the option of working longer until it made sense to reduce our schedules due to our needs and the needs of our practice and patients.
I had first learned of private equity companies buying optometry practices about two years ago listening to a lecture at the American Academy of Optometry and began to explore that as a possible option. We learned about Total ECP when we read that Dr. Ben Gaddie’s group here in Kentucky joined Total ECP in the fall of 2017. We greatly respect Ben as well as Dr. Paul Karpecki and had an initial lunch meeting with them in January 2018. It went very well, and we felt a peace about becoming a part of Total ECP in the summer of 2018.
Since joining Total ECP, things have gone quite well – even better than we expected. The transition has been very smooth. We feel supported and not threatened by the Total ECP team. David Ditto and I are quite pleased with the decision we made to join Total ECP.
To those looking to plan for your exit strategy, do it before a crisis occurs and have fewer favorable options available to you. Look at the options that currently exist such as selling your practice to other OD(s) or joining a private equity group. Research and talk to ODs who have made such decisions and see what their experience has been. Seek to discern the integrity, reputation, and experience of the owners and leaders you will be giving ultimate control of your practice. That’s how we ended up with Total ECP!”
Dr Warren Johnson
Eyewear Gallery, Memphis TN
“Our time with Total ECP has been fantastic! We have been able to keep our lab and optician, whom have been with me for 25 years. The doctors’ schedule didn’t change. The staff’s schedule hasn’t changed. One thing did change – I have more time to work with patients. When I started in the industry, I wanted to help others in a health care arena. I like dealing with and helping people one-on-one. I felt like I was their friend and enjoy listening to them talk about the many aspects of their lives. Vision is needed for everything we do in life. The ability to help people visually function in all areas of their lives, and my being a part of assisting their needs, has been very fulfilling.
Until recently, I hadn’t seriously thought of an exit strategy for my practice. I had conversations with a younger associate about taking over the business, but quickly realized that I needed to think past a young associate who had loans and a different lifestyle approach from my own. Some friends of mine, whom I had graduated with from optometry school, had been telling me about PE firms. Some of these friend’s practices had been purchased several years ago by other PE firms. The reviews were mainly negative. They told me they were counting the days until they could leave the practice. None of these doctors disliked what they did for a living – they just didn’t like how the PE companies were running their practice.
At Vision Expo East, I sat in a forum where Total ECP was involved. I really liked what I heard. When I heard that you still had skin in the game, your practice name wouldn’t change, and you would keep your practice mainly intact, I was hooked. It’s been a great decision for me and my practice!”