The optometric specialty clinicians Love to practice
Cheryl Berger-Israeloff, OD
Neuro Visual Medicine (NVM) has literally transformed not only my life, but the lives of my patients. Every day here we see miracles happen when people who couldn't walk a straight line, who couldn't read a paragraph, who had constant headaches, were constantly dizzy, and no one could help them, are instantly helped with the help of our aligning lenses. I feel like there's this whole population of people out there who have all of these symptoms and all of these problems, and nobody has helped them. I just feel like, since I started practicing NeuroVisual Medicine, the flowers were sent, and the cards were sent, from people who say, "You saved my life." This is huge, especially for someone who always wanted to be a healer.
One of my favorite stories involves a young woman who'd had a stroke in her mid-30s. First, she was walking with a walker, then a cane. She followed up her initial NeuroVisual exam a few weeks later with her first progress assessment. She walks in with her kids, and she looked at me, and she said, "Here I am," without her cane and she's continues, "I rode a bicycle. I rode a bicycle with my children." And that was one of the times that I said to myself, "If I do nothing else in my life, I made a difference in hers." I've got a lot of those kinds of stories.
My practice is strictly dedicated to NeuroVisual Medicine and I’m earning more salary than I’ve ever made in my over-20 years of practicing Optometry. I see only six patients a day. I don't work weekends, and I'm usually out of my office by six-something everyday because I still have a kid at home. So, that's huge. That's a huge quality of life change.
Kathryn Collins, OD
I like to help people, and so when I see such an improvement through NeuroVisual Medicine after they've been struggling so much, that's very rewarding. When the exam is over, and they're like, 'Oh my gosh, I just can't believe how good I feel!' Or, 'The tension in my jaw has decreased, and my shoulders are relaxed!'. I've certainly gotten a lot more hugs than I ever got before from giving contact lenses to patients.
I also enjoy the thanks from family members that usually attend the exam and have seen the journey of trying to get better and then it's amazing sometimes during the exam their family members realize they have problems, too, and they refer themselves. So, that's kind of neat to see that growth. This referral pattern enables me to make back the cost of the NVM training program on a monthly basis.
Through NeuroVisual Medicine, I feel like I'm providing a valuable service to our community and it's a niche that no one else in my area has. This makes me more credible and more respected among my peers and other doctors in the area. MDs turn to me more for that kind of care, where in the past, they didn't refer as often. Now it seems like they are turning to me for the specific care that they can't provide or that they don't know what else to do with the patient.
My own neurologist really never even remembered my name when I went in for my own appointments, and now he lives across the street from our new office. He comes in and shares information about patients. He sends probably the majority of the patients to us as a referring MD.
Roger Fitch, OD
I've been doing traumatic brain injury work for 20 years, and I've used various prisms and filters as part of a routine exam. We also offer and have done some vision therapy but the sequence that Dr. Debby has established that you set aside an hour and a half for the initial exam and it truly allows the patient to manifest their ocular alignment in a way that you will get a 30 to 70% improvement in symptoms right then and there. Now the patient is onboard…the patient trusts you completely…you're now their friend. There's a lot of people crying in the office because this feels so good.
My NeuroVisual exams are the most rewarding part of the week. I’ve gotten a lot of emotional and professional growth out of this training. It’s truly a blessing to be able to offer this specialty. There is great personal satisfaction, personal knowledge that I’m teaching, treating, benefitting people in ways that are at a real high level. It’s a big deal to feel needed and wanted, and it’s a big deal to offer hope for help. That’s where true happiness lies.
Dr. Debby and Dr. Mark have put together a program that's well worth the money and time spent in the time going up there for a week and the tuition for the clinical, business, and marketing training. It's well worth it. Yes, it feels expensive but it gives you everything you need for your practice. It is so organized, you have the tools for your office and the network that will help get patients from the Binocular Vision Dysfunction website. From a network standpoint, they've put a lot of money into the website, into the BVDQ questionnaires, that will back you up and support you. So they have done that work, and I believe that, if you already have an established patient base, you could convert your patients over to this over time, just by virtue of things, but the road's been paved by these guys. That's a real plus.
Erin Sonneberg, OD
To learn a new technique that has such a profound effect on patients is really just mind-blowing. These patients come to you with dizziness…headaches…nausea. The list goes on and on. They've had a million different doctors look at them and a million different tests, and the doctors tell them that they can't figure out what's wrong with them. And you're able to help these patients. It's just such a gratifying feeling to help people in a way that you never, ever thought you could help them.
When you take this course, you literally become a part of Dr. Mark and Dr. Debby’s family. They hold your hand. They give you every piece of information that you need to take this technique back home to where you practice. They tell you how to bill for these patients, what lab to use for high-precision cutting of these lenses, and so much more. They are there for every question that you might have. They send you home with every piece of equipment that you need to get started.
I love seeing my NeuroVisual patients. When I have a NeuroVisual patient scheduled for the day, I'm so much more excited to go to work. I'm so excited to see what these patients have, what their symptoms are, and see how I can help them. Most of these patients see a huge difference within the first moments of wearing the trial lenses. And, I know I can always call Dr. Debby when I need some support or feedback.
Jeffrey Handschumacher, OD
Honestly, before I went through the NeuroVisual Medicine (NVM) training, I would never have given a second thought to treating a half diopter or a vertical or anything like that. I would have just moved on and never even thought that it would be causing a lot of the symptoms a patient might have been having with headaches and dizziness and things like that. Most of all, I like the slower pace of practicing NeuroVisual Medicine. It lets me get off the “refraction mill” of seeing a patient every 10 or 15 minutes. I enjoy spending
a lot more time with the patient and going slower and taking my time. As a NeuroVisual Specialist, I can do what I’m trained to do. I can take my time doing it. I’m not having to rush through, because I've got two more people out in the waiting area. On a Neuro exam day, I'm not physically or mentally drained at the end of the day. The NVM training program is very comprehensive: the workbooks and everything that Dr. Mark and Dr. Debby have put together. It is a very straightforward, step-by-step process of how you do everything from scheduling patients to doing the exam and documenting it, to billing and coding, as well has how to market this new specialty.
NVM has allowed us to offer another specialty within the practice that my local-area colleagues aren't providing or unable to provide to the patients. It's also added another revenue stream for us to help grow the practice financially. My capture rate with the NeuroVisual medicine practice is above 90%. For our traditional comprehensive patients, the capture rate is probably 50 to 60%. That capture rate reflects the success of this NVM specialty. I can enjoy taking my time with patients, hear their story and give them great relief from truly troubling symptoms. I’m not tired at the end of the day. Truly, my hope is to get to the point in the next few years where my entire practice is this specialty care.
Laurie Sorrenson, OD
NeuroVisual Medicine (NVM) appeals to me as the business owner, because I can fill one of my new associate’s schedule and she can make money and be happy in my practice. So, if I can't keep her busy, she doesn't make enough money and then she's not happy in my practice and I lose her—she’s great and I want to keep her. So that, for me, is a big deal that it's easier for us to fill up her schedule because she has this specialty.
Seeing just two Neuro patients in an afternoon makes her on par with other doctors in our practice for gross per hour. When she gets to three Neuro patients in an afternoon, all of the sudden she easily becomes the number one highest grossing doctor per hour in my practice. From a business standpoint, NVM is the most productive for us, money-wise. Before I decided to send my associate for training, I wanted to hear from other doctors who completed the NVM training. I talked to four or five of them, all kinds of different personalities too, and I've never talked to a doctor that didn't think it was the best thing they've ever done. So that's why I did it.
Monika Spokas, OD
I learned about NeuroVisual Medicine Institute by listening to Dr. Gary Gerber's radio station. When I listened to the episode about the specialty of NeuroVisual Medicine (NVM), I said, "Oh my goodness, this is what I've been looking for, for a really long time". Some of the patients that I see just could not be helped by prescription, or even vision therapy. I kept thinking that there has to be an answer for them. This training allows me to help those patients that came to my practice. I can rewind and help so many of them. I have called them to say, “you need to fill out this questionnaire. You need to come in because I think I now have an answer for you”.
There are so many Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD) patients that are out there that need your help. This is a beautiful sub-specialty to anybody's practice, and patients will really, really appreciate your care. NVM will even help build your regular, primary care practice because, if you can help a patient who's been suffering for such a long time, they will be sure to bring in their family members because they are so grateful for the care you provided them.
Jennifer Catalasan, OD
NeuroVisual Medicine (NVM) is a different way of practicing optometry. Though I see fewer patients, I get to build a much stronger bond and relationship with each patient, which is why I went into optometry in the first place.
What I personally like most about NeuroVisual Medicine is I can reduce someone's symptoms that they've been experiencing sometimes for more than a decade. I'm able to help reduce their symptoms and help them feel better just within the allotted time of the exam. It's the appreciation from the patients and just being able to hear the patient's story when they follow-up with me about how when they were previously unable to work or unable to drive or unable to do certain things, just to be able to help them be able to do some of those things again has been really rewarding.
I don't necessarily feel that NeuroVisual Medicine (NVM) is for everybody because you need to be willing to sit and really listen to the patient. Really try to figure the patient out, because they can be pretty complex cases. You almost have to think outside of the box of what you're taught in Optometry school. NVM is good for someone who is maybe looking for something a little different than just the day-to-day patient.
Stories of transformation and hope from our patients
Patients tell their stories of relief with NeuroVisual Medicine and treatment with micro-prism lenses
NeuroVisual Medicine is becoming a crucial tool for our medical colleagues
Patients who are referred for NeuroVisual Medicine Evaluation come from across the medical spectrum after seeing numerous other specialists. Hear how our medical colleagues are harnessing the power of NeuroVisual Medicine to help their toughest patients.