Do refractive surgeons have a healthy relationship with their competitors?

In one of the Ophthalpreneurs’ sessions, I turned to ask the audience, “How many of you consider other refractive surgeons in your area as competitors?”
Just three hands were raised in a room of 200. This unexpected response raises a thought-provoking question: Do refractive surgeons truly have a healthy relationship with their competitors?

What refractive surgeons really think about their competition

Repeating the first question, a few more hands cautiously rose. This shows what people are willing to say in public, but it’s a different story privately. Most surgeons I talk to do see their local colleagues as competitors. They also consider other groups as competitors, such as:

  • Big companies that also do refractive surgery
  • Optometrists and Opticians offering alternatives like glasses and contact lenses
  • Glasses and contact lens manufacturers

While reacting solely based on competitors is not necessary, it’s essential to understand them. Why? To strategically position yourselves in the refractive surgery market. This knowledge enables surgeons to effectively distinguish their services, emphasising their unique expertise and benefits.

Moreover, I firmly believe that the market is massively underserved. Refractive surgeons should not claim to be the best or even necessarily better. It’s counterproductive. It sows even more doubt in an already ignorant and anxious market.

So, what’s happening here? Why is there a disconnect between private acknowledgements and public admissions? Could it be selection bias? Are my clients inherently more competitive? Perhaps. But many later confessed in private. They do feel competitive pressures, though they hesitate to admit it publicly.
Let’s open up this conversation. What’s your take on navigating competition in the refractive surgery market?

How open conversations can transform refractive surgery

The discussion at the Ophthalpreneurs’ session revealed that while refractive surgeons might not openly admit to feeling competitive, many do feel this way privately.

This difference between what they say in public and what they believe in private shows that navigating competition is a key challenge in the refractive surgery field.

Surgeons need to focus on what makes their services special, like their unique skills and how they care for their patients while being aware of their competition. Talking openly about these issues could help surgeons work together more effectively, improving the industry and helping more patients get the care they need.

If you’re curious about where and how you compare to other vision correction practices, I encourage you to take our Practice Marketing Assessment quiz. Or, if you want to have a quick chat, book a free 15-minute compatibility call with Laura today!

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor for its customers. Rod mentors and coaches eye surgery business CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to triple their sales, double their profit, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Scalable Business Advisor

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO for our customers. Rod mentors and coaches CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to double their sales, triple their profits, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK