Here is a simple truth;
You can own a lawn mower but that doesn't make you a landscaper. You can own a hammer but that doesn't make you a carpenter.
I recall back when I first started my apprenticeship as an optician in 1984 we actually took the time to go introduce ourselves to the optometrists in the local area. This fostered a friendly environment that allowed for easy referrals for the services that each specialty provided without there being any conflicts.
......Things were so simple back then. Everybody made their money - everybody had a good life and no one felt undervalued.
The "change" happened in the mid to late 1980s, about the time the big chains opened their first of many stores in New England. This model of business brought doctors and retail together for the first time. Let's face it, it wasn't a bad idea, after all - time is a precious ! - If you can get your car fixed and grab a gallon of milk while you're at it ... that's the perfect example of " killing two birds with one stone". The more progressive practices quickly took a page from that playbook and followed suit, many believing they had just found the golden ticket.
What followed was a couple of years of explosive business, I'm sure! Fast forward 20 or so years what will we find to be the latest trend for doctors offices ?- Not so surprisingly, is to outsource their vision services to a private company. I'm guessing they discovered that to find qualified people that will watch their considerable interests (inventory and reputation are 2 that come to mind) is quite a large endeavor. We all know that people that are vested in their own business will do things with expertise and integrity. We count on those solid values to differentiate ourselves from the competition. It is your livelihood !
No matter what the field, professionals must assume that there is more that goes into operating fiscally sound business than just opening the doors. For an optical shop, there is more to it than buying frames and then hiring an optician. Failing to respect the behind the scenes truths will impose costly consequences.
It is with complete humility that I say the smallest of the three O's, has and will always have, a place in this world. Doing what we do as opticians requires more finesse and technical/people skills, then most could ever understand. Ultimately I remain eternally grateful for those consumers that understand and appreciate the experience I bring. This is my hammer!