Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Laura Turner
Optometrist Michael Hyde graduated from the University of Houston in 2002. He currently practices on Mondays at the MS Eye CARE Clinic at the University of Houston and in Huntsville, Texas.
His areas of interest are glaucoma and neuro-ophthalmic disease and binocular vision disorders. He also enjoys complex, specialty contact lens fittings.
He recently took time from his schedule to answer a few questions for SDN.
Describe a typical day at work.
On Mondays, I see a variety of cases as I work with Rosa Tang, MD (a well-respected neuro-ophthalmologist) out of the University of Houston. It keeps my interest in learning and gives me good detective skills to use. The rest of the week I deal with primary eye care issues at my own practice. I enjoy the hectic pace and the management of a business. It has been both rewarding and frustrating, and it constantly pushes me to learn and adapt and grow.
What mix of clinical/research/teaching work does your position include? How much power do you have to change that mix?
I do not have experience in research but I enjoy the prospect of showing students interesting cases at the university. At some point, I would be interested in teaching more in a clinical setting.
If you had it to do all over again, would you still become an optometrist? (Why or why not? What would you have done instead?)
Yes, I would. I don’t really know what else I could have done that would have given me the autonomy to help people, have a position of respect, run my own business and challenge myself constantly. It’s a good fit for me.
Why did you choose your specialty?
I fell into it due to a friendship with my optometrist.
Did you plan to enter your current specialty prior to professional school?
Now that you’re in your specialty, do you find that it met your expectations?
Most of the time.
Are you satisfied with your income?
No, but who is?
What do you like most and least about being an optometrist?
Most: the reward of grateful patients and a big smile.
Least: the fact that we are a “legislated” profession.
If you took out educational loans, is/was paying them back a financial strain?
Yes, school is expensive.
On average: How many hours a week do you work? How many hours do you sleep each night? How many weeks of vacation do you take?
Too many. I sleep 4-5 hours a night, and I rarely take vacations, but I don’t know if this is representative of the profession. I just have insomnia and I work too hard.
Do you have a family and do you have enough time to spend with them?
I always make time for family. Wednesday is “family day” and we plan special dates with me, my wife, and our 4-year-old son.
In your position now, knowing what you do – what would you say to yourself 10 years ago?
Stop being so stubborn!
What information/advice do you wish you had known when you were an undergraduate?
Learn all you can about practice management, coding, and billing, and learn to watch your money and business like a hawk!
Want to learn more about what optometrists do day-to-day? Check out some of our other 20 Questions interviews with O.D.s:
From your perspective, what is the biggest problem in health care today?
From your perspective, what is the biggest problem within your own specialty?
What is the best way to prepare for optometry school?
Study and shadow an OD.
Where do you see your specialty in 10 years?
Hopefully as an integral part of the health care profession.
What impact do mid-level providers have on your day-to-day practice?
What types of outreach/volunteer work do you do, if any? Any international work?
What do you like to do for relaxation or stress relief? Can you share any advice on finding a balance between work and life?
Music and friends.
Is there anything else you’d like to share that we haven’t covered? Any other advice for students interested in pursuing a career in optometry?
Don’t do it for money – do it for passion. Love what you do or don’t do it. Life is too short.