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7 Question Recap on 20 Years with Dr. Hegerman

Published July 25th, 2014 at 11:18 ♦ Dr. Hegerman, Beth Kuchera

This June, Dr. Hegerman celebrated his 20 year anniversary with Yankee Eye Clinic. Here, he takes the time to share his memories of the past, and hopes for the future.

Dr. Hegerman and Dr. Osnes embrace in celebration of 20 years and 30 years, respectively. Photo credit: Lisa Lentz 6/17/14.

Dr. Hegerman and Dr. Osnes embrace in celebration of 20 years and 30 years, respectively. Photo credit: Lisa Lentz 6/17/14.

Q: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about practicing optometry over the past 20 years?

A: One lesson I’ve learned in practicing optometry over the past 20 years is to “care about the entire patient, not just their eyes”. This simple concept allows for amazing patient connections and a fulfilling career.

Q: What is one of your strongest memories from your first week working at Yankee Eye Clinic?

A: My first week at Yankee Eye Clinic involved working in every clinic department. This gave me a good perspective on how the clinic runs as a whole. There was even a time I knew how to bill! I remember the first day of practicing “solo”. There were flowers at the front desk to honor the day. This day brought a great feeling of personal satisfaction and accomplishment. All my hard work during school had paid off. I had reached my goal and was ready to set sail on my professional journey.

Q: What remains one of your most rewarding doctor-patient interactions?

A: Every doctor-patient interaction is unique. It’s difficult to pick one that is most memorable. Taking care of people is very rewarding. It’s a powerful thing to watch a child light up when they can see clearly for the very first time. Every patient’s story is different. This makes practicing fun.

Dr. Hegerman during his early years at the Yankee Eye Clinic

Dr. Hegerman during his early years at the Yankee Eye Clinic

Q: How has the field of optometry changed in the past 20 years?

A: The technology in optometry is ever changing and progressive. Everything is computerized now. This is different from when I first started in practice. One of the great things about Yankee Eye Clinic is that we’ve purposed to be proactive and change with the times. We strive to have cutting edge equipment and well trained staff members. This allows me to provide great care for my patients and makes it enjoyable to practice.

Q: What advice would you give to a new doctor of optometry?

A: I would encourage any new doctor of optometry to pursue private practice. This allows for autonomy in practice, enabling the doctor to practice to the full scope of their license. As a private practice doctor, my goal is to care for my patients over their entire life. Taking care of families and building relationships is what it’s all about. I have families of four generations that I care for.

Q: How have you grown as a leader in the community over the past 20 years?

A: I’ve been involved in Eagan Rotary for over fifteen years. I was the Eagan Rotary President in 2003-04. This allows me the opportunity to meet and work alongside many outstanding people and leaders in the Eagan community. As a Rotary group we make a positive difference in our community and in our world!
At Yankee and Rosemount Clinics, I currently head the contact lens department and am involved with the clinical side of the practice. Outside the practice, I’ve lectured on dry eye disease, and earlier in my career I served on advisory boards for both TLC and Illuma Laser Centers.

Yankee Eye Clinic assembles its sign in the early 1990's.

Yankee Eye Clinic assembles its sign in the early 1990’s.

Q: When you envision your future with the clinics, what do you see?

A: In the future I look to continue to help build and strengthen both Yankee and Rosemount Eye Clinics. I’d like to eventually become more involved with the business side of the practice. When life slows down, I’d like to also volunteer my services through international mission work to help serve humanity on an optometric level.