Jackson Eye Doctor Has Business Vision
June 5th, 2015
Dr. Errol Rummel owns Rummel Eye Care/Low Vision Care Center in Jackson.
When did you decide you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
My father was a great influence on me, and instilled the idea of being an entrepreneur on me since childhood. He was a watchmaker/jeweler, and I was the first in the family to go to college. "Be your own boss," he would say. "Always be honest and do right to the people you serve," he would say.
Why did you start this business?
After serving in the Army as a captain in the optometry section of the Medical Service Corps, I realized that there was more to optometric care than eye exams, prescribing eyeglasses and treating eye disease.
Were there any challenges that made you think twice about striking out on your own?
I was opening in Jackson many years ago when it was kind of semi-rural. I knew no one in the area and opened my practice, put up my sign, and waited for people to call. I chose Jackson because I get referrals from, and see patients from all over New Jersey and from the Philadelphia and New York area. Jackson is centrally located in the state, about equidistant from North Jersey, South Jersey, the Princeton area, New York City and Philadelphia
If you could do it again, what would you do differently?
I would have put up a bigger sign. After all I am an eye doctor, working with people with difficult vision problems. They have trouble seeing a standard office sign..
What's the best business advice you have ever received?
Care for each patient as if they were a member of your family or a close friend.
What personality trait helps you the most?
I am a focused person, who is tenacious about solving my patients' problems. I do research, I don't give up and I am comfortable getting a second opinion when I am stumped.
What's the hardest part of the job?
Having to work with people who have ocular and visual deficits that vary so much from patient to patient. I have to shift mental gears as I go from one difficult case to the next, and I have to think outside the box. My patients tell me about the care they received elsewhere that did not work, and I have to figure out what may work.
I have had extensive training in special areas of eye care, and so I have a wealth of knowledge (and by now, much experience) to draw from.
What surprised you the most about running the business?
The hours spent in the office after patient hours: reviewing charts, doing research, writing reports and taking care of the business side of the practice.
Describe your most unusual customer, job or work experience.
A person with constricted vision due to a retina disease called retinitis pigmentosa came in with his guide dog. He was legally blind by definition. How am I going to help a blind person, I thought. I figured out a protocol of using reverse telescope glasses to expand his peripheral field of vision. He walked outside for the first time in years without having to use the guide dog. I feel good that I helped the patient, but I felt bad that I may have put the guide dog out of business.
How would you like the business to grow and change?
I would like the practice to continue on this upward trend. It's working and growing.
Why customers should go there?
People should schedule appointments here because there are few eye doctors that have the training, experience and ability to care for most difficult visual issues. Most of my patients have been told "nothing more can be done" by other eye doctors, and many of these people actually can be helped.
What do you love about the community where your business is located?
The people in Jackson are friendly and are comfortable being in a suburban area that has wonderful schools, and living in an area that allows them to commute easily to most areas in New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia.
When you leave work, do you leave the office behind, or are you always in contact?
I have learned to allow myself time away from work to recharge myself physically and emotionally.
What do you do in your off time?
I am a musician, having played piano in rock bands in high school, jazz saxophone at college and in recent years my love has been Latin percussion. I have played many summers as a pickup percussionist in many venues, from a Jimmy Buffet cover band, to Latin night at a local restaurant, to a Portuguese club in Newark and Latin night at dance studios. Let me know if you know any salsa bands that would like an experienced conga player to sit in. I also am kind of a jazz historian. I have a music collection rich in the history of jazz.
When you leave the business behind some day, what will you do?
I would like to work for someone else, consulting with other doctors in their practice or consulting in neuro or rehab hospital clinics, and not having to deal with the business side of a practice. In addition to private practice at the Low Vision Care Center in Jackson, I currently direct the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation and Visual Perception Clinic at the Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation in Pomona. I love the work I do there.
RUMMELL EYE CARE/LOW VISION CENTER
Describe your business: I am an optometric physician and deal with people who have difficult and/or unusual visual problems that are not helped by glasses, surgery or medications. I work to improve the eyesight of people who have visual problems from stroke, traumatic brain injury, concussion, double vision, learning related vision problems, visual field (blind spot) problems, constricted visual fields, macular degeneration, etc.
Owner: Dr. Errol Rummel
Location: 2206 West County Line Road, Jackson
Website: www.LowVisionNJ.com; www.NeuroOptometricRehabNJ.com; www.VisionTherapyNJ.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays.