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This information is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent a product or service endorsement or recommendation by the American Optometric Association

Doctor Spotlight: Jennifer Geertz, O.D.

UMSL 1998 Graduate | Wal-Mart Doctor since July 2001

Jennifer Geertz, O.D. University of Missouri, St. Louis College of Optometry 1994
Imagine…a classroom full of forty eager first year students, enthusiastic to start their journey through the four long years of Optometry school. The greeting from our first professor, welcome, introduce yourself and where you see yourself practicing in four years when you graduate…

Being the attentive student that I was, I sat in the front row, and I was first to be called on…”Hello, my name is Jennifer Geertz, I am from Wheaton Illinois and I see myself working at Wal-Mart.” The room went silent, you could hear an RGP drop…the silence only lasted seconds, but it felt like forever. The professor went on to the next student and proceeded throughout the room… “open a private practice in my hometown; work at my father’s office; a pediatric specialist; work for an ophthalmologist….etc etc.”

This is a true story, and over the next four years, I grew to understand the reason for the silence to my honest answer. Wal-Mart, in fact, corporate or commercial optometry in general was not considered by the school to be a preferred destination.

Jennifer Gertz Upon graduation, I interviewed at my local Wal-Mart, and was not able to find a full time position, so I accepted a position at another corporate office. I worked for this company for three years, in the meantime transferring from St. Louis back to the Chicago area. I still had the desire to work with Wal-Mart. So, I called my local Wal-Mart to inquire about openings.

I have to believe that the stars were aligned for me that day. My district and region were being covered by “substitute” managers, because my DM and RM were both out on maternity leave. The covering DM and RM agreed to interview me and we had a wonderful discussion, I left feeling good about the meeting, however, there were not any offices available. I was a little discouraged, but still had hope that my opportunity would arise someday.

I received a call two weeks later from the substitute DM, “I have an office open, will you sign the lease?” It seems that in light of our interview two weeks prior, I was the only doctor that the covering DM knew in the area, so he called me! Yes!!!! I will gladly sign the lease.

My office has grown from an average of 50 exams per week, to now almost 90, and last year we became a million dollar store. I have added a retinal camera and an instructional DVD player/TV in my waiting area. In October of 2005, I opened my second office in a new Wal-Mart in Batavia Illinois, and in April of 2007 took over an existing office lease in St. Charles Illinois.

This was just over six years ago; I have never looked back and have never regretted it since, and I am so happy I followed my instincts…I love working with Wal-Mart. I subcontract with three wonderful independent doctors. Dr. Mikyung Yun has been working with me for two years, Dr. Sam Baker and Dr. Elizabeth Hanno for the past 4-6 months. In my free time I enjoy riding the Harley with my husband of 10 years, Dave, and spend time with our dog, Luci (she is a "Boxatian"..you know, one of those "designer breeds"...hahahahh..AKA: a mutt).