He wears many hats—from doctor to online marketer—in order to be a stellar practitioner.
Dr. Jason Compton’s initial interest in optometry was sparked because he thought the profession would provide a healthy work/life balance in a field that made a difference. But in the years that he has been practicing, he has embraced the work in a way that makes more than a difference—it changes lives.
The New York City native was introduced to the field while a student at City College of New York. Though majoring in biology, he was a salesperson at an optical retailer. “I was able to participate in a program called CSTEP, which was designed to expose college students to different careers in healthcare,” he says. “It was a great opportunity for me to meet other professionals in the field, and I had the opportunity to tour the SUNY Optometry campus. At that point, I was sold. I wanted to become an optometrist.”
Upon graduation from the College in 2005, Dr. Compton completed a residency at Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wilmington, DE. And for the next two years, he worked as a freelancer, enjoying the freedom of his flexible schedule. When an ophthalmologist asked him to cover a maternity leave for one of the doctors at his practice, Dr. Compton’s career took a major shift. “Although this was supposed to be for just a few months, I can confidently say that after eight years it was a great decision,” he says, adding that when it came time to move on, it wasn’t back to the freedom of freelance, but to the commitment of his own practice. “I decided to open my own office within [Manhattan’s] Washington Heights and Inwood community. Whether it was for the people, the culture or the area, I knew if I was ever going to open something of my own, it would be here.”
Compton Eye Associates, which opened in 2015, provides specialty and routine contact lens fittings, comprehensive eye examinations, pediatric vision care, ocular disease management and surgical consultations. An Internet search shows that his patients leave reviews with the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for new restaurants and hot ticket Broadway shows. It is a testament to the dedicated work by Dr. Compton and his associates. “Nowadays, patients review your Yelp, Zoc Doc or Google Review before even picking up the phone to call the office,” he says. “It is not only important to create an environment where patients feel comfortable, you also have to encourage those fans to help spread the word about their experiences.”
He sees this as another extension of the vast marketing that he considers an essential component of his business. “My practice can be found everywhere—billboards, radio, television, letter writing, flyers, etc. If there is a marketing medium in existence, I am sure I have dabbled in it,” he says. “But if I were to rate the most effective method, it would by far be my social media presence,” says Dr. Compton. He believes online marketing not only helps patients, but it makes him a better doctor. Through online marketing, Compton Eye Associates can calculate ROI, target demographics, review analytics and test results. “I want my patients to see me as more than just someone who will provide a prescription for glasses or contacts. I need them to understand that we care about their visual health, and we are willing to go the extra mile to prove that.”
In addition to his practice, Dr. Compton holds a number of other positions in the optometry field. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a member in the Contact Lens Society of America and the American Optometric Association. A frequent lecturer on specialty contact lenses, he is also an assistant adjunct professor at the College. These various roles are not surprising, considering what he hopes his legacy will be. Says Dr. Compton, “I want to be remembered as a strong advocate for the profession and a good mentor for those willing to become part of it.”