Clear vision

By combining top-of-the-line technology with compassionate doctors and staff, Vision Doctors offers the best in eye care at multiple locations in and around Wichita.
-By Jessica Lindsey
If you find a doctor who respects you and always has your best interest in mind, you’ve found a great one. Pair those traits with a doctor who instinctively treats you like family and you’ve hit the jackpot.
That jackpot can be found at Vision Doctors where doctors Mike Gordon, and husband and wife team Wade and Mindy Abbey have created an optometry group where young and old alike can come and feel at home during an exam.
“I’ve been very blessed,” says Gordon who founded the practice in Northeast Wichita. “I saw two patients that first day, July 23, 1973, and now we see thousands of patients a year. From Day 1, I always wanted to treat my patients as if they were a family member. My
own grandkid or my own child.”
The doctors split their time between four locations: 1221 N. Rock Road Ste. 100 in Derby, 316-788-2020; 8100 E. 22nd St., near 21st
and Rock in Wichita, 316-684-2020; 110 N. Washington Ave. in Wellington, 620-326-2020; and 701 N. Goddard Road in Goddard, 316-794-7800.
Rather than creating a mega-clinic, the practice grew to accommodate their patients in the most convenient way.
“We have maintained a small practice feel through the years even when we have grown to various locations,” says Kim McCollum who is the clinical manager for the group and Dr. Gordon’s daughter. “We’ve enjoyed over 36 years in optometry and now we see a
3rd generation of patients. We find it a true blessing to be able to care for our original patient’s grandchildren. There’s something comforting about going to a doctor that not only knows your family’s
medical history, but has diagnosed your family for years.”
Compassionate, caring staff
“Patient care is our priority and I think it shows with the caring nature of our office staff,” says McCollum. “Most of our employees have been with us for many years so we’ve all grown up together in many ways. We’ve shared in their joys and tears through the years
and care for each other as a family.” The passion for the job and comfortable work environment translates into a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere for patients.
Gordon—who is the kind of guy who cries at Disney movies—says the No.1 trait he looks for when hiring staff members is their level of compassion.
“My primary concern is how compassionate they are, how much they care for other people,” says Gordon. “Of course I look at their intelligence, honesty and their education. But you can’t teach someone compassion.”
The practice is dedicated to enhancing and protecting vision and sometimes that means dealing with tough situations. When addressing a patient who could possibly go blind from Diabetes or is
having other serious vision problems, a compassionate voice is essential, says Gordon.
Privately-owned perks
Vision Doctors is a privately-owned group. Gordon and the Abbeys are all able to refer patients to any specialist network and are not pressured to send patients to surgery when it isn’t needed. The doctors are also able to work closely with any of the patient’s other doctors, i.e. family practice or ophthalmologist, to assure the patient receives the best care.
“Instead of being tied to a particular  ophthalmologist or surgery group, we refer to various doctors across the state, depending on each patient’s needs,” says McCollum. “We strive to treat each patient as an individual and care for them as we would our own family. Every patient does not need the same specialist, so we refer to whom we feel is the best fit for our patients.”
Technology and experience
“I’ve always believed that you need to have the best technology to go along with the best care for your patients,” says Gordon.
Gordon holds several patents on products he has invented to provide the best vision care. His inventions are used by groups everywhere, including his Wichita office. He has also been a researcher and evaluator of contact lenses, providing him with knowledge that he can pass on to his patients.
In addition to having the best technology available and keeping up on the latest information for eye doctors, Vision Doctors staff use techniques that empower the patient so a patient knows when he leaves the office that he has gotten the best care.
Rather than the typical exam where the eye doctor repeatedly changes lens strengths and asks the patient which one is better, Gordon prefers to let the patient change the knobs and decide
without any prompting which one is better.
Gordon remains in control of the exam, he sets the device to the correct settings and shows the patient what to do, but leaves it at the patient’s discretion to turn the knob.
“That way I’m not leading the patient,” Gordon explains. “Sometimes the patient just wants to satisfy you, this way they decide the best choice on their own.”
Start young
Vision Doctors is a part of the See to Learn program, a preventative eye-health program that provides free vision screening to three year olds and educates parents on warning signs of vision problems in children.
Gordon emphasized the importance of evaluating your child’s vision and pointed out how easy it can be to begin the process and be proactive at home.
Play eye spy with a particular item, moving it to different distances around the room to see if your child can see it clearly. Point out airplanes at different distances.
“It’s as simple as asking questions and making observations,” says Gordon. “If you’re driving down the road point out signs along the way and see if they can read them or describe what’s on them.
“It’s been said that 80 percent of all learning comes by way of the eye,” adds Gordon. “If you don’t have the vision at it’s optimum system then you’re not performing at your best.”
Gordon advises parents to have their children’s eyes checked at least by first grade.
“It could make all the difference for your
child,” says Gordon.
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