I’ve had my eye exam annually for many years, seeing almost as many ophthalmologists or opticians. From my own experience and also the experience of taking my kids to their annual vision checkup, there doesn’t seem to be much substantial difference between the doctors or the quality of care you get. All the doctors are very busy, usually handling/managing multiple patients at the same time. Most of the tests and exams are likely to be done by their technicians. They’ll review the results and then come in and say hi, ready to leave in 5 to 10 minutes. There is just not that much care you can feel in the vision care service that is supposedly offered.
Not so with Dr. Gabrielle. A friend of ours recommended Dr. Gabrielle for my son because he has anisometropia and may need some vision therapy. I called to schedule an appointment and right there was told the exam with the doctor would take up to 2 hours. WOW! We went there and from the moment the doctor saw us she took every effort to make sure her patient was well cared for. She first asked to have 10 minutes with me to find out what brought us there and what concerns or potential issues we may have, not forgetting beforehand to direct my son to the waiting area and remind him he could always come in and find us if he ever wanted to. She then personally conducted all the tests and exams and we had her full attention in the one and half an hour (maybe even a little more but I was not counting time) we got to spend with her. Even when we were waiting for my son’s pupils to dilate, she stayed there with us, explained things over, and answered our questions. In the end my son got a detailed and comprehensive diagnosis and we were assured that there was no need for any vision therapy at the moment but my son would need to wear the glasses she just prescribed full-time. My son has never had a pair of glasses that were comfortable enough for him to wear for any extended period of time (now thinking back part of the reason could be the prescriptions were never made completely right for him because of his vision complexity) but he was sold on the spot on that day and promised to wear his glasses all the time.
We all understand that it is not the quantity of time you have with a doctor but its quality that matters most, and it is exactly the quality of service we got from Dr. Gabrielle that won us over. That quality includes not just the medical professionalism and competency, not even just the comprehensive approach she takes in dealing with not only the symptom or its causes but also involving her patients in the treatment process by taking consideration of how they feel and comprehend and taking time for patient education so that they will become and remain an active and effective partner, not just those but also the care she puts into every aspect of the diagnosis and treatment process. I might as well also mention the chairs in the office. It is the only medical office I have been to that uses only padded leather chairs for patients in both the waiting and examination rooms, and the chairs have well-rounded armrests so that children will not be hurt even they bump into them. To me that reflects the extent of care they have taken in that clinic, whose name happens to be Gabrielle Family Vision Care. Quite rightfully so, I have to say.
I hope this review will be helpful for anyone looking for vision care service, especially if you have kids who are getting their first eye exam or have special needs. They do not take any insurance plans, and I don’t blame them for that (if anything I blame the insurance companies for turning health care facilities into fast-food service chains, but that is another topic for another day). You pay out-of-pocket and get an invoice which you can then submit to your insurance company for any medical and vision reimbursement you are entitled to get. To me the $200+ out-of-pocket payment is worth every penny even if we didn’t get any reimbursement. I only regret we didn’t find out about this place sooner and I pray that they will continue their good work and keep up their quality even as more people find out and flock to them.