Episode 67

Helping Jumpstart Sole Eye Docs

by Ophthalmology Business Academy | March 8, 2024

Dr. Elson Lai is a distinguished Ophthalmologist who has achieved remarkable success in building his practice from the ground up. From initially seeing eight patients per month to now managing a staggering 60+ patients daily, Dr. Lai’s journey is a testament to strategic brilliance and immutable commitment.

In this episode, Dr. Lai generously shares the strategies and principles that underpinned the development of his thriving ophthalmology private practice, along with the challenges he encountered during its inception. The initial years of any entrepreneurial endeavor are notoriously tough, and Dr. Lai’s insights into navigating these hurdles are truly compelling.

Whether you’re an experienced physician contemplating the leap into solo practice or seeking to refine your current venture, this episode provides invaluable wisdom for navigating the complexities of medical entrepreneurship.


  • 00:01:05 – Dr. Lai’s Journey in Ophthalmology
  • 00:02:58 – Navigating the challenges of starting a solo practice: Reflections on the toughest first-year
  • 00:07:07 – Lessons Learned: Insights into what could have been done better
  • 00:08:51 – Inspiring other solo practice owners through his entrepreneurial venture, Independent Practice Partners
  • 00:15:10 – Private Equity in healthcare: Evaluating the pros and cons
  • 00:17:37 – Future life plans of Dr. Elson Lai
  • 00:21:36 – Final Thoughts: Key takeaways from Dr. Lai’s journey

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Elson Lai, MD

Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Founder of the Rosemead Eye Center
Founding principal of Independent Practice Partners

Elson Lai, MD, is a board-certified eye physician and surgeon and proud to serve men and women throughout the San Gabriel Valley at Rosemead Eye Center in Rosemead, California. A product of nearby Arcadia High School, Dr. Lai went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in molecular and cell biology. It was as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley that he first developed a fascination with the eyes.

After graduation, Dr. Lai attended the Chicago Medical School where he was awarded Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, which is given to the top 10% of medical students. He then completed his internship in internal medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he served as surgical chief. This is the largest program in the country and known for its high surgical volume and pathology.

Dr. Lai trained in a number of innovative surgical techniques during his ophthalmology residency, including intraocular lens implantation during cataract surgery. His residency class was the first to start using the multifocal and toric lens as residents. This technique involves replacing the natural lens with advanced technology lenses. These lenses not only fix cataracts but correct astigmatism, near or farsightedness, and presbyopia, thus allowing patients to be less dependent on glasses.

Dr. Lai’s interests include cataract and refractive surgery, macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, and treatment and management of glaucoma. He belongs to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Los Angeles Society of Ophthalmology. His volunteer work includes providing free eye exams to the community at the Taiwanese Lions Club of San Gabriel Valley, going on Medical Missions, and training ophthalmology residents at LAC+USC Medical Center.

It’s Dr. Lai’s philosophy that his patients deserve the same quality of care that he’d provide for his own family. He’s excited to be back in Southern California and providing compassionate care that uses the most cutting-edge techniques available.

Connect with Dr. Elson Lai

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/elson-lai-md-564b9738
Website: https://www.rosemeadeye.com/ 


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