About Steve


In 1998, I graduated from Illinois College of Optometry and obtained my Doctor of Optometry degree. It was my combined interest in business and health care that drove my decision to become an optometrist. My goal at the time was to own my own optometry practice. As the years went by, I discovered that my interest in the business side of health care greatly outweighed my interest in the clinical side. About six years into practicing, I made the decision to return to school for an MBA degree and pursue a career on the business side of eye care


After getting my MBA, I made the naive assumption that employers would be beating my door down with lucrative job offers. It didn’t take long to realize that the degree was just a starting point. Relatively unknown in the industry, I would have to put in a lot of work to brand myself as an industry expert. I continued to learn as much as I could about business. I read books, attended lectures, and studied successful practice owners. I volunteered to write articles for publications and speak at events, mostly for no pay in the beginning. I guess they call that “paying your dues.” Seven years after attaining my MBA, I was still seeing patients. At times, I wondered if the MBA degree was worth it.

Then, one day sipping a coffee at Starbucks, I received an email from a consulting group out of Atlanta that was seeking someone with an optometry degree and a business background to become a practice management consultant for their company. I still recall staring at that email, unable to hit delete. After a long conversation with my supportive wife Melanie, I decided to throw my hat in the ring, and after a few rounds of interviews I was made an offer which I accepted. The family and I packed the car and moved from Chicago to Atlanta.


Since transitioning to consulting, I’ve had the privilege of working with hundreds of doctors and healthcare professionals across the country. What I’ve learned about successful practice owners is that they do things a little different. Generally speaking, they’re not smarter than their colleagues. They’re not blessed with more time than other people. They don’t possess special knowledge or attributes that translate to success.

The simple truth is this: They execute! They take action on strategies. They embrace change.

I do all my consulting through IDOC, a fantastic company that’s devoted to supporting independent optometrists and helping them live the practice of their dreams. If you’re ready to take action, embrace change and experience greater success, contact me at svargo@idoc.net.

What IDOC Can Do For Your Business






  • The Answer is Yes! Communication Skills that Boost Patient Acceptance
  • From Podium to Patient Care: What Public Speaking Taught Me About Transforming Patient Outcomes Through Effective Communication
  • Eye on Leadership: How to Communicate with Staff, Get Their Buy-in, and Hold Them Accountable
  • The Science of Selling: The Psychology Behind Why People Buy
  • Leading Change: Set Goals and Bonuses that Enable Change and Drive Results
  • The A to Zs of Employing Associate ODs
  • Serenity Now! Strategies to Reduce Stress and Burnout in the Workplace
  • The Breakup: Successfully Parting Ways with Vision Plans
  • Interviewing Job Candidates: Techniques and Tips for Effective Hiring


  • Eye on Leadership: Framework for Leading Your Team and Maximizing Your Practice Potential
  • Prescribing Change: Make Connections, Influence Decisions, and Motivate Change in Patients