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Meet Simona Maria Toader of Marketplace Vision in University Village

Today we’d like to introduce you to Simona Maria Toader.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Simona Maria. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Marketplace Vision was opened in 2009 by a doctor who taught part-time at the Illinois College of Optometry. When that doctor transitioned into a full-time administrative role at the college, I purchased the practice from him in 2014. I am currently the only doctor on staff at Marketplace Vision, while my husband helps me in managing the practice.

Has it been a smooth road?
Overall, the entire process of acquiring an established optometry office was straightforward. The contract negotiations went smoothly and the previous doctor was beyond helpful in transitioning the practice and it’s existing patients into my care. The most challenging part of acquiring an established practice has been integrating my passions and unique style of patient care into an existing office culture.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
What makes Marketplace Vision special is my passion for communicating with my patients yearly and building a relationship with them. We see patients from the surrounding neighborhoods and students who attend UIC for their comprehensive eye exams and also for emergency eye visits. We also see many pediatric patients and perform in-office vision therapy services on children who have lazy eye and other visual dysfunctions. I feel that in a time of social media and the many impersonal transactions we choose to have nowadays. including placing online orders, purchasing glasses online and wanting to take the personal face to face interactions out of so many of our daily tasks, the most rewarding part of my job is actually being able to interact with my patients, face to face, in a safe environment where they can share with me their concerns, questions, and even just the life moments they are currently experiencing. My passion is treating the individual patient and their eyes, but when the eyes are the windows to the soul, it’s a little bit difficult not to do both in the process. That is what I love about each and every one of my patient interactions. We are genuine about providing the best quality eye care for all of our patients. We have some of the best technology available to make an eye exam go as smoothly as possible, including the Optomap retinal imaging which takes a picture of the back of the eye in seconds without us having to dilate our patients’ eyes. We are not a big box store. We are a local neighborhood, family owned and operated, private practice that cares about our patients and strives to give our unique patients and their families the best quality care and products that meet their individual needs at every budget. We truly are here to listen to our patients, answer all of their questions, and give them the most pleasant and comprehensive experience they can have because we care about them and understand how stressful a visit to the eye doctor can sometimes be. Plus, we have complimentary coffee and tea, so I’d say that’s enough of a reason to stop in even if it is just to say, ‘Hi!’

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Chicago is definitely saturated with both private and corporate optometric practices. You can’t walk more than a few blocks before seeing another optometry office around the corner. With that said, there are also many eyes to treat in such a densely populated city, With such a wide array of options, deciding which eye care provider to choose can become extremely overwhelming for a patient especially in the age of online reviews and social media. It also puts unnecessary pressure on eye care providers to differentiate themselves and their office, from the rest of the doctors in the area in this highly competitive market. Starting out in a less saturated area takes the stress out of having to compete so intensely for patient acquisition and retention, leaving more time to focus on what’s truly important in this field which is patient care.

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