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The ever-changing landscape of healthcare

The ever-changing landscape of healthcare
By Richard Carlin, MD

With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, there seems to be great fears as well as unknowns on how it will affect medicine. Having had eye problems for much of my life, I was particularly concerned on how it will affect my Ophthalmologist. Having grown up and lived in Gwinnett County, I have witnessed tremendous change in the medical community over the past 40 years. Many physicians and medical practices have come and gone, but there is one who I have visited from childhood and now bring my own children – CarlinVision. 

Richard Carlin, MD


CarlinVision, founded in 1977 by Dr. Richard Carlin, is the largest and most experienced eye care practice in Gwinnett County. It truly has been a constant in an ever changing community. I sat down with Dr. David Carlin, Richard’s son, who joined his father in practice 10 years ago to discuss the future of eye care in the era of Obamacare. Below is a transcript of our discussion.

Melinda: Dr. Carlin, where did the name CarlinVision come from?

Dr. David Carlin: The name CarlinVision is not just a combination of our name and our medical specialty, it actually has a deeper meaning. The name signifies our belief of what eye care should be and how it is provided. Our “vision” is that the care we offer should be the most sophisticated and advanced, incorporating all the latest techniques and technologies. The office itself should be warm and inviting with amenities to make people feel “at home”. Patients should be treated as individuals and with respect. They should be considered as friends and neighbors and not as “clients“. We believe in the doctor-patient relationship and don’t consider ourselves as just “health care providers” and our patients as numbers. Hence, our mission “advanced eye care with a home-town touch”.

Melinda: There is so much uncertainty and controversy with the future of healthcare in this country. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, “Obamacare”, do you think it will be difficult to maintain the CarlinVision philosophy on how to provide healthcare?

Dr. David Carlin: Melinda, I agree with you completely. There is tremendous change coming for our healthcare system. With our aging population, health insurance requirements and the impending doctor shortage, I foresee an increased demand on the healthcare system. Truthfully, this is just an extension of what we have been seeing in medicine for the past 20 years. Medicine started to change with the rise of HMOs, PPOs, ACOs, etc., intruding dominance of insurance companies into medical decision making and government interference into health care. Physicians were deemed as “health care providers” and reimbursements slashed. As a result many doctors were forced to see more and more patients, staffs were cut, office amenities were trimmed and in short, patients were treated as “numbers” and provided suboptimal care dictated by our government and insurance companies. I believe that it is a great honor and privilege to be a physician, that the doctor-patient relationship is special and unique and that medical care should be provided with only the best interests of the patient at heart. As such, we chose not to succumb to the trend. We enlarge our staff as needed, make our office warm and inviting, provide patients with special amenities and treat people who entrust us with their eye care with kindness and friendliness while providing the most sophisticated medical care available anywhere. As such, the CarlinVision philosophy will continue, and frankly, it is how healthcare should be provided. It allows me to go home at night knowing that we are practicing medicine the right way.

Melinda: Well, it sounds like CarlinVision stays ahead of the ever-changing landscape in healthcare. It is reassuring with all the healthcare changes that CarlinVision will continue to have a “home-town touch”. The community is very lucky to have such caring doctors and staff willing to provide the ultimate in eye care. If you haven’t tried CarlinVision for your eye care, I personally encourage  you to give them a call at 770.979.2020 or visit You will be glad you did!

For more information call 770.979.2020 or visit

Carlin Vision is located at 2377 Lenora Church Rd, Snellville, GA 30078