A New York optometrist has devised a somewhat unorthodox method for helping patients to relax before their eye exam: get ‘em liquored up. That’s right, happy hour isn’t just for bars anymore, thanks to Dr. Justin Bazan of Park Slope. When the clock strikes 5 p.m., that’s the signal to roll out the hooch, which includes beer and sometimes cocktails.
If recent remarks by Dr. Bazan on the matter are any indication of his personality, he may well have missed his calling to be a bar tender. Fox News quoted him as saying, “Don’t worry. None of the team is drinking! We are not a sterile [hospital],” Bazan wrote in his defense. “We are friendly, helpful and like to have fun! We have beer/wine tastings all the time.
“Heck, if it’s been a rough day and you need something strong, just ask. We got you.”
It’s not surprising to learn that the 34-year-old, ‘good time’ doctor with his shaved head, stubble cheeks and casual attire, attracts a younger, more contemporary crowd. According to Bazan, everyone loves the experience except for one man referred to as Mark T.
While Bazan is probably one of Brooklyn’s more popular eye doctors, some would say that services like this could negatively impact the doctor’s image. Despite all the patients who are grateful for the alcohol, there are many who would view this habit as less than professional.
“Patients are offered tea, snacks and craft brews on arrival. Most finish their libations in the lobby, but Bazan allows unfinished ales in the exam room, too,” reports the New York Post.
Although beer is typically offered, Bazan occasionally serves cocktails as well. One patient asked for something stronger than the brewski that was offered, so Bazan acquiesced by bringing out a bottle of Jack Daniels, left over from an art show and mixing the man a Jack and Coke. Another patient claims he jokingly asked for a greyhound and was surprised when the doctor said “No, I can make that for you”.
Shockingly there are no rules barring an optometrist from serving alcohol to a patient, according to a spokeswoman for the state Office of the Professions. And Bazan says one drink dosen’t affect an eye exam. However, Bazan could get into trouble with the State Liquor Authority. A spokesman for the SLA says, “businesses with a capacity of 20 or more need a liquor license Â— even if they’re not selling drinks”.
Dr. Bazan is undoubtedly, a controversial figure. But he may also be a trend setter. Who knows how many other medical men will decide to follow his example.