Hindsight is 20/20.  As an Ophthalmologist, I truly do believe that.  It was over one year ago that I began an amazing journey that started with a vision and philosophy for an innovative, modern and patient-centered medical practice and spa that is now Lake Nona Ophthalmology.  In my mind’s eye, I knew exactly what I wanted; unfortunately translating every detail in my head onto paper was very difficult.

Vision into a Reality

Dr. Chirag J. Patel during construction of his Lake Nona office.

The vision of Lake Nona Ophthalmology was of perfect form and function, a space able to blend medical and surgical eye care and facial aesthetic services seamlessly. The process of turning any vision into a true reality is a daunting task with little room for error.  Fortunately for me, I was blessed to work with an amazing team along the way that knew exactly how to conceptualize my ideas into a physical design and structure. In hindsight, design and construction was one of the most important elements responsible for making my journey a success.

In late October of last year, I finally secured a beautiful, but empty 1700 square feet space on the second floor of Lake Nona Village.  I was ready to design, build and construct; but, there was one problem – I knew nothing about designing, building, or constructing! As I interviewed firm after firm, I was searching for experts who not only understood my ideas, but weren’t afraid to push the envelope with new ideas of their own. It was surprising how many firms lacked interest in my project, especially considering the current economic landscape. One firm, however, CDG, a turnkey construction/design firm based in Altamonte Springs, consistently spoke honestly, genuinely and in an innovative tone.

Relationships are key in every facet of my life and this situation was no different.  After speaking with the team at CDG over the phone and via email, I felt so comfortable about the firm, that I hired them without even personally meeting them. In hindsight, I took a huge risk for such a project.  I did, however, hit the lottery with CDG.

[blockQuote position=”right”]The vision of Lake Nona Ophthalmology was of perfect form and function, a space able to blend medical and surgical eye care and facial aesthetic services seamlessly. [/blockQuote]With an empty rectangular space of only 1700 square feet, I was all of the sudden very unsure of how I could implement the many needs of my practice, such as multiple exam rooms, a procedure room, a testing room, a consultation room, a medical spa, and a patient waiting room.

I recall many conference calls explaining, with closed eyes, my visions of each area of the office, along with its style, form and function. I still remember receiving the first iteration of the floor plan and the moment etched a sense of reality into my journey. I was excited beyond belief, not only because the plan was different, streamlined and modern; but also because it met each and every one of my needs. The beautiful thing about the design process was that it was a collegial collaboration between CDG and myself. After we reflected on the initial plan and revised a few details, the final plan was perfect in my eyes and a testament to CDG’s teamwork and dedication to my vision.

As the construction process ensued, CDG orchestrated each phase of the build-out perfectly.  It was amazing to visit the office every week and see my vision literally take shape – from framing to plumbing, and electrical to millwork, each team had a true passion for the work it did and it shows in the final product.

Today, as Lake Nona Ophthalmology turns two months old, I can truly say that my vision has become reality in large part due to the teamwork and dedication of our construction and design firm.

By Chirag J. Patel, M.D., Founder, Lake Nona Ophthalmology