Explore UAB

By Tyra Rocker

Andrew May, OD, and Barrett Martin, OD, of Johnson Optometric Associates (JOA) add a little flair to their clinic and the optometry business by making and sharing parody music videos on YouTube.

May is a 2009 graduate of UABSO, while Martin earned his Doctorate of Optometry in 2013. Although they are both UABSO graduates, the two had never met prior to becoming colleagues at JOA.

“We had never met, but we quickly became great friends and shortly after he started practicing, we began making videos together,” May said.

May has always been interested in music, so this was second nature for him. He grew up playing, writing, and performing music. He found an interest in parody songs in middle school and in his 2nd-4th year of optometry school he began writing parody songs about the things they went through in school. “You Can't Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones became “You Can't Always Ret 20/20” and “Time” by Hootie & the Blowfish became “Gonio”.

“They were wildly popular among our classmates, and I thought it could potentially be something I could do once in practice,” May said.

Martin and May started the collaboration after they both realized they were interested in making the videos. Their first video together was a parody of “Free Fallin'” called "Nearsighted", and it was such a hit that they decided to keep going.

May had the parody of “Ice Ice Baby” that he had written and recorded before Dr. Martin started working at the clinic, so they filmed it and had another great hit (current total views at 53,000+). The partnership was a match made in heaven that has resulted in 36 music videos and over 192,000 views of their YouTube channel.

With this newfound fame comes the responsibility of making the videos and putting it all together. May says that sometimes they can get a video done within 3-4 hours or 2-4 weeks of lunchtimes depending on how difficult it is.

“We cross our fingers that people will like it,” May said.

People not only like them but love them. The videos get a lot of shares and likes on Facebook and YouTube, which increases their brand awareness. May said that some people come to the clinic because of the videos.

The parodies not only help the relationship between them and the patients, but also the other doctors at the clinic. The staff loves joining in on the fun and it also helps the overall environment of the clinic. When work gets busy and stressful, patients will still see a fun eye clinic.

“People feel more at ease, knowing that we have personality and humor, despite us being very professional and taking our practice very seriously,”

When asked if he thought this technique would be good for other practices, May said that if it is done right, making custom videos would be a great tool for other practices.

In a world where technology has become second nature, these doctors use that to set themselves apart and get their patients excited about optometry.