About Us

Message from the Chair

image_tamaraLike all of you, this past tax season I gathered my receipts, calculated my capital gains, and resigned myself to Ben Franklin’s astute and timeless 1789 observation, “…[I]n this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

At the risk of offending one of our Founding Fathers, to this short list of life’s inevitabilities, I’d suggest we add “Change.” Look around you. Blockbuster to Netflix, empty nest to a boomerang young adult in your basement, Jay to Jimmy on late night TVif you can’t embrace change, you can’t embrace life.

Change is also in the air here at OMIC. What a delight to be stepping into the shoes of my oculoplastic’s colleague and mentor, John Shore, as I assume Chair of the Board for the next two years. Dr. Shore has handed me the reins of a company enjoying unparalleled success in the medical malpractice marketplace. Of all U.S. ophthalmologists who can choose their malpractice carrier, nearly half choose OMIC. How have we become the undisputed leader in ophthalmic risk management and claims adjudication? Teamwork and the deep bench comprised of our San Francisco-based staff of 45 loyal staff captained by President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Padovese; the dedicated and insightful ophthalmologist board and committee members, past and present; collaborative engagement of our sponsor, the American Academy of Ophthalmology; and most importantly the faith, feedback, and trust of you, our insured physician owners.

I became an OMIC insured 16 years ago, when fresh out of fellowship and without getting competitive quotes or considering other companies, I staked my professional liability with OMIC based on no more than brand recognition and the endorsement of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This could have been a potentially poor business decision (I mean, who doesn’t bid out one of the largest expenses for a doctor just starting out in practice?). But it ended up being one of the greatest professional choices I ever made.

While these are exceptional times for our company, I recall the growing pains we had during my first few Board meetings in the early 2000s. It was a tense time for medical liability insurers; many exited what had become an increasingly unprofitable marketplace while others simply became insolvent. Displaced ophthalmologists looking for a safe haven found one with OMIC. We were a smaller company then and absorbing these displaced doctors put considerable pressure on our performance measures. Our seasoned executives, financial advisors, and physician board members made calculated and at times difficult decisions that allowed us not only to grow our insured count but maintain and improve our fiscal health as well. A.M. Best rewarded OMIC’s sound decision-making by upgrading our financial stability rating to “A” (Excellent) in 2007, a rating we have maintained every year since then.

Ophthalmologists who placed their professional liability faith in OMIC are being rewarded for their loyalty. In 2014, OMIC is providing a 25% dividend for all active policyholders. Upon application of this dividend, OMIC will have returned more than $30 million to policyholders over the past five years. While you can always count on OMIC’s prudent corporate governance, there will undoubtedly come a time in this inherently cyclical business when we will again face headwinds. As your new Chair, I promise you that with OMIC, you are in no better hands to weather whatever change or challenge lies ahead. Now, if only OMIC could help decipher the U.S. tax code.

Tamara R. Fountain, MD, Chair of the Board 

Please refer to OMIC's Copyright and Disclaimer regarding the contents on this website

Leave a comment

Six reasons OMIC is the best choice for ophthalmologists in America.

Consistent return of premium.

Publicly-traded insurance companies exist to make profits for shareholders while physician-owned carriers often return profits to their policyholders. Don’t underestimate this benefit; it can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your career. OMIC has one of the most generous dividend programs for ophthalmologists and has returned more than $90 Million to our members through dividends.