Alumni Focus on Lawrence Wang (OD’00)

DR. WANG'S STORYLawrence Wang


Los Angeles, CA

Which institution did you attend for your undergraduate degree? What was your major?

University of California at Berkeley, Molecular and Cellular Biology

Which degree(s), related to optometry, did you earn at Ohio State?


Who were your mentors at the College of Optometry? Who had a positive effect on your education?

Dr. Michael Earley’s anatomy lectures were especially rigorous yet enjoyable during that time. Dr. Greg Nixon inspired us to be astute clinicians.


Name of your employer and title, including location.

Currently I am CEO of Centennial Family Eyecare, a three-location practice in Las Vegas, Nevada. We have four doctors and around a 23-employee team.

Give us a glimpse of your typical day as an optometrist.

I’m in clinic about four days a week. Recently I’ve been spending more time seeing specialty contact lens patients and working on developing protocols for our dry eye and aesthetic clinic. One day a week is dedicated to administration and working on our practice.

Which optometric issues concern you the most?

Scope of practice remains a top concern for optometry. As our practice expands into ocular aesthetics, certain privileges (such as injectables) remain out of reach for our state. Declining reimbursements from managed care plans remains challenging, particularly for independent offices.

Why did you choose a career in optometry?

I initially chose optometry as a career because I wanted to go into a medical field with a good work-life balance. This profession is conducive for that; you can make it as challenging or as contained as you wish.

Where do you hope to see your optometric career in five years?

Within five years’ time, I’d like to continue to grow our organization. I’d also like to continue our research and development for our dry eye and ocular aesthetic protocols.

What is one piece of advice you can give OPT-IV students as they prepare to graduate and begin their optometric careers?

My advice for graduating OPT-IVs is to reach out to as many ODs in the area you are planning to settle in as you can. Talk to ODs in different practice settings, even if they are not hiring at the moment; take them out for coffee and ask for career advice. You will be surprised how much you’ll learn from these conversations.

What does optometry mean to you?

What’s remarkable about optometry and the eye care encounter is how much time we spend with our patients. As the clinical care encounter becomes increasingly abbreviated, optometry remains unique in the fact that we still spend time talking to our patients; I’ve learned a great deal from talking to my patients in the last 20 years.


What were your most memorable moments at Ohio State?

I really enjoyed my years at Ohio State, especially the camaraderie of our class; I enjoyed being part of the EYE House. I especially enjoyed DJing the parties! Getting involved in the various student organizations will create memories that last a lifetime. Traveling to National AOA/AOSA (Ft. Lauderdale, Washington DC) meetings with my classmates was a blast as well.

What do Ohio State and the College of Optometry mean to you and your family?

As I reach midlife, I’ve come to realize how much attending Ohio State shaped my worldview. Being part of an intimate class size in the setting of a world-class Big Ten university is a special experience.

How do you stay connected with the College of Optometry?

Connecting with optometry friends at national meetings has been one of the best ways of rating in contact with my fellow Buckeyes. We are fortunate in Las Vegas to be home to Vision Expo West and the GCLS meetings every year where I’m often able to connect with old friends.


What are your current hobbies, volunteer work and interests?

During my time at Ohio State, I was a member of the Ballroom Dance Team. I had the pleasure of choreographing the wedding dance (a tango) of Dr. John Price and Dr. Kelli Weisenmeyers, which I’ll never forget!

What is a random, fun fact about you?

My nickname in optometry school was L-Train which was also my DJ moniker.

What’s the best eye pun you’ve ever heard?

Here’s a joke I love to tell to my patients: What did one eyeball say to the other? Something between us smells!

If not an optometrist, I would be …

If I wasn’t an optometrist, I’d be a college professor.