Alumni Focus on Bill Lay (OD’92)
DR. LAY'S STORY
Which institution did you attend for your undergraduate degree? What was your major?
University of Dayton, Pre-Med
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?
I was scared to death of Dr. Arol Augsburger and wanted to always try to impress him, which I never did. Dr. John Schoessler is (and was) a spiritual/intellectual giant when I was at school and has been a great friend since.
DR. LAY'S CAREER IN OPTOMETRY
Name of your employer(s) and title, including location.
Professional VisionCare, LLC. We have four locations, Johnstown, Lewis Center, and two in Westerville. I am so glad to be in private practice with my wonderful partners.
Give us a glimpse of your typical day as an optometrist.
My day is totally different than I ever imagined; it is never the same. Lots of glaucoma care, gonio’s, macula care, dry eye care, regular exams, so much fun. Totally blessed.
Which optometric issues concern you the most?
Big business trying to horn in on our practices, and insurance trying to take more of our patient care.
Why did you choose a career in optometry?
I was a farm kid with amblyopia who wanted to use microscopes a lot.
Where do you hope to see your optometric career in five years?
I would love it if my practice were to continue improving, changing with innovations, and I was doing the same things as I am now in five years. I love it!
What is one piece of advice you can give OPT-IV students as they prepare to graduate and begin their optometric careers?
Strap in and get prepared; you never stop learning. It’s a fantastic career!!
DR. LAY'S OHIO STATE EXPERIENCE
What were your most memorable moments at Ohio State?
The EYE fraternity parties, and the Club parties headed up by the memorable and missed Chris O’Brien. All the friendships made and continued (especially the Campfire Fellas). The most memorable moment was literally running into the most beautiful woman in the world at an AOSA conference in Boston, who I have been thrilled to be married to for the last 30 years. Thank you God for my wife Amy!!
What do Ohio State and the College of Optometry mean to you and your family?
The University means so much to our family, and we support the College in its continued efforts to be the best in the country. I have a son who is a second-generation Buckeye now working on his PhD at THE. It also is important to me to support the James Clinic by fundraising through Pelotonia, and I enjoy staying connected to fellow Buckeyes by tailgating at every football game and taking road trips to a couple of away games.
How do you stay connected with the College of Optometry?
Volunteering with the OOA keeps me connected, through the board of directors chairs previously as well as helping with East West and the OOF golf outing.
What has the COVID-19 experience taught you about patient care?
How to clean a lens that has been steamed up by breath from the masks of patients … COVID stinks.
DR. LAY'S FUN FACTS
What are your current hobbies, volunteer work and interests?
I am obsessed with Jesus, road cycling, Pelotonia, the Buckeyes, tailgating, golfing (especially the trips with my OD friends) and playing the bass at my church.
Fun fact about you
Woody Hayes once watched me play football … Now former Buckeye and all-pro tackle Jim Lachey happened to be playing on the other team, right across from me … ouch!
If not an optometrist, I would be …
A strawberry farmer or mowing grass at a golf course.