Alumni Focus on Brandon McFadden (OD’14)
DR. MCFADDEN’S STORY
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. Don Mutti, Dr. Cayti McDaniel (OD/MS’08), Dr. Nicky Lai (OD/MS’03), Dr. Dawn Goedde (OD’04), and Dr. Joan Nerderman (OD’86)
DR. MCFADDEN’S CAREER IN OPTOMETRY
Name of your employer(s) and title, including location.
Spokane Eye Clinic, Optometrist, Spokane, Washington
Give us a glimpse of your typical day as an optometrist.
I work in a large interdisciplinary clinic. We are a leading referral clinic for the area with fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in nearly every area of specialization. I work on the primary care team, managing patients for mostly medical referrals. We also have one of the only clinics with same-day and urgent care for ocular cases in our region. I have a number of triage/same-day visits on my schedule each day, so I never know who may find their way to my chair and what conditions they may present.
Which optometric issues concern you the most?
I believe a non-unified voice of the importance of eye care makes care more difficult. Public perception of eye care and our profession is very disjointed. Routine eye care helps save vision and improve lives. We are starting to do better with professional groups to increase public perception.
Why did you choose a career in optometry?
When I was in high school, I received my first pair of glasses and then contact lenses. I did a report for a class on the eye care field and it always stuck with me from that point. I wanted to be able to make a difference for others, like my eye doctor did for me.
What is one piece of advice you can give OPT IV students as they prepare to graduate and begin their optometric careers?
Make sure to work hard to differentiate yourself from other providers where you would like to practice. Residency and fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry have been helpful to increase my knowledge base and show my effort to give the best care to my patients. If you are considering a residency, I would strongly recommend it. I would not be where I am without it. A residency will open many doors, giving you access to opportunities that may not be available otherwise.
DR. MCFADDEN’S OHIO STATE EXPERIENCE
What were your most memorable moments at Ohio State?
Our class in school always worked so hard together. Anyone in our class was willing to help someone study or understand a topic better. The camaraderie and kindness we had in school was unmatched. I still feel that I could see one of my classmates somewhere and pick up right where we left off.
Attending Buckeye games was also always the highlight during the season. I always looked forward to going to the games in the 'Shoe or the Schott.
What do Ohio State and the College of Optometry mean to you and your family?
My education at Ohio State helped me to be comfortable with any case that finds its way to my exam chair. During rotations in school and throughout my time working at the VA, I was able to recognize the quality of my education that I received at Ohio State. Now that I am in a referral center with so many experts in the field, I am able to feel confident in my knowledge and skills to help all the unique cases that come my way.
How do you stay connected with the College of Optometry?
I enjoy reading the alumni magazine, emails, and following posts on social media. I appreciate the effort the program does to keep alumni aware of updates.
What has the COVID-19 experience taught you about patient care?
We have had to find ways to become more accurate and efficient in our care. Helping patients feel comfortable and confident in our treatment, especially during a pandemic, will continue to grow your practice. When they see you are trying to help them stay safe and comfortable, they will then develop more trust in your care. That trust then gives rise to word-of-mouth referrals and return visits.
DR. MCFADDEN’S FUN FACTS
What are your current hobbies, volunteer work, interests?
I enjoy spending time cycling, both mountain and road biking. When the weather is warmer, I enjoy commuting to work on my bike as much as possible. I have been volunteering time with my church and work to mentor youth in our congregation.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
I would be able to teleport, so I could travel wherever I want without dealing with plane travel. I could have a mini vacation anywhere at any time I want. Imagine being able to get to a Buckeye football game without the travel time!
What’s the best eye pun or joke you’ve ever heard?
Did you hear about the optician who was injured in the lens grinder? He made a spectacle out of himself.