Alumni Focus on Randy McLaughlin (OD'84)



Columbus, OH

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

OD'84, MS'86

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

(Advisor) John Schoessler (BS’65, OD’66, MS’68, PhD’71); Richard Hill OD, PhD; Leo Carney, PhD (former faculty); Joe Barr (OD’77,MS’79); and Gary Andrasko (OD’78, MS’80)


Name of your employer(s) and title, including location.

Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology (Since 1986)
William H. Havener Eye Institute
The Ohio State University Department of Ophthalmology, Wexner Medical Center

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

Since 1986, I have provided clinical optometric care at The Ohio State University Department of Ophthalmology as well as general optometric examinations and contact lens fittings. In 1989, I began serving as the primary visual consultant to Ohio State's Department of Athletics, providing general ocular examinations, contact lens fittings, sports vision screenings, and sports vision analysis. Then in 2000, I began providing clinical care to the State of Ohio inmate population at the Franklin Medical Center. Finally, I, along with Dr. Richard Lembach and Dr. Chantelle Mundy (OD’08), are responsible for the contact lens education provided to our Ohio State Ophthalmology Residents. We also assist in the Residents Contact Lens Clinic. Also, I consult with the residents in medically necessary contact lens fitting in the Residents Clinic. I am also an educator in the Neuroscience Undergraduate Internships in Ophthalmology program where undergraduates majoring in neuroscience spend several half days per week observing my clinical practice in the Department of Ophthalmology. Other than Tom Mauger (OD/MS’81), I was the first optometrist (non-MD) to be promoted to Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology in The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Which optometric issues concern you the most?

Low reimbursement for routine care by commercial vision care providers.

Why did you choose a career in optometry?

Being highly myopic, I was always interested in contact lenses. I wanted to become a doctor and was not interested in surgery, so optometry was perfect.

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

Continue to serve at Ohio State's Department of Ophthalmology.

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

Always practice optometry, don’t try to be anything else. If you do this, you will flourish.


What were your most memorable moments at Ohio State?

Surviving Dr. Richard Hill’s Ocular Physiology class


What are your current hobbies, volunteer work, interests?

Part-time golfer and a big supporter of the Columbus Zoo

What was the first concert that you attended / most recent? 

I was always a big fan of Alice Cooper and the group KISS. Now “Coop” and I are great friends and I take care of several members of KISS and a lot of other hard rockers.

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

I'm a former State High School Tennis Doubles Champ, but I have switched to golf so I can play with my wife (and the feet don’t move as fast as they used to).

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Read people’s thoughts, but could be uncomfortable!

If not an optometrist, I would be ...

A detective - I would be interested in catching bad people.