Alumni Focus on Ryan Corte (OD'12)
DR. CORTE'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. Gil Pierce (OD’89, MS’92, PhD’94). He inspired and motivated me to pursue leadership opportunities that were outside of my comfort zone.
Who had a positive effect on your education?
Do I have to pick just one person? Honestly, I feel like the entire Ohio State College of Optometry faculty did an incredible job educating and molding us to be the best optometrists (and professionals) we could be.
DR. CORTE'S CAREER IN OPTOMETRY
Name of your employer(s) and title, including location.
Northlake Eye, Co-Owner; Charlotte and Concord, North Carolina.
Give us a glimpse of your typical day as an optometrist.
On days that I’m in clinic, I see patients from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and provide primary eye care with a focus on ocular surface disease and specialty contact lenses. On days that I’m not seeing patients, I catch up on administrative tasks and make sure our team has the tools and resources they need to provide our patients with the exemplary eye care they deserve.
Which optometric issues concern you the most?
I’m an optimistic person by nature but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m concerned about how vision care plans continue to dictate the entire eye care experience while cutting reimbursements to eye care providers. Of course, a lot of the challenges taking place in eye care (and healthcare) are out of my direct control, but I do support organized optometry and the legislative efforts taking place to best keep our profession intact.
Why did you choose a career in optometry?
I always knew I wanted to go into healthcare and strongly considered dermatology. After shadowing a dermatologist the summer of my freshman year, I decided it was not the profession for me and decided to explore other career paths. Sophomore year, Dr. Allen Bartholomew (OD’12) invited me to a pre-optometry group meeting where Dr. Mark Colip gave a very inspirational presentation. He focused on how optometrists were able to instantly improve their patient’s lives through the power of sight as well as serve as preventative healthcare providers through the early detection of systemic disease. Of course, this was all while being able to enjoy a good work/life balance with ample family time. The thought of helping others while still having time for a family was music to my ears - I never turned back.
Where do you hope to see your optometric career in five years?
I’d love to continue to see patients and serve my community as I continue to embrace my entrepreneurial spirit through consulting opportunities and business endeavors.
What is one piece of advice you can give OPT IV students as they prepare to graduate and begin their optometric careers?
Never stop learning! As a student, your job is to soak up as much knowledge and experience as possible. However, what escaped me as a student is that those who truly succeed remain committed to lifelong learning. Honestly, there is a ton of opportunity for anyone that is willing to put in the hard work, remain committed to the process of learning, and is not afraid to fail on their pathway to success.
DR. CORTE'S OHIO STATE EXPERIENCE
What were your most memorable moments at Ohio State?
I really enjoyed spending time with my classmates and being involved with extracurricular activities such as AOSA and Epsilon Psi Epsilon. Serving on the AOSA board for three years gave me a truly unique perspective on our profession while the EYE house class skit nights were nothing short of hilarious!
What do Ohio State and the College of Optometry mean to you and your family?
The Ohio State University College of Optometry holds a special place in my heart. This tight-knit community truly cares about its students, faculty, and alumni. Honestly, it shows in every effort they make to provide students world-class optometric education and I’m truly honored to have spent four wonderful years there!
How do you stay connected with the College of Optometry?
Honestly, I could do a better job than I’ve done lately. I love the college’s posts on social media and really enjoy reading the college’s magazine. Also, I hope to attend a homecoming soon, as my wife and kids have never been to Ohio State!
2020 is Optometry’s year! How are you making this year special?
I feel like I already did. My wife and I welcomed into the world our second child, Brody James Corte, on April 23, 2020. The COVID-19 shutdown turned into an unexpected, yet completely embraced, paternity leave. The time I was able to spend with my family upon Brody’s arrival was truly invaluable.
How do you imagine patient care will change in the future, in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis?
The optometry world had to get really creative during the COVID-19. Personally, I feel that re-evaluating how we provided care and the systems we used to do so has been a huge benefit from COVID-19. We’ve streamlined our check-in process, beefed up the educational content on our website, started telemedicine, and have implemented numerous protocols to protect the health of our patients and eye care team. When we return to “normal," most of the changes made will remain in place.
DR. CORTE'S FUN FACTS
Tell us about your first-ever eye exam.
My parents caught me squinting in the second grade and immediately booked me an appointment to see my local optometrist. I was really involved in sports and (surprise, surprise) didn’t want glasses. The experiencing was eye-opening to me (pun intended) as I discovered I was nearsighted and following in the footsteps of my mom.
What are your current hobbies, volunteer work, interests?
Faith and family are two of my top priorities in life. I also enjoy building out my wellness website (IntroWellness.com) and YouTube Channel (Ryan Reflects), hanging out with friends, and working out.
What was the first concert that you attended / most recent?
First - John Mayer
Most recent - It had to have been a country concert but I couldn’t tell you who.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. I think it would be so cool to be able to show up anywhere at any time, especially now that I have two small kids and know how challenging it is to show up to events I’m no longer able to.
What’s the best eye pun you’ve ever heard?
Why did the phone wear glasses? Because it lost all its contacts! Maybe not the best but it was the first that came to mind ...
If not an optometrist, I would be ...
Definitely in sales or business development.