Alumni Focus on Steve Schnulo (OD’90)
DR. SCHNULO’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?
I had the privilege of assisting Dr. Mike Polasky (BS’68, OD’69) teach the second-year students' clinical skills class after graduating. No one knew their way around the eye exam better. He was great at building the confidence of students and teaching the what and the why of exam tests.
Dr. Mike Earley (OD/MS’88, PhD’92) was my clinic instructor in the binocular/pediatric clinic in my fourth year while completing his PhD. His ability to explain complex concepts to students and patients was very influential to me. I have enjoyed our conversations about optometry and our families though the years. Ohio State is fortunate to have someone of his talent and character.
DR. SCHNULO’S CAREER IN OPTOMETRY
Name of your employer(s) and title, including location.
I have been in private practice with Dr. Jim Albright (OD’76) in Worthington, Ohio since graduating in 1990. I could not have asked for a better partner. Dr. Jay Lytle (OD’14) joined the practice in 2014.
Which optometric issues concern you the most?
I think the debt of new graduates has been concerning for a while. Also, the challenges of keeping contact lenses a prescribed medical device and not a commodity. It seems that some of the laws and regulations are not enforced.
Why did you choose a career in optometry?
For me it was the opportunity to care for people’s vision while owning and managing a business.
Where do you hope to see your optometric career in five years?
I don’t see much change. I still enjoy going to the office. Maybe take a little more time off.
What is one piece of advice you can give OPT-IV students as they prepare to graduate and begin their optometric careers?
Practice the way that makes you happy. If you're happy, success will follow.
DR. SCHNULO’S OHIO STATE EXPERIENCE
What were your most memorable moments at Ohio State?
Probably the laughs. No matter how stressful the days could be, there was always someone finding humor somewhere.
What do Ohio State and the College of Optometry mean to you and your family?
Ohio State represents a source of great pride. It has given my family the opportunity to have wonderful experiences. Two of my children are proud graduates of The Ohio State University.
How do you stay connected with the College of Optometry?
We always have a few optometry or preoptometry students working in the office at any given time. Also, our practice has participated in the extern program for fourth-year students since its inception.
What has the COVID-19 experience taught you about patient care?
Don’t take our career for granted. Everything can change overnight.
DR. SCHNULO’S FUN FACTS
Tell us about your first-ever eye exam.
My first exam was at 11 years old by Dr. Joe Sharick (BS’53) in Champion, Ohio. I still remember the salt pan he used to warm the frame for fitting. And those frames in the seventies were stylish! Also, how clear the world was when I walked out of the office. I think every nearsighted person remembers that moment.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Not sure if it is a superpower, but I would love to be a time traveler.
If not an optometrist, I would be ...
A business owner of some type. I enjoy the challenge of controlling my destiny as much as possible.