Erik Mothersbaugh, OD ‘12, calls himself a “home-grown product of ICO.” Raised in the Chicago suburbs, chose optometry when many of his friends were headed for careers in business or finance. The Illinois College of Optometry was his first choice- and not just because it was close to home! “I think there’s a culture about ICO and Chicago that just can’t be easily replicated,” he says.
When it comes to being made at ICO, Dr. Mothersbaugh is most grateful for the clinical experience. At the Illinois Eye Institute, he saw complex cases much earlier than his peers from other schools. He takes pride in troubleshooting patients’ needs, and knows his work is changing lives for the better.
Dr. Mothersbaugh chose an academic path after graduation. He returned to ICO to “provide for the students what [he] was fortunate to receive.” As an educator, he strives to teach human interaction alongside eye care. He gives his students independence and autonomy. “I want it to be their patient that I’m assisting with,” he explains.
Outside of ICO, Dr. Mothersbaugh is a husband, son, and friend. He enjoys exploring the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, and the life balance earned by going to ICO. “Success, to me, is much more about happiness and quality of life,” he says, “feeling like what I’m doing makes a difference, and feeling like I’ve got my priorities straight.”