When Monica Johnsonbaugh, OD, was still a first or second year student at Indiana University School of Optometry, she attended a session for which Rhonda Robinson, OD, had been invited to speak to students. “She was speaking on behalf of Bausch + Lomb, talking about specialty contact lenses and the role they played in her own practice. I was so inspired by that, thinking that hers was the exact path I wanted to follow in my career,” Dr. Johnsonbaugh says.
After graduation, Dr. Johnsonbaugh worked with an MD group, but she eventually moved to Indianapolis where she began working with Ossip Optometry. She was placed in the office where Dr. Robinson worked. “For more than two-and-a-half years, we worked together. Not only did she give me advice, but I learned so much watching her interact with patients, employees, management and sales representatives and how she handled those conversations,” Dr. Johnsonbaugh says. “It was the whole package that allowed me to gain so much knowledge from her each day.”
In the next stage of Dr. Johnsonbaugh’s career, Dr. Robinson was influential again. Dr. Johnsonbaugh began speaking for Bausch + Lomb, just as her mentor had done, and Dr. Robinson also encouraged her when she first started with a corporate-affiliated practice and then opened her own private practice in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
Little did Dr. Johnsonbaugh realize more than a decade ago how much that one presentation to students would influence her. “Now I speak at optometry schools,” she says, noting that her career has really mirrored Dr. Robinson’s in so many way: “Having that mentorship helped me find what I was passionate about. I’m forever grateful to her for allowing that to transpire. I love everything I’m doing.”