SPRING 2020

ESSENTIALS: SPRING 2020

For a select few ICO alumni, optometry is not a final career goal. Rather, their degree acts as a steppingstone. R. Mark Hatfield, OD ’79, MD, is one of these people. He never quite practiced optometry, but rather, used his OD as a vital foundation for retina-focused ophthalmology. Dr. Hatfield treasures his time at ICO. He frequently returns to Chicago for Homecoming and fondly remembers colleagues like Neil Hodur, OD ’75, Gary Gunderson, OD ’79, and Randy Andreoli, OD ’79.


“An optometrist looks at the eye much differently than an

ophthalmologist,” asserts Dr. Hatfield. “There are distinct training differences in understanding the psychophysical needs of vision.” He credits ICO for giving him “an edge” - the maturity, professionalism, and experience required for his career. The practice he founded, Retina Consultants PLLC, sees 60-70,000 patients per year in locations across West Virginia.


When not at work, Dr. Hatfield enjoys history (particularly WWII) and traveling with his family to locations like Russia, India, and St. Maarten. He always tries to keep laughter in his life, recognizing the importance of vision and the great responsibility he owes his patients. These are Dr. Hatfield’s Essentials:

MR. FIX-IT

“I love to fix things, anything electrical, plumbing or

mechanical. Part of this hobby is rewiring houses. I recently installed a new breaker box in my employee’s home. My nickname is ‘MacGyver’ in the OR.”

SOMETHING SPARKLY

“A guilty pleasure of mine is buying my daughters something special for Christmas- usually a special piece of jewelry. My dad used to work with my uncle in their jewelry store, until he decided to attend ICO at age 37 in 1964. As a young child, I would walk into the store and see all these beautiful items. It has been a weakness of mine since!”

PEANUT M&M'S

“I do not stop for lunch, so my staff always keeps me supplied. Of course, the peanut variety provides a more balanced diet vs. just plain M&M's!”

THE BEST MEDICINE 

“The best tool in my retinal specialty is humor. So many patients suffer from severe visual loss for which there is no help. They can’t see, they can’t read. To have them smile for us, or share a laugh together, brings me the greatest pleasure.”

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VALUED COLLEAGUES

“I have too many over my career to just list one or two. Dr. Kirk Packo introduced me to the specialty of Retina and taught me to be a surgeon. During my ICO experience, there were Drs. Tennant, Hodur (pictured), and Stelmack, to name a few. In my second career, Drs. Goldberg and Pulido have been both persons of inspiration and friends.”

FAMILY MATTERS

“My mother and father (Dr. Coleman Hatfield was oN faculty at ICO) were obviously critical in any success I have obtained. Working with my sister, Dr. Arabel Hatfield, foR the past 30+ years, has been enjoyable. My wife Monica has given up so much for my success, and the success of our three daughters, Meghan, Mary, and Makenzie, ha been the cornerstone of my adult life.”

ON THE WATER

“I enjoy white water rafting. The New River Gorge Bridge offers some of the best white water rafting in the world. I also love to waterski. My father taught me to ski when I was 6 years old. It’s an especially great time when I am doing it with one of my daughters! We have a home in the mountains at Flat Top Lake. I’ve also skied in Lake Powell, which was a blast.”

GIBBS’S RULES

“My favorite TV show is NCIS. Gibbs is black and white when it comes to right and wrong. He holds himself to a high standard of performance.”

WORDS OF ADVICE

“All of my mentors have taught the same message: Maintain a high-level of integrity and try your best. It’s always better to speak of others and their accomplishments.”

FAREWELL TO A FRIEND

“Being an old romantic, I found the years at ICO were intense, yet enjoyable. The friendships made were lifelong. My saddest memory is the loss of my dear friend, Dick Newth, OD ‘79. He was a model for what a person and optometrist should strive to be.”


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