RANSON – Though he earned a degree in business administration straight out of high school, Dr. Richard C. Rebuck soon settled on a different vision for his future.
A career as a health care professional seemed like the right path for him, explained Rebuck, who practiced as an optometrist in Virginia and elsewhere in West Virginia before opening a practice in Ranson late last year.
“Charles Town has optometrists but there were none at all in Ranson,” said Rebuck, who chose to open up his business, Rebuck & Associates Eye Care, at 805 N. Mildred St.
His office is in a busy shopping plaza near Subway, CVS and the U.S. Post Office.
Before setting up his practice in Jefferson County, the 44-year-old native of Shippensburg, Pa., worked as an optometrist in Harrisonburg, Va., in rural Grant County and at the Martinsburg Mall.
He came to the profession after first studying accounting at Bucknell University, the private liberal arts school founded in 1846.
Rebuck was recruited by the Lewisburg, Pa., school’s track and field coaches. He spent countless hours practicing year-round throughout his time at Bucknell and for many years held the university’s record in the javelin throw.
After completing his degree and working for an accounting firm in his native state, Rebuck found himself unsatisfied. He began to consider health care as a better option for earning his livelihood.
“My older brother was in medical school, studying osteopathy, at the time, and so I started looking at something in a similar field – dentistry, podiatry. I looked at a number of possibilities.”
After spending time alongside professionals in each of the fields he was eyeing, Rebuck fixed his sights on optometry.
He looked at a number of schools before heading to Bloomington, Ind., where he earned his doctorate in optometry at Indiana University. He completed rotations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and in Salt Lake City, Utah, before returning East and taking a series of positions working in both small and large practices.
Now the area chairman for the West Virginia Optometric Association and a member of the American Optometric Association, Rebuck is focused on building a thriving practice of his own in Ranson.
He wants prospective patients to understand the important role played by optometrists, who don’t just fit glasses and prescribe contacts but are health care experts whose myriad roles include examining, diagnosing and treating every sort of vision-related condition.
When he isn’t working or at his church, Rebuck is likely outside. He is diligent about carving out time to enjoy favorite outdoor pursuits such as mountain biking, hunting, fishing and skiing.
He also has a pet project – Blondie, who faithfully follows him around the shop whenever he’s on site.
“For some patients, maybe a child who might be a little nervous about an eye exam, having Blondie around relieves stress and makes the experience relaxing and fun,” Rebuck said. “It’s very rare for anyone to not be happy to see Blondie.”
Rebuck, who is seeing new patients as well as clients who followed him from his practice in Martinsburg, clearly feels happy with his decision to join the healthcare community in Ranson.
“This is a great location for us,” he said. “We’re excited to be here and to see what the future holds.”