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Alumni Feature


Dr. Belill Scleral Lenses, Myopia Control & Ortho K in Clio, Michigan

Dr. Nicholas Belill

What year did you graduate MCO?

I graduated as co-valedictorian from MCO in 2004.

Where are you originally from and where do you currently practice?

Clio, MI.

Tell us about your path into your current mode of practice?

Upon graduation from MCO in 2004, I took a position with Pearle Vision in Flint. Within nine months, Pearle Vision was purchased by Luxottica and the location I was working at was going to close down. I then decided to open a practice cold in 2006, since I preferred to have more control over my professional future compared to the uncertainty of being employed by a corporation. The location that I chose was my hometown of Clio, since there was a brand new retail space in a high traffic area and a lack of private practice optometry in the near vicinity. The business has been very successful with positive growth ever since. In fact, we plan to hire an associate doctor in 2019.

What is the most rewarding part of your career?

Dr Belill and His staff Scleral Lenses, Myopia Control & Ortho K in Clio, Michigan

Dr Belill and His staff

I enjoy teaching patients and my staff about the visual system in a way that they can best understand it. This includes many analogies that have been developed over the years. Some people will tell me that they finally understand a condition that they have suffered from for many years, and are very grateful that I took the time to explain it. It is also very rewarding to assist patients who are having urgent causes of visual loss or eye pain.

Where do you see the future of optometry heading?

Advancing technologies will continue to change and improve how patient care is delivered. Specialties such as scleral lenses, myopia control and orthokeratology will become more popular. With the aging population, early detection and treatment of eye diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma will become more important than ever.

Dr Belill Family in Clio, Michigan

What are your hobbies and interests outside of optometry?

I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife and four amazing children. I am a fan of local sports teams, plus also like to read presidential biographies and other historical nonfiction. I also like to plan and take family vacations.

What are some fond memories you have of MCO?

My fondest memories of MCO were spending time with my three roommates: Kevin, Kyle, and Michael. We had a lot of laughs and helped each other out whenever needed. Our entire class was full of nice, talented people. The clinical instructors were all dedicated to preparing us to succeed, and some are still a professional resource that I continue to use years later.

If there is one thing you can say to MCO students, what would it be?

It is not only important to learn as much as you can while at MCO, but to also develop lifelong learning skills. Trying to master the art of optometry will be an evolving process that will last for the rest of your career. This is part of what makes being a Doctor of Optometry both challenging and rewarding.


Dr. Belill and his staff
Man with Nature


If there is one thing you can say to our alumni, what would it be?

There are many ways that alumni of MCO can continue to support their alma mater. Whether it be through financial means, or taking the time to mentor current students, giving back can be both a gratifying experience and also one that helps our profession continue to thrive for many years to come.