The Last Post of Optometry School!

I can’t believe how much has happened since my last post—the most exciting being that I completed my last day of optometry school last Thursday! I guess time got away from me with completing my last two externships and I forgot to update you on the life of a fourth year student! As I mentioned previously, I did my first externship at a combined optometry/ophthalmology practice in Northeast Ohio, not too far from where I grew up. I was able to live at home and commute which was great because I got to save money on rent, spend time with my parents and my dog! The amount of knowledge and experience I gained during my Advanced Practice rotation at the office was immense. I truly enjoyed my time there and learned so much about the intricacies of treating and managing ocular disease while on my rotation. Not only did I learn a considerable amount, I gained excellent optometric role models and mentors to help guide me with my career choices.

While on externship there, I made the decision to apply and interview for an Ocular Disease Residency. I had entered optometry school with the intention of completing a residency but had gotten wrapped up in classes in clinics throughout my first 3 years that I lost sight of really thinking about it. When it came time to make my decision, I discussed and weighed all my options with my mentors at my extern site, my family and many current and past residents for guidance. After applying I knew that I had made the right choice. I very anxiously awaited the Match Day in March. As soon as I found the results and realized I had matched I was so excited! I know that my position as a resident next year is going to help me to gain immeasurable experience with ocular disease and help me reach my future career goals.

My last extern rotation was at the Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Hospital in Salt Lake City! I road-tripped it out West at the beginning of February to spend the last three months of optometry school providing eye care to our nation’s veterans. I really enjoyed my time spent at the VA and in Salt Lake City! It was a little mini adventure as I got to explore all the beautiful landscape and National Parks of Utah!

My last day of optometry school was a surreal feeling. I finished up at the VA and then packed up to road trip back to Ohio and just finished up the trip last night! I still don’t feel like it’s hit me yet that I’m really done. I wonder if this weekend at all of our graduation events it will finally start to sink in! I’m so excited to get back to Columbus to celebrate graduation and starting the next chapter of our lives.  As we’ve been approaching graduation, I’ve been reflecting on my time at Ohio State for optometry school and everything I’ve gone through in the past 4 years. I’ve thought about how much I’ve learned (so much!), the life long friends I’ve made, the connections I’ve developed and how much I’ve grown as an individual. I’m so thankful for my time at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.

I guess this is my last blog post for my time at school. I truly hoped you’ve enjoyed reading my posts and have gained some insights into what it’s like to be an optometry student at Ohio State. One last parting cheer….. OH-EYE-O!

Over in the blink of an eye

One and a half quarters of fourth year are already underway! How did this happen already? I have a feeling this last year is going to be over in the blink of an eye (pun intended). So far it’s been really different from the first three years of optometry school because it’s compromised of solely clinical experience in different settings. My first quarter was entirely at the College of Optometry in the fourth year clinics, Binocular Vision and Pediatrics, Low Vision, Contact Lens and another rotation in the Eyewear Gallery. I really enjoyed being able to provide patient care at the school in different ways than previously in primary care clinic. Now, I’m currently in my Primary Care Externship, which includes a day at an ophthalmology department, a private practice and an outreach clinic in the Columbus area. This rotation gives even more variety and exposure to different modalities of optometric practice and significantly helps to broaden our clinical experience. Plus it keeps me on my toes—we’re at a different location everyday and it’s hard for me to keep track of! Of course, I’ll have it memorized and then we’ll have to move on to the next rotation. I’m looking forward to my next rotation, Advanced Practice, at Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons in Kent, OH. However, I am not looking forward to leaving Columbus :/ I’ll miss the college and campus because it has been my home for the past 7 years. But I will always be Buckeye for life!

Let me lighten up the mood and tell you about something amazing that happened this summer! For the first time, I was able to attend the SVOSH trip to Nicaragua in August! It was one of the greatest experiences of my optometry school and I am very grateful to have been able to go. Our group worked in conjunction with UNAN School of Optometry in Nicaragua and their SVOSH chapter to organize and run clinic at a local elementary school. We were able to collaborate to help hundreds of patients and to set up a more lasting relationship between UNAN and the community. We also had a day at end of the trip to explore! We hiked the volcano Mombacho (in a downpour!) and visited the historic city of Grenada. Here are some photos of the trip to show you

In other optometry news, I’m very excited to be attending Academy for the first time, a national optometric conference that provides continuing education with excellent speakers, posters from optometry students and the chance to network with doctors and students from other schools. This year the meeting is in Chicago and I cannot wait to go! I’ll give you an update of how the conference was afterwards.


There are so many exciting events coming this quarter still; football games, new clinic experiences, taking the third part of my Boards (yikes!) I can’t wait to update you every step of the way. Go Bucks!

Hello from the other side….. Of Part I!

Yes! NBEO Part 1 is over! Okay, well it was a month ago but I had some catching up on classes and other real life things to do… It is so relieving to not have to study for a good 5-6 hours every night for Boards on top of studying for class. However, there’s still that tiny bit of anxiety lingering in the back of my mind while waiting for our scores (cue the Jeopardy music). In the mean time, I’ve also registered for Part II, our second computer exam focused on diagnosis and treatment and Part III, the clinical skills exam that is taken in Charlotte, NC. Making moves!
Also, this week is the Class of 2018’s last finals week EVER! How does it feel? It feels weird, surreal, awesome, bittersweet, exciting and oh yeah, weird! Only 4 more exams of my optometric career left! I can’t believe the coursework-focused portion of school is coming to an end but I am so excited to expand my clinical experience on externs. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ll be at the college here in Columbus full time first. However, half of my class will be leaving for externs in a week. It’s going to be so strange and sad not seeing everyone’s faces everyday. I’ll miss being all together as the Class of 2018. The next time will be graduation– that’s crazy!

Last day of class together!

In my next post, I’ll be a fourth year optometry student (What?! How?!). I’m looking forward to all of the incredibly new, exciting experiences my last year of optometry school will hold. And rest assured, I will be updating everyone about each one! Thanks for reading—until next time ☺


Hi! I figured it was about time to update my blog on the ins and outs of third year. Right now, my thoughts can pretty much be boiled down to one word: Boards. My classmates and I are currently studying for NBEO Exam Part 1, which we will take in March. Of course we’re all in class and have clinic rotations but our main focus is about preparing for the Boards Exam. I am spending so much more time in the library; it feels like going back to first year when my mindset was “study, study, study.” Studying for Boards is different in that there is no new material; all the topics have been covered in previous courses. It surprised me how quickly and easily most material from first year came back to me. I think that’s a testament to our professors and the material they provided us with and how important all my hard work at that time was. Of course I’m nervous about Boards and feel the stress of studying for such a major exam but it doesn’t seem like an impossible feat whatsoever. We’ve got this, Class of 2018!

Of course, I’ve still made some time to fit in spending time with friends because it’s important to have a school-life balance. Just recently it was Pledging week for Epsilon Psi Epsilon, the optometry fraternity that I am a member of along with many of my classmates. It’s always a fun week filled with meeting the first years who have decided to join and welcoming them into the fraternity. It’s such a great way to start the Spring Semester. Also, with a


GoPro ski selfie!

group from EYE, I went on the Ski Trip to Holiday Valley for the first time. I hadn’t been skiing since high school and was so excited to go again and test out if I had lost all my skills. It turned out to be a


Ski Trip Group!

beautiful and snowy weekend in New York spent with good friends! With remotely few wipe-outs (only two!) I was able to get back to skiing with some encouragement and tips from some pros in the group. A couple people came equipped
with GoPro cameras and captured some awesome footage and photos of the whole group as we tore up the mountainsides (Ski pictures photo cred goes to them). I am so glad to have been able to go to an awesome trip with my EYE brothers and sisters this year!

Also, last night was the Lions Club’s annual Night at the Races fundraising event and another first for me in optometry school. Having been unable to go my first two years, I was really looking forward to attending the Derby themed event. The Lions Club officers did a wonderful job of putting on a fun event where we watched horse races and “betted” with fake money on our own horses we were able to name.img_7829 Mine was “Apple of My Eye” and yes, most of them were horse related eye puns! The event raises money for Pilot Dogs, Inc. and as part of this a representative brings along a seeing-eye dog so that we can do what they call “trust walks.” You wear glasses that mimic a severe visual impairment to feel what it’s like to use dog to guide your movements. Here’s a picture of me being led by Sarah! She effortlessly guided my through a maze of chairs even though I was not sure-footed. It was a very meaningful demonstration and I’m glad I had the opportunity to try it at Night at the Races.


The Class of 2018 at the Night at the Races! Photo cred: Anthony’s photo collection


Last thing I wanted to touch on—my extern placements! I mentioned in my last blog that I would update what sites I will be going to for our Disease Rotation (at a VA Hospital) and Advanced Practice site. I didn’t explain much of the structure of the fourth year in the last post but basically, everyone is in Columbus for half of the year on different rotations at the school or the greater Columbus area and then the other half we are on externs. I found out that I will be in Columbus the first half of the year and then am going to my Advanced Practice extern site at Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons in Kent, OH and then the Salt Lake City VA Hospital! I am extremely excited for both of my placements; I have heard very positive things from upperclassmen about both sites. They will be excellent for expanding my clinical care of patients and preparing me for my future as an optometrist.

That’s all I have to add for now, time to go study for Boards! Thanks for reading my update on third year happenings!

Third Year Milestones

Hi everyone! It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted and some major third year milestones have happened since then. Fall semester as a third year is going really well. It’s much different than both first and second year because although we have class, most of our time is focused on clinic. We’re also currently doing Vision Screenings at local elementary schools and it’s been a lot of fun! Working with kids has been a new experience for my class and I because we really haven’t yet before this point. We usually see around 100 students in a morning so it can be a little bit hectic but it’s a small introduction in how to do certain parts of an exam on children before we do our Binocular Vision and Pediatrics rotation in the fourth year.

Speaking of rotations, right now my classmates and I are waiting to find out where our extern rotation assignments will be the next year. It was the hot topic of conversation for quite a few weeks while we we’re trying to rank all of our options. We submitted them recently and now all we can do is wait! We will hopefully find out right before Thanksgiving time. I’m so excited to find out where I’ll be going and anxious to make all my arrangements for the next year. Hearing from current fourth years and recent graduates who’ve went to certain sites, I am certain that all of our sites are going to be excellent places to gain invaluable experience. I’ll keep you updated on my placements soon.

Recently, my classmates and I have registered for our NBEO Boards Part I exam in March. Yikes! I haven’t started studying or anything yet because it is still pretty far in the future. Many people have given me advice to wait until January to begin studying. I’m thinking about getting all my notes organized over Winter break and possibly starting then, but we’ll see! I’ll be sure to let you know what works and what doesn’t when I reach that point.

From an outside of school stand point; third year definitely leaves you with more free time! I’ve had the ability to take more weekend trips and attend events on both the weekends and weekdays. For now, the stress level of school is much lower than it’s been in the past! It’s a nice feeling to have a little bit of a break until boards studying starts. Well, that’s it for my current update– I’ll post again

Summer in Opt School

We were warned– summer semester would be difficult. Having clinic for the first time, a full schedule of classes and fighting the urge to skip out on studying and enjoy the sunshine. It was difficult to find the perfect balance between the three the whole time. The classes we were taking weren’t the hardest combination out of every semester so far; it was just the addition of clinic that threw off my studying schedule. It was hard to find the motivation and energy to study after a morning of classes and afternoon in the clinic. However, you always find a way to do what is needed to succeed and make it through! Now I’m relishing in the week of no classes and just clinic before we have our second Keystone course. I’m not trying to be negative, just realistic—summer was hard! But so many people before us were able to do it and future students will do just the same.


Being in clinic for the first time was so nerve-wracking. I was full of nervous energy, shaking and fumbling. After getting over the anxiousness, I could focus more on the exam portions, piece together the results and work on treatment plans in my head. I quickly learned that it was okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. All the attendings are very understanding because they’ve all been in our position. They know you need to take your time and ask a lot of questions in the beginning and don’t expect perfection. In every situation, they’ve made me feel more comfortable and confident. They truly are there to help you learn so it’s best to take in all the advice and tips that you can. Each attending holds the Opt III interns to a high standard and expects their best but everyone has been very capable of meeting those standards because of all the training and practice we put in second year. As the semester progressed, I could see myself improve in efficiency and decision-making each week. My experience this semester has been so positive and I hope it continues in my rotations throughout the year.


Right now, I’m looking forward to the start of fall semester. I love the beginning of the year because it’s a celebration for the incoming class, full of meeting new people and making new memories. I also can’t wait for the start of football season—Go Bucks! For now, I’m just going to enjoy the rest of my summer with some classic Ohio summer excitement at Cedar Point and an Indians game! Can’t wait to update my blog on the start of the year!

Officially an Opt III

About a week ago I was typing my last blog entry as a second year student in the midst of finals week. It seems like I blinked and magically became a third year student overnight. Okay, not quite– we had a few days off to relax and recharge before jumping right in with classes and clinic on Monday but still, it felt so quick like flipping a switch. The Class of 2018 is officially in Opt III Clinic! It’s been an exciting and nerve-wracking week, to be honest. I know I’m going to like being in clinic so much but I need to get in a couple more days to get acclimated before I start feeling really comfortable. I can’t wait to update you more on my primary vision care, vision therapy and eyewear gallery summer rotations as I become more acclimated!

I thought I’d just fill you in on a few things from the end of second year since I got a little side-tracked by school, oops! Throughout the semester I was able to see a few more of family and friends as part of Opt II clinic. Each exam was a rewarding experience because I got to show them how much I had learned in the past two years, be it clinical skills or knowledge of their ocular anatomy, refractive error, medications, systemic diseases, etc. Sometimes they’d ask even a simple question and the ability to explain it to them in patient terms was really impressive to them, especially family members! Opt II clinic culminated last month with a final proficiency to assess our preparedness to enter clinic this summer as a third year. Even though it was exactly the same sort of exam I had been doing all semester long, I was so nervous for it because of how much was riding on it. After many encouraging phone calls from my parents, a few timed run-throughs and some yoga style deep-breathing, I took the practical and felt relieved, passed and am in clinic!

When talking about clinic and school in general with a friend a few days ago, she told me that she thinks of stress of a indicator of how much you care about what you do. While I tend to put maybe too much pressure on a certain practical or day in clinic, I agree with her. The feeling stems from wanting to learn how to provide the best patient care possible and be the best doctor I can possibly be.

Now for some non-school related items. In April I was able to travel with a group of about 25 students with my school to represent the American Optometric Association in Washington, D.C. at the Congressional Advocacy Conference. In D.C., we lobbied for bills that are currently in Congress regarding our scope of practice and patient safety and care. I was able to lobby for the state of Ohio, meaning that I went with doctors from the Ohio Optometric Association Board of Trustees to meet with lawmakers from our state to discuss our issues and try to get their support. Not only was it awesome to be able to walk around the Capitol building with a purpose but to do so with doctors who take an active role in bettering our profession was pretty inspiring. The conference helped me to realize how important advocacy is to the government regulated side of optometric care. Plus sight-seeing in our nation’s capitol and making memories with friends from school was pretty awesome too 🙂

One last fun event to note! EYE held its annual bowling tournament a few weeks ago which was just as fun as I remembered it to be last year. While I didn’t really help my team out in the scoring section, I was able to pull together a good costume for our theme and we ended up winning the costume contest (which we were actually more concerned about anyways)! Here’s a pic of winning team, SpEYE Kids.IMG_6768

Okay, that’s all of an update for now. I’ll let you know how clinic is going later on!


Optometry School Finals Week 101

Hi guys! I was just taking a little finals study break and it prompted me to make a list of some tips for efficient study during finals week. Getting to the end of finals week can feel like a marathon for your brain but once you figure out what best helps you to get in maximum study time, it gets better each semester. Here are some tips I find helpful during finals:

#1: Stand up once every hour for 5 minutes! It’s been shown that sitting for long periods of time can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes… yikes! During finals week you can be pretty stationary for most of the day so even if I work out I try to take mini standing breaks. I also have found that it makes me less fidgety.

#2: Coffeeeeee. Unfortunately finals week turns me into a needing coffee everyday kind of person even though I’m usually not!

#3: Candy. This tip contradicts my first one. But it’s very important to have some form of candy during finals… Brainfood! 🙂

#4: Take a break when you need a break! If you feel like your brain is turning into a pile of Jell-o it’s okay to take a little break and watch TV, go on a walk, exercise or just hang out and chat with friends. It helps keep you sane and make your actual study time more productive.

#5: Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode. You’re less tempted to keep checking it if it never shows you any alerts. Also, the frequent little interruptions from texts, emails, Snapchats, etc. can be more disruptive to your thought process than you think!

#6: Get Creative with your study spaces. I like to study at the Health Sciences Library just down the street from the college but with our finals week coinciding with the entire university, it can get crowded. Sometimes you have to find new places or study outside for some fresh air.

#7: SLEEP. If you’re good at running on very little sleep, props to you. I always do better on test day if I get a solid night’s sleep in.

#8: Figure out what works best for you and stick with it. Once you’ve got it down, it will make studying for finals a lot less stressful.

Okay, back to work. I hope these tips help you either now or in the future! I’ll update my blog with the exciting things that have been going on Opt II year after this week is over!

First patient, ever!

Hello from the other side…. Of winter break! It’s been a few months since my last blog post and it’s time for an update. First of all, and probably most exciting, my classmates and I have started seeing our first patients in clinic!!! This semester we work together with a clinic partner to see friends and family in what we call “Opt II exams,” which are comprehensive exams entailing all the exams skills we’ve learned so far. Each pair of students then works with an attending to figure out questions we might have along the way or to develop a treatment plan for our patient. My first patient was one of my very good friends from undergrad who willingly sat for me on her morning off from busy grad school. I was so nervous and excited before the exam but it ended up being such a positive experience. My attending, Dr. Pierce, and my clinic partner were so helpful throughout the exam that it made everything go smoothly. It was also really cool to be able to share with my friend everything I had been learning so far and to assess her vision and the health of her eyes! I am so thankful she was able to be my very first patient ever and helped me to have a great start for all my future exams. I’m so excited now to progress even further in my skills and the flow of the exam when I see more friends and family members later in the semester!


My friend= a happy first patient! (Consent form for photo signed and on record)

Besides seeing our first patients, the second year class has been continuing to learn more advanced techniques in lab like gonioscopy, which we just had our first practical of the semester on last week. Gonioscopy is a procedure where you put a lens with mirrors onto the eye like a contact lens (with anesthetizing drops!) to view the angle where the fluid in the front of the eye drains. It’s an important tool especially when doing glaucoma evaluations or to ensure nothing is blocking or damaging the angle. It was a cool but challenging skill to learn. We’re also learning and practicing different techniques that help us visualize the whole retina, or out into the peripheral retina. These techniques are important for managing many diseases and looking for the beginnings of retinal detachments.

In exciting non-academic news, the annual American Optometric Student Association EyeBall was this weekend! It was at the beautiful Columbus Athenaeum downtown. The EyeBall is a celebration of the entire school where awards are given to deserving students, staff, clinical attendings and faculty.


Classic glasses pic

It’s also so awesome night to be able to dress up (for once!) and forget about studying to enjoy the night with friends. It’s one of my favorite events of the year and I’m so happy I was able to go again! This is turning out to be quite a busy semester but I’m going to try to keep my blog updated on the in’s and out’s of second year as much as I can. Thanks for reading!


Ellen, Dee, Me, Taylor and Jenna at the EyeBall!




It’s already November?!

Wow! I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post. It seems like it was just the beginning of the semester and now it’s nearly time for finals. The months have rushed by in a flurry of studying and practicing clinical skills. Since the last time I’ve written, my classmates and I have learned many of the skills needed to perform a comprehensive eye exam. When I look back on everything we’ve learned, I feel so accomplished! Just this week, we completed our Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscope (BIO), and fundoscopy practical. If you’re not familiar, these are the skills necessary to perform a retinaIMG_5902l exam to assess the health of the back of the eye. Seeing the retina through a lens and not an
image on the computer for the first time was such an awe-inspiring moment. And it’s actually still really cool (even after getting tested on it)! If you want to get kind of an idea of the view I see using my lens, check out my retina selfie! –>

Last week, for Epsilon Psi Epsilon, EYE, we had our fall party. The theme this year was “Diplopia in the Dark.” There were a lot of cool neon clothes that glowed in the black lights and some interesting glow-in-the-dark contact lenses….. (aka Fluorescein!)

This week, our class also participated in a group project contest in ophthalmic optics lab. We got to make our own ophthalmic lenses! The goals for the project were to get as close to the prescription and to present your groups finished product in the most creative way. I liked being able to hands on see the process of cutting lenses in a smaller, in-office scale, especially after visiting an enormous lab (VSPOne) earlier in the semester. VSPOne was an impressive facility. After working in a practice that regularly sent jobs to that lab, it was cool to see where they had been coming from and the process the went through before reaching the patient. Anyways, here’s a picture of my group and I with our project! Our theme was “Fry High” and we made the lens tray into a school locker!


Me, Heather, Nick, Amber, Dee, and Noor: Team Fry High!


Our finished lenses!

For now, I’m just hanging in there until finals! They’ll be here sooner than I know it, so it’s time to get in the mindset. Until then, I’m really looking forward to the BuckEYES super important game against Michigan State this weekend and spending Thanksgiving Break with my family and friends that I haven’t seen in a while. As the holiday approaches, it prompts me to think, “What am I thankful for?” I’m so thankful for all the loving people in my life, wonderful classmates, good health and the opportunity to study optometry at such an amazing school. Thanks again for reading!