I wanted to give a quick update on what it looks like to be an opt II (second year optometry student). It seems like summer didn’t even happen now that we are knee-deep in the semester already. Coming back this year has been a totally different experience than last. I came back with very little nerves because I have done this before, but yet, I am a little apprehensive because I have done this before. I tried to pack in as much as possible this summer while also working for an optometrist four days a week because I knew that school meant going into “hibernation.” Last year I had very little spare time (probably due to my commute). At times, first year feels like you are the person that gets knocked over by a wave at the beach and can’t seem to stand back up, but in the end you are still at the beach, so it is all okay. Even when things were crazy last year, I always knew I was working toward a goal, and eventually would be able to help people with all the knowledge I was acquiring.
I came into this year with some preconceived ideas, but I truly did not think it would be this different from last year. This year is a whole different ball game. Rather than constant class and constant studying, I spend half my days practicing and learning clinic techniques and the other half in class (usually). It is a whole new game of trying to balance practicing clinic skills and studying. Today is a pretty good example of what a typical day looks like.
First, I studied for about an hour before ophthalmic optics lab. In lab, we learned how to remove and insert lenses into the various types of frames (plastic, metal, and semi-rimless). I love ophthalmic optics lab because the instructor is fantastic! I worked in a private practice this summer and did a lot of spectacle repairs and whatnot, but I learn a lot from him still. He also respects the fact that some people have been opticians and doesn’t force them to do things they know how to do. Today we spent most of the lab time practicing putting a lens in a semi-rimless frame with a new cord. At the end of the semester we will take a practical where we have timed stations and have to demonstrate these skills. I know some day it will seem silly, but for today, it was a bit intimidating to know I have to be able to completely redo a semi-rimless in six minutes. I did it in seven in class, so I know I will get it soon.
After lab, I studied/ talked with my friend I usually study with. We had lunch together, and then we went to pre-clinic (practice clinic) to practice slit lamp. So far we have learned how to look at the various layers of the cornea, anterior chamber (space between cornea and lens), and all of the front structures of the eye (lids, lashes, conjunctiva, etc.). After practicing for about an hour, we had four hours of lecture. We had two hours of anterior segment ocular disease, where we learned about dry eye. Then we had ophthalmic optics, where we did some practice problems. Last, we had pharmacology, and we learned about loop diuretics. After lecture, I practiced for about 30 minutes with another friend.
At 6:00 nearly the whole college went to the first Ocular Disease Club meeting, which is a new club this year. Dr. Brian Mathie was the guest who spoke about 10 of his most interesting cases of ocular disease from his practice. Dr. Mathie’s practice is one of the extern sites for fourth year students in Canton, Ohio. He was a wonderful speaker! He shared his tips and tricks for dealing with unusual things like super glued eyes. He was incredibly kind because he bought all of us Graeter’s Ice Cream after the talk. It was one of those talks that made all of us second year students realize just how much we have learned in such a short time.
I currently leave my house about 5:45am to beat traffic and get a good parking spot, so 10:00pm is getting late for me! Have a great rest of the week!