R & R Time!


Opt IIs just finished a long stretch of midterm after midterm, so this weekend has been some much needed rest and relaxation. Before the weekend, though, we had a few alumni events we were invited to attend.

Friday afternoon we had a leadership panel with quite a prestigious panel. I will list them below.

Dr. Carol Alexander, OD, FAAO (’87) Director, Professional Communications at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

Dr. Kevin Alexander, OD, PhD, FAAO (’76) Founding president of Marshall B. Ketchum University in Fullerton, California

Dr. Robert Layman, OD (’82) owner of Pinnacle Eye Group in Lambertville, MI and Great Lakes Vision Care in Monroe, MI

Dr. Mary Jo Stiegemeier, OD, FAAO (’83) founder of Western Reserve Vision Care, Inc. in Beachwood and Hudson, OH where she specializes in therapeutic contact lens fitting.

I am listing only their current title or position, but each of these individuals has a laundry list of outstanding accomplishments with varied career experience. It was a really humbling experience to listen to each one of  the panelists share about the ups and downs in their careers, the role of leadership in their success, and very candid explanations of their careers. One of the most meaningful things I took away from the panel was that they were all students just like us. As a second year, you find yourself questioning your ability a lot because nothing comes easy. Nobody can sit down at the slit lamp and just get it all perfect on the first try. It is intimidating to know that in January, we will be seeing our own patients and have to know how to do all of these skills. It was really comforting to hear from some of the most prestigious optometrists how they faced trials, as well. Another lesson I learned from them is to keep an open mind to where life will lead you. Each of them had very unexpected career transitions that led them to more exciting things than they thought possible. It was valuable, and I am grateful they were willing to spend their afternoon speaking with us.

My friends and I at the concert.

Later that evening, students and alumni were invited to Shadowbox Live in downtown Columbus for a 30 year anniversary concert of Bad Habits- The Eyedocs of Rock. They performed at our white coat ceremony in the spring, so it was a real treat to hear them again. It is neat to have memories of my white coat ceremony attached to songs, so I can relive the feeling every time I hear “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. The concert was really fun! It also never gets old watching professors, including Dean Zadnik, dance!

As for the rest of my weekend, I have honestly taken the whole weekend off from studying. I really needed to recharge my batteries to prevent burn out and improve efficiency, so I decided to spend the weekend doing whatever I wanted. I truthfully enjoyed just being home. I took a nap, did some watercolor painting, watched some of my favorite TV shows, exercised, and spent much needed time with my husband. I feel completely refreshed and ready to go! This week we actually only have class Monday and Tuesday because it is fall break. I decided to take this weekend off knowing that fall break will entail studying. We start back next Monday with an Anterior Segment Ocular Disease midterm.

As I said previously, we just finished a stretch of constant midterms. In a stretch of two weeks, I had two small quizzes, one large quiz, one proficiency, and four midterms. To top it off, many of us got sick, I had car troubles, and lost a family member. It was a really challenging two weeks, but it feels good to look back knowing

that I did it! We all survived!

This is me wearing the BIO simulator “hat” and the virtual patient is the black screen. Through the BIO, it looks like a real person. With the “lenses” on the lower corner of the screen, I could look at the virtual patient’s retina.

This year is a whole new experience with learning skills. Our first proficiency was doing slit lamp on the anterior portion of the eye and Goldmann Tonometry (measuring eye pressure). Since then we have learned how to look at the lens, vitreous, and retina! It is so exciting to see the optic nerve for the first time! I have watched through the teaching tube many times, but it is a whole different experience to be the one driving the slit lamp and suddenly there it is in 3D! Super neat!

We also just started working through our virtual simulations. To help us improve our skills and learn pathology, we have to complete modules using a virtual simulator of a patient. We just started the Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopy modules, so I decided to try it out on Friday. While it was a struggle to get the hang of it, once I got it, it kind of became addicting. I was only doing basic ones, so I was looking for shapes on the retina, but it kind of feels like a game. As I move through the modules, I will eventually see real pathology with a patient case.

I hope everyone is having a nice fall! Have a great week!