I cannot believe it is spring break, and the semester is nearly over! When I was shadowing optometrists, I remember them all telling me that optometry school will be the hardest thing you will ever do, but it will go by in a snap! They were certainly right. It is so hard to believe that in less than two months we will be opt IIIs and seeing patients regularly!
This semester has definitely been one of my favorites. We have clinic one day a week with a partner, and we see our friends and family as patients. It is such a rewarding experience to tell a family member that their eyes are in perfect health and to watch them breathe a sigh of relief. I also love hearing, “I just love my new glasses!” Optometry is such a wonderful field, and I am so excited to start summer clinic and see patients regularly. While I am excited to start opt III clinic, I am still very much enjoying opt II clinic. I like it because we work very closely with our attending doctor. I have Dr. Ann Morrison, and she is really great about giving immediate feedback, which I appreciate. Seeing patients is so different from practicing on our classmates. All of our classmates know exactly where to look and when. We all have practically memorized each other’s retinas and prescriptions. When you see a normal patient, it can sometimes make you feel that a skill you felt you could practically do in your sleep is suddenly foreign to you. I like having Dr. Morrison in those moments to coach me through ways of modifying the technique to the needs of each patient. I definitely understand why optometry school is four years. I also really enjoy opt II clinic because we are expected to still need help and ask questions. We just had our midterm evaluations, so she filled out a rubric and then provided comments regarding our skill level in clinic. We then went over the rubric together and discussed where I am at with my skills. I appreciate that the culture at OSU encourages asking questions.
We are still in a variety of classes, but we generally spend more time practicing skills than studying. I am still really enjoying my classes this semester. My favorite class is probably our retina class taught by Dr. Fogt. I truly enjoy all of our classes, though. Our diagnosing and prescribing course by Dr. Toole has been tremendously helpful to me in clinic. Much of what we learn in that course has been taught to some degree in a previous course, but bringing it all together in clinical context helps really solidify the concepts and makes it automatic. Our neurophysiology (“neuro”) and perception course taught by Dr. Brown and Dr. Hartwick is absolutely fascinating. Just last week we were learning all about the retinal development of babies and learning the general norms for baby vision. For instance, infants typically do not develop color vision until at least after their first month of life. Generally, all infants have color vision by age three months.
As for my spring break, things have not gone according to plan. I was originally going to go to Jamaica as part of Fellowship of Christian Optometrists. I decided to not go on the trip for a variety of reasons, which was an extremely hard decision to make. In the end, I am extremely grateful to have not gone on the trip because one of my family members was hospitalized with sepsis, and I have been able to provide care and support to my family. As much as I would have loved to have been able to go to Jamaica and experience mission work in optometry, I would not trade my experience this week caring for my family for anything. My husband also took some time off work, so we could spend extra time together. We took a day to go to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton. Dayton is about 1.5 hours from Columbus, and it has a lot to offer. The Air Force museum is free, and it has some planes from the Wright brothers (first planes), World War planes, Cold War Planes, satellites, and the newest planes including multiple presidential planes that you can go inside. My break has not been glamorous, but it has been meaningful and somewhat relaxing. It is strange knowing that this is my last spring break. From this point forward, we get short breaks between semesters (less than a week), and holidays off until graduation.
For those of you unfamiliar with Ohio weather, spring break consisted of weather in the 30s and snow most days. March is often described as coming in like a lion and going out like lamb because we often have snow storms early in March but finish with nice spring weather. Have a nice weekend!