Spring Transitions


I have a neurophysiology midterm on Thursday that covers about 700 PowerPoint slides that I am in the middle of studying for, but I just had to give a quick update about this exciting time in optometry school! I have learned that some of the most stressful times in life are also some of the most exciting times in life. April as a second year, is one of those times. We came back from spring break to find our clinic schedules in our mailboxes for the next entire year. It was a surreal experience to look at my clinic schedule knowing that I am about to be a third year. The transition we have made over this past school year is absolutely incredible. I see first years with their cover paddles and near cards nervously heading up to clinic to observe, knowing that was us just one year ago. Now we are the ones giving full exams! It happens so fast.

Anyway, getting our clinic schedule is so exciting and also so daunting. It is hard to think about the entire next year of your life and not feel overwhelmed. Truthfully, that was the closest thing to a crystal ball I have ever had. When I was teaching, my schedule could change any time leading up to a school year or even during the school year. Coming to optometry school, I had no idea what each semester would bring. Now, we are given our schedule for classes for the summer, the dates for all the midterms, the holidays, etc. We have to put in our requested clinic leave days for the summer by the end of the week, so life is changing for us. We no longer get extended breaks and are required to be in clinic year round. We are off classes when the rest of the school is off classes (generally), but we are required to come to clinic over all the academic breaks from now on, which for me is no big deal. For out of state students, I think it is more challenging because it may be hard to go home for the holidays.

While thinking about the next year and trying to plan summer, we also have to stay very focused on the present. We just got assigned our final proficiency times, which means we will be graded on a timed, comprehensive eye exam in just a couple of weeks. We also are staring down our last few midterms and finals are creeping up quickly. We took our last proficiency for our advanced ocular care course last week, which felt like a weight was lifted. Normally we have to do our eight clinical skills per week, practice full exams (as much as possible), plus prepare for advanced ocular care proficiencies. It is nice to have one of those things off the list. For this week, we had our pharmacology midterm Monday, neurophysiology midterm Thursday, our clinical skill is to do eight lens, vitreous, fundoscopy, and binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy exams on our classmates (look at lens and retina), and give our last Opt II exam in clinic.

Today we had class all morning, and then we had lab this afternoon. In lab we learned how to do foreign body removals! We had cow eyes with pieces of metal in them to practice using all of our different tools to remove things. It was actually a neat experience. It is hard to imagine what it will be like to have my first patient with a piece of metal in their eye or something, but I know that day is probably coming soon (unless everyone wears safety glasses 24/7 from now on!).

I better get back to studying! My apologies if this blog is haphazard- I told myself to write fast! Have a nice evening!