VA Clinic

Hello! This week is the American Academy of Optometry meeting in Orlando, FL, so our clinic is essentially a ghost town. The residents and most of the doctors are at the conference, so today it was just my classmate and I seeing a super packed schedule including over-booked emergency patients. While days like today are a bit intimidating, I find them to be an exciting challenge because it is a chance to see how prepared you are for real practice. I typically see about seven patients at the Cincinnati VA Eye Clinic, but today I saw twelve! Many of my classmates see this many patients, I am sure, but for us this was a chance to try out a more realistic doctor schedule. Most optometrists see fifteen or more patients per day, so I still did not see a true doctor-level schedule, but it feels good to know I can manage the load. In reality, I could see more patients, but the preceptor also does an exam on the patient. I also had the opportunity to see a lot of variety today including proliferative diabetic retinopathy, non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, mild to mature cataracts, severe epithelial basement membrane dystrophy, ocular hypertension, various levels of glaucoma from suspect to end stage with palliative care only and an eye pressure of 46 mmHg (normal is under 22mmHg), posterior vitreous detachment, lots of dry eye, and lots of allergic conjunctivitis. I am actually really excited to have this increased patient load all week to have the opportunity to see more and learn more.

Last week I went to the Ohio Optometric Association’s annual East West Eye conference in Cleveland. I always enjoy this conference. I have been to this conference before, and I remember walking around not knowing anyone there, and this time I felt every time I turned around I saw someone I knew! It is exciting to know that I will see classmates and professors at annual conferences for many years to come. I was so excited to see people from the class that graduated this past spring! I also enjoyed going to the lectures. As I have said before, lectures are much more meaningful now that I am out in clinic. I also remember when I went to this conference in the past I would just pick random classes to go to based on hypothetical interests, and now I chose classes in areas I know I could use in my current clinic or areas of interest for my future practice.

While I had a busy day, there is no time to waste. We all take our NBEO part 2 exam the first week of December, so it is time to start studying again. Many of us started October 1, but there is no real rule about it. I prefer to start studying early to prevent panic as the exam gets closer and allows for wiggle room in case a life event pops up. My goal is to be completely done with boards in 2019. I took part 3 in August, part 1 in March, and just one more to go.

My VA preceptor requires us to write a bi-weekly paper on a topic of our choice, so my long day is going to end with writing my paper, which also is useful for part 2 studying. Tomorrow morning we start at 7:15 with an ophthalmology grand rounds lecture at the University of Cincinnati Hospital, then another busy clinic day! After tomorrow, my classmate is leaving for the conference, so it will just be me and my preceptor!

Have a wonderful week! Thanks for reading about the mundane details of my life! 🙂