A Day in the Life of an Opt2

I can’t believe that this semester has gone by so quickly! I have been surprised by how different second year feels than first year—our classes are more eye-specific and clinically focused, we are learning more in-depth clinical skills for the first time, and we spend a lot more time in lab/preclinic practicing with one another. Here’s a taste of what a typical Monday looks like for an Opt2!

6:30 am: Wake up, eat breakfast, and get ready for school. The morning is my favorite part of the day, so I like having a little extra time to check my email and prepare for the day ahead before heading to school.

9am-11am: Optometric examination lab. During this time each week, we learn & practice clinical skills such as refraction (“which is clearer, one or two?”), retinoscopy, and tests to assess our patient’s binocular vision capabilities.

11am-1pm: Primary care techniques lab. In this lab, we are learning how to examine ocular health with skills such as tonometry (checking eye pressure) and fundoscopy (viewing the retina). 

1-2pm: Lunch break 🙂

2-4pm: After lunch, we come back for a few hours of optics class. One of the biggest changes from first year to second year is that we spend less time in lecture each day and more time in the lab. I will typically have traditional lecture for half of the day, and then clinical labs or a rotation in the eyewear gallery for the other half of the day.

Evenings: After going home to make dinner and take a little break, it’s study time. We are expected to spend time practicing our clinical skills outside of lab, so we end up meeting up multiple nights a week to practice together for a couple of hours. It has definitely been an adjustment learning to balance studying with practicing and to get used to having our eyes dilated so often! When we aren’t practicing, there is plenty to study for our classes this semester—optics, pharmacology, anterior segment ocular disease, and optometric exam (where we learn the theories behind all of the tests that optometrists perform on their patients).

10 pm: Finally, it’s time to go home and get some rest to prepare for another busy day tomorrow!