Optometry Christmas!

Who knew Christmas came in March in Optometry school? Well it certainly does in first year.

About a week and a half ago we all finally got our hands on our own personal equipment we had been hearing about all year and it was a great reward at the end of a tough week. Coincidence or not, equipment pickup day was conveniently on a Friday afternoon right after a week in which we had 3 exams – one Monday, one Wednesday and one Friday. No doubt it was some great motivation for a long, tough week.

The haul of equipment including at left my Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscope (BIO), set of retinoscope and direct ophthalmoscope, prism set and more.
The haul of equipment including at left my Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscope (BIO), set of retinoscope and direct ophthalmoscope, prism set and more.

Getting the equipment has been great though. Regardless of if I really know what to do with my equipment it has started to make all of it start to feel even more real. Next fall we start into learning all of our clinic techniques and I’ll become intimately familiar with all this equipment to the point it will become second nature. But right now the novelty certainly hasn’t worn off just yet. I may or may not get some of my stuff out from time to time just to take a study break and shine bright lights all over the room.

We did get to use our ophthalmoscope and retinoscope in optics lab this week and that was pretty interesting. We’ve talked about the principles behind how ophthalmoscopy and retinoscopy work but to actually see it in action and in real human eyes was pretty cool.

The retinoscope at left and direct ophthalmoscopre at right.
The retinoscope at left and direct ophthalmoscopre at right.

Getting the equipment has been a long time coming and a sign that we’re starting to move a bit into 2nd year. Personally, I’m eager and excited to get into learning the skills we’ll use to apply everything we’ve been learning all year.

A nice feature we could get on our set of lenses was personalized engraving.
A nice feature we could get on our set of lenses was personalized engraving. Note the colors of the lenses though – Blue, Red, and Green.  The lens colors correspond to the 3 types of cones in your retina. And each cone senses a different color – either blue, red, or green. It’s okay, I know I’m an optometry nerd.

It’s also a going to be a bit of a mad dash to the finish. We still have a couple midterms and a practical before classes end in just under 3 weeks now. I made that realization the other day and wondered to myself, “how is that possible?” Finals begin in 3 weeks, following by a weeklong course called Keystone which ties together a lot of what we learned in first year together to solve a case study. Between then and now though, there are numerous end of the year meetings, elections of new positions, and of course, plenty of studying to be done.

Despite all of that I am headed out to Washington DC this weekend for the American Optometric Associations Congressional Advocacy Conference. The conference is an opportunity for students, doctors, and teachers from all around the country to go to DC and advocate to our congressmen and women to support issues related to optometry. It’s been on the calendar now for a long time and I’ve only heard great things about the experience from students who have gone before. It should be really cool to meet students from other schools, doctors from around the country, and the legislators who represent us in congress. Plenty more about the conference and a full recap is for the next blog post in a couple weeks.