Sprint to the end – until summer semester

The semester continues to move quickly as somehow it’s now April. A lot has happened since my last post. We’ve continued to see more patients in clinic, learn new skills, and of course do a little bit of studying here and there.

My classmate Paula performing a technique called scleral depression. It helps us see parts of the retina that may not be normally visible and make sure there are no signs of disease there.

First, we’ve continued to see patients in Opt II clinic this is spring. We’ve now seen 8 patients total and have one more this week. I’ve definitely learned a lot examining my first patients about how to run an entire exam. The first week was a little rough but things have certainly gotten smoother and faster. Pretty sure my first one was around 2 hours and the last couple patients I have had were more like 1:15. I’m starting to feel pretty comfortable doing a basic full exam now but of course there is still room for improvement and implementing new techniques. Also, most of our patients have been pretty straightforward, making things relatively easy. I’m sure the day is coming when it won’t be so cut and dry.

Besides clinic, the semester is quickly wrapping up. We’re a mere 3 weeks away from the start of finals already! I’ve liked this semester a lot more than the fall as the pace of tests has been spaced out better and overall has felt more relaxed. Of course that’s relative as we’ve still spent plenty of time learning more exam techniques and studying for midterms. This past week was one of those tough weeks – we have 2 midterms, a practical, and a quiz.

A long week of studying after Easter wouldn’t be complete without some form of candy to help us through.

But since the week was right after Easter last Sunday, there was plenty of candy all week during our study sessions. While those weeks can be long and draining, the weeks after are usually lighter so we catch a breath and catch up on some notes. With the semester quickly wrapping up, there’s a lot to get done between now and the start of May. A bit thing we have to do before moving into third year is completing and passing and entire¬†eye exam. We have 1:45 to complete it and I’m not too worried about time since my last few patients have been well under that but I know I’ll need to go practice once or twice beforehand just to make sure I don’t forget anything major. I’d hate to get this far into 2nd year to fail the practical and have to repeat the year.

Although it seems like a lot to get done in the next month, it’s exciting too because we’re almost half way through the program. Unfortunately we don’t get our summers off anymore but once the summer begins in early May, we’ll also be in third year clinic seeing ‘real’ patients from the entire community. You never know what is going to walk in off the street and into your chair so I’m sure it will be exciting and challenging at the same time. Either way, I can’t wait.