Well a lot has happened since I last wrote a blog about a month ago. Second year wrapped up quickly with a lot going on in April. We saw our last patients and second years and also had a final practical we had to pass. The practical involved performing an entire exam on a classmate, from start to finish, in an hour and 45 minutes or less. I know that sounds like a really long time (and it is – we’re admittedly still a bit slow) but at the same time since we’re in school we perform a number of tests a normal optometrist in practice may not always do so our exams are expected to take longer.
It’s certainly a bit nerve-wracking going into the practical but we have been practicing these skills for the better part of 9 months and our classmates are pretty straightforward patients so nothing unexpected will really come up. That is of course, if you’re instruments are working properly. In my case, the phoropter (the big thing we put in front of your eyes with all those lenses) in my room was misbehaving. There is a dial on the phoropter that indicates to the doctor what lens is in front of the patients eye. Usually that dial if fixed so it directly corresponds with the lens but unfortunately in my case, that dial has become loose and so it no longer directly matched the lenses in place. As such, during one of the my tests I was getting weird and unexpected results which did nothing to calm the nerves. But all in all, after going back and forth and doing some problem solving I figured out the wrong lens had been in place during the test. So after correcting that and getting results that made more sense, the rest of the practical went well and I’m happily moving on to third year.
Besides practicals and finals, we wrapped up the semester with a lab where we practiced removing foreign bodies from representative cow eyes. Call me weird, but that was a really interesting lab and a lot of fun. Certainly removing a foreign body from an actual patient will be a slightly different experience but it was really helpful to get hands on with the tools and techniques we will need to use when that patient sits in our chair. And foreign bodies in the eye are probably more common that you think. Thankfully, most foreign bodies are minor and easily removed and heal very well with proper treatment and management.
Outside of school though, we were able to get a short break between the end of second year last week and the start of third year this week. I tried to take advantage of one of our last major breaks from school and traveled with my parents up to Toronto, taking in a couple baseball games (to be expected) and did some sightseeing. We visited a few museums (who knew there was a museum dedicated to shoes in Toronto?), a couple neighborhoods, and a local market in town. I definitely recommend the St. Lawrence Market if you’re ever in Toronto. Lots of great food and desert options. Also it was really large and a cool venue so check that out. And in a classic “when in Canada” moment, we course went to the Hockey Hall of Fame. I can’t say I’m a huge hockey follower but even so it was really interesting to see the history and how the sport has developed even in the last few decades. Plus the Stanley Cup is really cool.
All in all it was really great to get away for a few days, not think a lot about school things, and recharge the batteries. I have the feeling this summer will be interesting but also a lot of work and a bit of a drag since none of us are quite use to taking classes year round. It will be an adjustment but I’m sure we’ll adjust just fine.