24. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

This is the third and final semester of the didactic portion of the ASIP program. At this point, I have a suitcase full of notes from knowledge I have attained across the various lecture series. It kind of feels like senior year of high school, where the end is in sight. Generally speaking, I have separated the didactic year from the clinical year. The clinical year will begin in May 2013 and at this stage we will be on par with the traditional 4th year students. Although it has only been 9 months since that sunny day in May when we began this journey…it seems like a long time ago. Having said that, this past semester flew by at record speed…and I am hoping the same for the upcoming semester.

I thought I would share some of my highlights from the previous semester. It was our second semester and it ran from August to December. I particularly enjoyed the Advanced Ocular Disease class. The professor was great at combining various modes of technology to help us integrate our learning. We had traditional in class lectures, but also clicker review sessions of actual clinical cases as well as a blended module online. I have come to appreciate that the layering concept really works. In other words, seeing similar concepts through different medians both in/out of the classroom and having them repeated in different courses helps students to integrate/retain/apply that knowledge.

Interestingly enough last semester, I encountered many of the ocular/systemic diseases in my clinic with patients and/or family around the same time as we were learning about the particular disease in class. This reminds me of the idea that we will be faced with these clinical scenarios on a daily basis. It is a sort of heightened awareness of what is medically going on around us. It is nice to know the knowledge we gather can be applied for our own benefit when reviewing medical records of family members or our own personal medical records for that matter. The idea is to come out as not just competent clinicians, but also as educated patients ourselves. This is an important concept as we enter the diverse family of medical professionals. There is a sense of professional courtesy and respect that we can share with our colleagues in affiliated specialties. Knowing and sharing our knowledge with other medical professionals further reinforces our professional standing as doctors of optometry.

As I eluded to earlier, paying attention in class and applying those concepts to your everyday life is rewarding in and of itself. For example, I am one of millions who suffers with dry eye. Last semester, dry eye was discussed in the following classes: Advanced Ocular Disease I, Principles and Practice of Optometry and Special Topics I. I was able to diagnose the cause of my dry eye and am in the process of self-treating it. Dry eye has various etiologies and treatments, so it was good to learn about the latest and greatest in the field.

This semester also looks promising as far as integrating knowledge. These are a few of the courses: Special Topics II, Advanced Ocular Disease II, Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics, Binocular Anomalies, Environmental Optometry and Contact Lenses. No doubt it will be challenging, but there are a lot of exciting concepts to be learned and reinforced in these subjects. Here’s looking forward to our third and final didactic semester!