Hello Summer!

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Jun 122014
 

June Blog

Usually I write my blog posts from my bedroom in my apartment, but this one is coming from a bus bringing me back from Maine.  Even though it is not officially summer, the weather definitely feels like it. I came up to Maine this weekend to take care of some wedding planning, and it ended up being a very relaxing weekend. It was so nice to see trees, grass and flowers, as I often forget about these things while living in the city. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy living in the city, but it is nice to get away every now and then!

Now that it is “summer,” third year has officially begun.  It was so exciting to have second year behind us, but third year is proving to be just as busy, if not more.  I am scheduled for four days of clinic, and when I am not in clinic, I am in class or studying.  I’m enjoying going to clinic so often, but it is definitely a big change from our clinic schedule during this past year.  Currently, I am at New England Eye Institute, which I absolutely love.  It is rather close to my apartment, and with this nice weather, I am able to walk there with no problem.  The Doctors are great, and the patients remind me everyday why I want to be an optometrist; they make this job fun!  There is a lot of high tech equipment at this clinic, and I feel like I am learning how to use a new machine every day I am there.  Even though it is just the beginning of third year, I am already feeling like I am able to put together a lot of the things that I learned in the first two years, and I feel as though my confidence increases more and more each week.  We have about 4 more weeks of the summer term left, and I am really excited to continue to build on my clinical skills and work on putting everything together.

In addition to all of this clinic, we had a big week this past week…fourth year rotation selections were due!  This was one of the most daunting decisions I have had to make because there are so many choices.  To put it in a nutshell, we were responsible for picking 3 different sites and ranking all of the sites within the three categories.  It may sound pretty easy, but it was not.  At first, I told myself I would love to go any place on the list, but as I thought more and more about it, I realized that there were other things to take into consideration such as housing, buying a car, etc.  If I were to stay in Boston, I would not have to look for housing, but I may have to look into buying a car, and I don’t really want to drive in Boston.  Well, at least not yet!  If I were to go outside of Boston, I would definitely need a car, and I would have to figure out what to do about housing, and would have to give up my apartment in the city.  I ultimately decided to pick rotations that sounded interesting and sounded like they would give me an overall well-rounded experience that would prepare me for the “real world.”  I am fairly happy with the sites that I chose, and now that the selection process is over, all I have to do is wait and hope for the best!

May 122014
 

We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Everyone says that second year is the hardest year of optometry school, and I can’t believe that it is coming to an end.  It seems like it was just yesterday when we were returning to school from our summer vacation and getting ready to start a new year.  From clinic to studying and everything in between, second year has proved thus far to keep me on my toes and extremely busy (but I say this in a good way!).  After Spring break in March, it seemed like everything was thrown into high gear and the past couple of weeks flew by.  We had our PPO final (our last one ever), which felt great to put behind us.  Proficiencies were completed and third year summer session clinical sites were assigned.  As I am writing this, I still can’t believe that we only have a few more weeks of school left!

We have been waiting to hear our assignments for summer clinic for awhile, and now that we know, summer feels like it is right around the corner.  I will be at Pine Street Inn for one day a week and at New England Eye for three days a week.  Going from our current load of one afternoon per week of clinic to almost a full week will be interesting, but I am very excited!  We have learned so much this year, and I am eager to finally see it all in action.  I must say that I will miss working at Roslindale, as I was assigned there for my entire second year.  The doctors and staff at Roslindale are great, and it is going to be sad to say goodbye in just a couple of weeks.  I am so grateful to have had such great mentors there, and I can’t wait to use all of the things I learned from them throughout the rest of my career!

In addition to all of this exciting news as the school year comes to an end, this past Friday was NECO’s annual Visionaries day where we celebrate all of the achievements that students have accomplished during the past year.  Guest speakers are invited, and different project competitions are held for the different classes.  As a second year student, there were not any projects this year, but we were still given the opportunity to listen to a wonderful set of guest speakers.  During one of our morning classes, the inventor of the EZ-ID program spoke with us.  The EZ-ID program is an initiative to create license plates that are easier to identify and memorize in the event of an emergency.  Inspired by two child abduction cases, the inventor of this program decided to create a license plate design that incorporates shapes and minimal letters and numbers, so that they can be easily remembered.  The reason that this was brought to NECO’s attention was because they need data regarding the visual science aspect of the project.  And of course, everyone at NECO did not hesitate to help out!  Through the help of faculty and student volunteers, it is NECO’s hope to gather information through small research studies to help provide evidence that these new license plates can really make a difference.  I am extremely excited to be able to help out with this project, and I hope that we can uncover some data that shows great support for this program.

Busy, Busy, Busy

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Apr 092014
 

It feels like it’s been forever since my last post.  The end of February and the month of March have been busy to say the least, but nothing to complain about.  We survived midterms, and surprisingly did not have any significant snowstorms to disturb our tests!  Spring break was a nice time to relax after our exams, but as soon as school started back up, we were in full gear (and I kind of regret not preparing more during break)!  Proficiencies, our last PPO proficiencies, started last week, and you could just feel the stress when you walked into lab.  Everyone in the first week did very well, and the second half of the class is scheduled to go this week.  As a class, we are excited to get these tests behind us, but at the same time we are all excited to show our preceptors all of the things that we have learned in our first two years at NECO.  Right now, while practicing, it kind of seems like we are taking everything for granted, as we just go through the techniques like they are second nature.  A year ago, I didn’t even know what a slit lamp was, never mind how to use it to look into a patient’s eyes!  We have come so far in the last two years, and sometimes it is really hard to believe.  This semester’s proficiency includes using the slit lamp to look at the cornea, gonioscopy to look at the patient’s angle, tonometry to read the pressure within the patient’s eye, and viewing the fundus with both a 90D lens and a BIO.  When we were first introduced to these techniques, no one knew how we would ever be able to master them, but as we are currently practicing in pre-clinic, they are becoming more second nature as we speak.  With that said, we are all still intimidated by BIO, as it is one of those skills that you aquire only with a lot of practice.  When you do get a good view of the patient’s fundus, it is very rewarding, but it requires a lot of practice to get a good view consistently.

Aside from proficiencies, we have a lot of other things going on this Spring.  The week following PPO proficiencies, we have our contact lens proficiencies, and the following week we have our PPO final exam.  Right now, everyone is very stressed, but we are taking it one day at a time, and we know that we will get through it.  We were introduced to the selection process for fourth year rotation sites, and even though that in itself is quite stressful, it has been kind of fun looking up all of the different sites and trying to decide where I might want to go!  There are sites all over the US, and I think I want to use this as an opportunity to travel and see some new places that I have not seen before.  Some of the sites that I am interested in are in very neat parts of the country (and they are located in warm areas, which I will not complain about after this year’s winter).  We are required to do one rotation in Boston at a community health clinic, one at a VA hospital, one specialty rotation and one elective.  We are given the option to choose for the last three categories, and we will be placed in any one of the Boston community health clinics.  I have had a fun time looking at all of the locations in the last three categories and it is almost overwhelming to see how many choices we have.  I am very interested in doing one of my rotations at the Naval Base in Norfolk, VA.  I did a community analysis project on the Navy last year for our vision health care class, and I had such a fun time talking with Navy optometrists and became really interested in what they do.  This past weekend, all of the preceptors from fourth year rotation sites came to NECO for a preceptor conference, and I got to meet with the preceptor from the Naval base.  After hearing about all of the neat things she has done in her career, including traveling around the world, and preparing sailors for deployments and specific career related activities, I was hooked.  The clinic that she currently works at sounds like it will provide a great opportunity to learn more about the optometry field, and I think I will gain a lot if I get the chance to do one of my rotations there! As for the other rotations, I am still trying to decide if I want to travel or if I want to stay local.  There are a lot of sites in Florida which may be nice, and many of them specialize in different areas, which would be an awesome experience for me to be involved in.  Hopefully by the time I post my next blog, I will have a better idea of where I may want to go, and I will write all about it!

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Feb 192014
 

I can’t believe it is already February.  It feels like it was just yesterday that I was getting off the airplane and heading back to my apartment after a refreshing winter break.  We have had our share of storms so far, and it looks like we may be in the path of another large one in just a few days.  I am not used to having snow days, and I am surprised that we have already had two this school year.  When we were predicted to have a large amount of snow a few weeks ago, school closed early and then closed for the next day.  You know you go to a school where everyone is there because they enjoy it, because as soon as we heard we had a snow day, we were all upset.  Most normal students would be jumping for joy, but we all began to freak out about labs being cancelled and lectures that would be missed.  Of course, NECO did a great job at rescheduling things in a timely manner, and everyone was caught up by the middle of the following week!  As much as I enjoy the snow, I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is the last snow day for a while.

When it has not been snowing and we have been in school, we have managed to learn quite a bit in the short amount of time that we have been back.  We have started to learn how to do BIO, which like the slit lamp, is a very tough, yet exciting technique to learn!  For those of you who may not know what BIO is, it is the technique that the optometrist performs while wearing the goofy contraption on their head.  This contraption has a light source attached to it, and lenses that magnify the view of what the optometrist is seeing.  A lens is used, and when placed over the eye with the light shining through the patient’s pupil, it allows the optometrist to see in the back of the eye.  The first few times using the BIO, it was really hard, and we didn’t really know what we were looking at.  Once we started to get the hang of it though, it was really neat.  It provides a great view of the back of the eye and allows us to see if there are any abnormalities, or even to just appreciate the normal structures within the eye.

We also finally found out what summer session we will be in.  This may not sound that exciting, but as second years, we have been waiting to find this out for a while!  We can finally book travel plans for the summer, and I can stop stressing about having school during my wedding!  Finding out about summer also means that it is almost time to put our final year rotation requests in.  I have been looking forward to this for a while, and I am very excited to learn that there is a rotation site near my hometown, which I hope to be able to go to!  There is also a site on a Navy base which I think would be a really interesting and fun experience.  As of now, we can only make a wish list and research each of the sites, but soon enough it will be time to make out final decisions, and I can’t wait!

Jan 192014
 

Another month has passed, and well, another year has also gone by.  2013 was a very exciting year for me, as it was my first official year fully in optometry school.  As I rang in the New Year, I could not stop reflecting on all of the things that happened in 2013, and how excited I am to see what 2014 will bring.  From becoming settled in Boston and learning the ins and outs of the city, to applying all the things I have learned at NECO in an actual clinic situation, I have realized that I have been a busy girl and I have managed to accomplish quite a lot.  Yes, being busy all of the time due to studying and school work was not always the most exciting or relaxing, but when I look back, it has definitely been worth it.

Specifically reflecting on this past semester, the second year class at NECO has learned a lot.  Personally, after completing my first year at NECO, I felt very accomplished and couldn’t imagine the workload ever becoming greater than what I had experienced so far.  I felt pretty busy while studying for my first year classes, but as soon as I took my first step into second year, I was quickly introduced to a workload that greatly exceeded that of first year.  At first, I felt very overwhelmed and wondered how it would be possible to keep up with all the material, homework and clinic assignments.  After the first couple of weeks went by, I was able to find a study schedule that worked for me, and I actually found that my clinic assignment was a nice way to “get away” from all of the studying and didactic work I was faced with from my classes.  My clinic assignment was at New England Eye Roslindale, and it was one of the best experiences I have had so far at NECO.  And to make it better, I get to stay at Roslindale for the spring semester, and I couldn’t be happier!

I am in NECO’s “TEST” program, which is a program for the second year students.  Through the TEST program, students are assigned to the same clinic location for the entire second year, and are encouraged to apply the skills that they learn in lab to their clinic experience to enhance their overall learning experience.  As I traveled to my first day of clinic, I was very nervous.  I knew that I wouldn’t just be thrown into patient care without any guidance, but I still did not know what exactly to expect!  Two other second year students were scheduled with me at Roslindale, and we all worked together to encourage each other and to practice some of the things that we had learned in class and lab before applying these skills to various patients.  My first day was a success.  The doctor I was working with was a great mentor, and I was able to shadow her on the first day to get my bearings and become familiar with the clinic and the flow of how operations were run.  As I left clinic that day, I couldn’t wait for the next week to pass and to go back for my second week!

Throughout the rest of the semester, I learned a lot from my clinic assignment.  I started off completing patient history and entrance tests and then working with the doctor to come up with an appropriate assessment and plan for each individual patient that we saw.  As the semester progressed, I was able to start refracting my patients and determining what glasses prescription would be best.  When I was taught a new skill in lab, the doctors at clinic did not hesitate to encourage me to use those skills with patients and they were always there to teach me and help me learn new tips and tricks to make the overall patient care experience more efficient and effective for my patients.  By my last week at clinic, I was taking patient history, refracting, and completing the slit lamp examination.  It was really neat to see things that I had been learning about in class and to apply what I had learned by making an effective plan for each individual patient.  When you learn about different diseases and conditions in class and just see pictures projected on the screen, it doesn’t come to life or feel like a reality until you actually see it in person.  Through my clinic experience, many of the things I learned about in class became a reality for me, and the treatments and management of these various conditions have now become engrained in my thought process.  This has made me feel more confident in my patient care skills, and has helped me figure out different ways to study some of these conditions and their respective management so that I remember them and fully understand their etiology and effects on each individual patient.

As I continuously reflect on all of the things I have learned this past year, and even just during this past semester, I sometimes can’t believe how much knowledge I have gathered.  I am looking forward to starting this spring semester, even though this winter vacation has been very relaxing and enjoyable.  I have heard from other students that this semester will be busier than any previous semester, but I am ready for the challenge!  Here’s to 2014, and all of the fun and excitement it may bring!

 

Turkey Time!

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Dec 062013
 

It has been a productive month. With proficiencies over and behind us, this month has flown by, and finals are quickly approaching. Before we are able to get too stressed about finals, we were given a much needed break for Thanksgiving! With the 5 day break, many people went back home with their families to celebrate the holiday, and of course, eat lots of turkey and pumpkin pie! I went back to Rochester, NY, and spent the holiday with my family. Luckily, I wasn’t too badly affected by the snowstorm, and my flight was only delayed for about an hour! It was so nice to have a home cooked meal and to enjoy some much needed dessert! I remember last year when I came home, we had just gotten all of our new equipment and everyone insisted on bringing it home with them. Besides the hassle at the airport (and being that person that had to have a bag search because their optometry equipment looked too suspicious), my entire family assumed that I knew how to use all of the equipment, when in all honesty, all I knew how to do was look at the eyes with the o’scope and take a pretty iffy guess to see if the reflections looked similar. If they didn’t look similar, well…I wasn’t too sure what that meant at the time, but I still was able to impress my family (or at least I thought I was quite impressive). This year was a little different, and may have resulted from the overwhelming amount of notes I brought home that allowed no room for anything else in my bag. I would have loved to have brought home my equipment and practice my skills (now that I know how to properly use my retinoscope and o’scope), but I didn’t have any room in my bags! Instead of testing out all of my equipment and playing with all of it, this year was spent studying for pharmacology and PPO. And let me tell you, it is very hard trying to study in a house with a 2 year old and lots of people talking!

Even though not as much studying was done over break, it was a much needed relaxing break from school. On Thanksgiving morning, my sister and I braved the cold weather and participated in the local “Turkey Trot,” which was a 4 mile run, ending in a local park. The day before, a pretty big snow storm had come through, so needless to say, I could not see any grass and it was a bit cold outside! I had told myself that I would make sure to train for this run while in Boston, but of course, it is cold in Boston, too, and I would often find myself deciding it was too cold to run! The morning of the race, it was a whopping 19 degrees out, and there was a nice “refreshing” breeze from Lake Ontario. Nothing like a nice, cool breeze to cool you down! My sister and I met up with some friends and we definitely contemplated whether we wanted to go through with the long run or if we should just take the turn on the race course and run the short course instead. We conquered our fears and decided to run the whole course and it was a nice feeling when we finished! When we crossed the finish line, we turned to each other and said, “Now I can have 2 pieces of pie?!”

For Thanksgiving dinner, I was in charge of making a vegetable tray. Instead of going with a traditional, boring veggie tray, I decided to get creative. I made a veggie tray in the shape of a turkey and, of course, the turkey was wearing glasses (made out of celery)! I couldn’t celebrate an entire Thanksgiving without incorporating my NECO side ! The turkey tray was a hit and everyone loved the glasses (see, wearing glasses is in style again)! I think I will have to make a special veggie tray for Christmas now, maybe one shaped like reindeer (and of course, they will have glasses on too)!

Boston Strong!

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Nov 042013
 

To say the City of Boston has been filled with excitement this week would be an understatement.  With the World Series in our back yard, the cool, crisp weather rolling in, and midterms being over (for us NECO kids), everyone has been in a great mood.  I will admit it, I am not a Red Sox fan, but with the possibility of getting a day off of school if they win, I won’t complain!

As I am sitting here writing this post, I can hear the cheers from Game 6 (I live very close to Fenway Park)!  My roommate and I went outside to check things out, and it is crazy out there!  People are swarming around the stadium, watching the TVs that are just inside the gate.  Police are everywhere and the roads are all starting to get blocked off.  It is just really neat to be right in the middle of all of this.  I may complain that it is hard to get my work done, as I can hear cheers whenever someone has a hit or someone makes a good play, but the more I think about it, I am living a part of history right now.  I was reading the news this morning and this is the first time since 1918 that the Red Sox could win the World Series in Boston (and in 1918, Babe Ruth was on the team).  As much as I do not like the Red Sox, that is still pretty cool.  Tickets were selling for absurd amounts; one was sold for $12,000 for a seat behind home plate!

Aside from all of the sports excitement in the city, it has been a pretty exciting time at NECO.  Midterms finished last week and you can just tell that the level of stress has decreased significantly.  It always seems like midterms week will never end, but once it is over, everyone feels relieved and it is always a nice time to sit back and relax and enjoy the city of Boston.  After midterms ended, a bunch of us went out to lunch at a local restaurant here and just enjoyed each other’s company while not having any exams to worry about.  We were rewarded with a nice long weekend off (Columbus Day just happened to land on that following Monday), so many of us took advantage of this and did some pretty fun things that weekend.  I took a mini vacation to Virginia and visited some family, while my roommate and some other classmates took in some of the New England fall sites and went apple picking!  When I came back to the city, I got to try some of the apples, and I must say that New England has some nice tasting apples, and they make a mean apple pie!

As the excitement of finishing and surviving midterms week began to wear off, the stress levels started to increase again as all of the second year students started practicing for their fall proficiency exams.  As second years, our expectations were increased a lot compared to our first year proficiencies, so everyone feels like the pressure is on.  Proficiencies are a little different this year, as they are spread across a two week time span and some students are doctors the first week, and some are doctors during the second week.  Another twist that was thrown in this year is that we perform the tests on actual patients, not just our fellow classmates.  I personally liked this twist, as it gave me more incentive to really practice and prepare to perform all of the tests we have been learning on someone who does not have a background in optometry.  When we practice on our classmates, sometimes we tend to help each other out, and we almost know what to expect as patients (we know that the 20/20 line should come into focus after so many changes of lenses, but when we are doing these tests in clinic, the patient does not know what to expect).  This is what we will have to know how to do for clinic, so I found it really helpful and very rewarding once proficiency day came along, and things went well!  After all of this practicing, I feel a lot more confident in my clinical skills, and I am excited to go to clinic this week to try everything out!

 

 

This past week has been pretty exciting for OD2016!  On Saturday, we had our white coat ceremony at the Back Bay Events Center.  All of us have been looking forward to this since our first day of school last year.  Even though it wasn’t quite graduation, the white coat ceremony still felt like a big deal (and sort of felt like graduation for us…until we realized we had midterms to study for when we got home).  The ceremony was very nice, and it was a way for us to celebrate how far we have come, both as individuals and as a class.  Dr. Carlson spoke to us about her experiences with us in PPO1 and we were presented our white coats by Dr. Hanley and Dr. Harper.  Closing remarks were given by Dr. Fisch and Dean McGinley, and our first official class photo was taken!  It was really neat to see all of us in our white coats and we all feel really professional now.  After the ceremony, there was brunch and we were able to mingle with family and friends.  As many of us were really stressed going into Saturday morning (worrying about studying and midterms), getting our white coats made all of the stress go away.  For me, I had a wonderful time at the ceremony.  I really enjoyed seeing everyone with their white coats and it was great to see everyone’s families there showing their support.  I was fortunate enough to have my parents and my fiancé come into Boston for the weekend and it was really nice being able to share this special day with them.  As things began to dwindle down (people were becoming full from the amazing food), my family and I left and spent the rest of the day exploring the city.  As stressed as I was about studying for midterms, it was really relaxing to just see the city on such a beautiful day.  I have been so busy with school that I have not been able to see much of the city this semester, so when my parents asked if I wanted to go to Quincy Market, I could not really say no!

As all weekends do, this weekend went by way too quickly.  As Monday rolled around, the usual midterms stress came with it.  School has been staying open late and the library has been filled every night.  I am not one to really use the library to study (I seem to get distracted way too easily), but I can say that my study desk at home has seen a lot of action this week!  Midterms start on Saturday, and as much as we want them to be over, many of us are not ready for them to begin.  As second years now, we are slowly starting to figure out why last year’s second years seemed so stressed out…there is a lot of stuff to know! As interesting and fun as it is, sometimes I wish I had a slow down button so I could have more time to study!

Sep 242013
 

School has officially begun…which means the relaxation and rest that summer brought is now over.  As sad as that may be, it is good to get back into the school routine!  So far, second year has been good.  Getting up every morning at 8AM isn’t all that flattering, but having the privilege of going to clinic once a week makes up for it.  As a second year, I go to a clinical site associated with the school for four hours each Thursday.  I was assigned Roslindale Eye Clinic, which is associated with New England Eye Institute.  There are two other second year students there on Thursdays with me, and we are each assigned to one doctor.  I am working with the pediatric doctor, and so far I am loving it!  From day one, I was able to set up in the room and perform entrance tests and refraction on the patients!  At first I was really nervous.  This would be my first time seeing patients (other than during screenings during first year) and I just didn’t want to make a fool out of myself.  All three doctors at Roslindale were great, and allowed us each to observe a patient exam before throwing us out there on our own.  The first patient was there for a follow up visit.  The entire exam went very smoothly (and her glasses that were prescribed to her at her last exam were helping her eyesight significantly). Seeing this patient calmed my nerves a great deal, so I was more than ready to see the next patient who came in.

When I brought the next patient back to the exam room, I initially froze and my nerves came back.  I started with a simple case history, and once I got through that, I was fine!  I completed entrance tests and got through subjective refraction.  I was really excited when the patient could read the 20/20 line after I had finished my refraction, because it was a sign that I was doing something right!  The doctor came in shortly after that. I had not been paying attention to the time while I was performing the exam and I took a little bit longer than I should have!  I also performed my first dilation. My first thought was “I have only done this once, and it was in lab last year!”  I knew that to boost my confidence, I would just have to do it, so I confirmed with the doctor what drops, and how many, to use, and I brought the patient back to the exam room.  Luckily for me, the patient was probably the best patient for putting eye drops in, not flinching or resisting at all!

After my first day, clinic has gone smoothly ever since!  Each day holds a new and exciting case, and I have learned so much in just the three weeks that I have been working there!  This past week, we started learning about common ocular findings associated with various conditions, and at clinic, I was able to apply what I learned when I saw it on the patient.

In addition to learning about ocular conditions, PPO has proven to be very exciting these past couple of weeks, as we have started to use the slit lamp.  For any optometry student, the slit lamp is like the machine of all machines.  Comprised of just a simple microscope and beam of light, it allows the optometrist to get an up close and personal view of the patient’s eyes, including some of the structures that can’t be observed by just looking at someone.  After seeing videos and pictures taken from a slit lamp, all of us second years were really eager to learn how to use the slit lamp on our own.  During lab, we each had a chance to look at another student’s eyes behind the lamp and take a peak at some of the various structures in the eye.  The first time sitting behind the slit lamp felt like the first time behind the wheel of a car: very overwhelming and somewhat terrifying!  Figuring out how to maneuver all of the parts, and creating a smooth flow that would not jerk the patient’s head and chin around was very difficult.  After a few minutes, my comfort level increased and I was able to see the patient’s eye through the microscope, and it was one of the coolest things I have seen so far!  From looking at the cells of the cornea to the physiological sutures of the lens fibers, I was beyond amazed.  It is so different looking at an actual patient than it is just looking at pictures in books and on the internet, and I was super excited!

For now, I will be practicing my slit lamp skills quite frequently, but I will be enjoying every minute of it.  I am hoping to use the slit lamp at clinic soon, and I can’t wait to use all of the new things I have learned in an actual patient exam!

Aug 192013
 

I enjoyed some rest and relaxation these past few weeks, as I have been getting ready to head back to Boston!  My last day working at the clinic in Florida seemed like it came too fast, but it was a great experience being able to volunteer there this summer.  As I have mentioned in my previous entries, I was given the opportunity to observe a variety of conditions and procedures that I have never seen before.  Aside from seeing all of these new things, I feel as though I gained a lot just from interacting with the patients.  They always told us in class that interacting with the patient is always the most important aspect of being a doctor, and experiencing this, this summer, has really proven to me how true this is.  An eye condition may appear to the doctor one way, but once the patient’s symptoms are factored in and their personal input is considered, the overall “case” quickly becomes unique.  This aspect of being an optometrist is very important to me, and I am really excited to interact with more patients during clinic this school year!

This brings me into what I have been doing these past couple of weeks.  At the end of July, my fiancé received his Naval Flight Officer wings after completing flight school.  I was able to attend the ceremony, which was held in the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL.  I had never been to a ceremony like this before, so I didn’t know what exactly to expect.  It was held in one of the museum’s hangars, which also was home to many aircraft, including one of the Blue Angels.  A speech was given by the Air Boss of the Navy, Vice Admiral David Buss.  He is responsible for overseeing all aviation activity in the Navy, so it was really cool having him at the ceremony.  (I also was excited when he pulled out his speech along with his reading glasses…it made me happy to know that an optometrist had helped him out!)  After my fiancé received his wings, he received orders to be stationed in Virginia Beach, where he will be flying F/A-18 Superhornets.  With this in mind, and the fact that I haven’t started school yet, I was put in charge of helping him move.  We drove from Pensacola to Virginia Beach over a two day stretch and stopped in Charlotte, NC, for the night.  The drive was very beautiful, and I enjoyed every bit of it, as I had never been to any of the areas we passed through.  When we arrived in Virginia Beach, we had the daunting responsibility of finding him a place to live.  He did not want to find a place on the internet while still in Florida, so the day after getting to Virginia Beach, we visited a few apartment complexes in hopes of finding him a home.  The second apartment was a success and made me wish that Boston living was not so expensive!

This past week I have been hanging out in Virginia Beach and enjoying the last couple days of summer.  I am really excited to go back to Boston to start another year of school and I have already begun to receive emails regarding classes and clinic assignments for the upcoming semester!  I will be doing my second year clerkship at the Roslindale clinic, and my first day cannot come soon enough!  I have gone shopping multiple times for clinic attire (which I do not mind doing at all!) and have started re-reading some of my books from last year to refresh my memory on some of the clinical procedures that I may have to perform.  In addition to preparing for clinic, I have been preparing for adjusting back into the Boston lifestyle.  I’ve made a list of events to attend and things to see in the city this year, including going to Fenway.  I will admit it, I am a Yankees fan, and yes, I am going to be moving even closer to Fenway Park this year.  I am really excited for the Yankees to come to town (even if they are a few games behind the Red Sox right now).  I’ve been told I am crazy to wear Yankees apparel around, but I was surprised at how many people I saw wearing Yankees shirts last year in the city (so I have told myself that I will be okay!).  Fenway is still an awesome place (even if it is home to the Red Sox), and I am excited to live there this year and take in all of the awesome sights that Boston has to offer!

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