NECO and Beyond: How to make the most of your 4 years

Tonight, a panel of fellow residents and I met to answer students’ questions about residencies, which highlighted some areas that students seemed to be concerned with, so I thought I’d take this post to address some of those concerns whether you’re a first year or a fourth year.

To the first years: be open to all possibilities that are available to you throughout these next few years. One of the best aspects of NECO is the opportunity to see a variety of modes of optometry practice. I find myself now most thoroughly fulfilled by a mode of practice that I didn’t even know existed before starting optometry school–the community health center. If you do have a particular area of optometry interests you, get in touch with faculty in that subspecialty to discuss what it is they do; ask to shadow them in clinic one day to get a feel for the practice. Ask questions. Talk to upper-class students and residents. Have you ever met an optometrist or optometry student who didn’t love talking about what they do? Anyone would be happy to discuss their mode of practice or optometric experiences with you.

To the second years: now you’re starting to move into clinic and getting your first taste for how a clinic operates. If the mode of practice you find yourself in at your first clerkship doesn’t seem to fit your interest, stay open minded. If you love it and want to spend the rest of your life only doing that one thing, stay open minded. There is so much yet to come. Start to make connections and get to know your professors as you move into more specialized classes. Ask questions. Get involved. Hold leadership positions. NECO is a small enough community, so don’t let your first two years go by without making personal connections. Or, if they already have, make it your goal this summer while you’re here with a reduced class size to get to know faculty, staff and classmates. Maybe you can take advantage of a lighter course load this summer to shadow in some specialty areas. Find out what it is people do in pediatrics, contact lens, low vision, binocular vision, community health and VA/ocular disease. Remember, it’s at the end of your second year that you choose your 4th year rotations, so the more invested you are throughout your first two years to explore areas that interest you, the better prepared you will be in choosing where you spend the last twelve months of full time clinic.

To the third years: remember, every interaction you make with your preceptors from emails to showing up for clinic the first day (early, of course) is part of your professional development. As your role as a clinician expands, be sure your conduct and expression of concern for your patients is also at the forefront of your care. You still have a lot of learning to do, but even if you don’t know everything optometrically speaking, you know how to be kind. Be engaged in clinic, with your patients, with your preceptors, with your classmates. Be enthusiastic about learning. Read on your own. Take advantage of specialty clinic opportunities, like the SPEC elective. It’s never too late to find a mentor. Make a connection with a professor/preceptor; it will be invaluable to you in all aspects of moving forward in your career to have someone who knows you well and has gone through these same steps to offer advice and listen throughout some potentially stressful decisions you will be making about your future.

To the fourth years: here is your chance to really excel as a clinician. I know you’re thinking you’ve finished 16 hours worth of a Board exam, not to mention three intensive years of post-collegiate studying, that you’re more than likely at least a little burnt out. Take a breather as you get used to the schedule of working full time, but it is vitally important to your career that you take full advantage of the learning potential in your last year. You are no longer in class, you are seeing more cases than ever before. There will be plenty about many of these cases that you don’t know. If you don’t think that’s the case, that’s more reason to do more reading on your own. I found books (like Kanski, pharmacology, anatomy) and journals/magazines like Review of Optometry, Optometry and Vision Science, and journal articles (PubMed should be your friend) to be very helpful during this time to expand upon the knowledge gained in clinic. Your preceptors don’t know everything about everything. If there is a condition you don’t know much about, read it on your own to delve further than the few minute synopsis that was discussed by your preceptor.

Keep in mind also, that these same preceptors are a great resource for writing letters of recommendation whether it be for residency or the jobs you will be applying to afterwards. I don’t mean suck up. I mean, be yourself, and get to know the people you will be spending 40 hours a week with in three month intervals. Work as a team with your classmates. You will all pass the rest of your Board exams and graduate. You will all be ODs very soon. There is nothing to be competitive with them about. Work together, learn together, help each other out, pick each other up. Not every day is easy and you will enjoy this year so much more if you make it a point to enjoy the people you are spending your days with.

One of the things that I loved best about fourth year was starting to see my friends and I develop into very individualized clinicians. Up until that point, the majority of our experiences had been fairly similar, but during that year, everyone had a unique combination of clinics and patient scenarios that defined the early stages of our careers. Be aware of how you are developing and look for new ways to grow and expand your knowledge.

Not to be understated: have fun. Explore the new areas you’ll be living in. Start to live the life of the optometrist you want to be. Keep in touch with your classmates. Define yourself as something other than a student. Take pride in what you do and appreciate the opportunity you have to serve the community you are working in.

For those who are on the brink of graduation, whether you’re heading into residency or otherwise, stay connected to NECO. The faculty you had as resources as a student are still available to you, and they want to remain an active part of your career development. Good luck and here’s to a strong finish to your NECO career!

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Be Where You Are

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It’s becoming that time of year when everyone is asking, what’s next? What will you be doing after residency? Where will you be living? Have you started applying for jobs yet? It can be easy to get caught up in only thinking ahead, to what the future might bring, both in an exciting way and also in a stressful way for its lack of certainty. But in these thoughts of only the future, we run the risk of missing out on the present.

I had been doing just this, getting so wrapped up in where I might be next year (thoughts of Latin America) that I wasn’t being as present as I could be where I am right now (not Latin America). I was envisioning a simpler life, with a strong community centered around the people who I would live near, everyone sitting outside in the evenings watching kids play in the streets, no one staring at some electronic screen. It was there that I could help, make a difference, bring my skills as an optometrist to good use.

I had gotten so accustomed to envisioning this life for myself, that I had to stop to ask, what is it that I am really looking for? Is it just to be somewhere new? Is it a simpler way of life? Is being in a developing country really the only way I can make a difference? What about where I am right now? When I let myself stop and be present where I am, I love it in Boston. This has been my first year of nine living here as a “real person,” not only as a student. It’s allowed me to meet people outside of NECO or my undergrad communities through common interests. It’s been exhausting moving as much as I have in the last 5 years (at least 8 different times) and comforting to finally start to feel like I’m settled somewhere.

The community I’m looking for, when I think about it, in a lot of ways, I already have right here in Boston: not too far from family and close to most of my friends, with plenty of new people to meet every day. The simpler life? Take time to disconnect. Be more present in each interaction. Helping people who have had limited access to eye-care? I do that every day at the health center, and am continually pushed and inspired by those I work with to delve deeper into the bigger issues facing many of our patients who are oftentimes relatively new to the United States.

At the height of these questions racing through my head a couple of weeks ago, my mom pointed out to me, “You love Boston! So, what’s the problem? Just be there.” That was a really important moment for me to re-shift my thought process and realize all of the things I could potentially be missing out on in the near future if I constantly think of my current location as only temporary (as it has been for the past few years just by the nature of the optometry program). Focusing on enjoying where I am, making the most of each interaction and the opportunities I have been grateful enough to receive each day has brought me to a much more peaceful place right here in Boston. Wherever you are, the key to enjoying it is to be where you are.

 

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Be Gentle to Yourself

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On my walk to my car in the morning

In our profession, like most in the healthcare field, we spend much of our time thinking and caring for others. This is what makes us good doctors. We listen. We empathize. We think of others’ best interests first and foremost. I think a lot of us are attracted to the healthcare field because we are, by our very nature, caring people. And so here we find ourselves best able to use our skills both of optometry and compassion for those with whom we interact.

The past month or so has felt significantly different from those before it: not only have the responsibilities significantly increased, but somehow between residency and various other post residency jobs (tutoring, pre-clinic, Lenscrafters) and meetings, I find many of my days being 12+ hours long. I’m not unique in having this schedule, and don’t try to come across as crying out for pity. Many have much more grueling schedules and more demanding time commitments than I do. In fact, there have been times in my not so distant past (re: optometry school) where I’ve had much more on my plate to handle than I do now. I think I had gotten use to having a fair amount of free time or “me time” over the first half of residency, that I’m simply re-adjusting to this change of pace.

I was reading an article recently about physical manifestations of chronic stress, and realized I have been experiencing way too many of them lately:  jaw clenching, irritability, upset stomach. A couple of weeks ago, I had to give a couple of presentations, one to the optometry interns and one to the medical pediatric residents, which forced me to wake up a half hour earlier than usual. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it made taking some quiet time to sit down to eat breakfast rather than eating hovering over the kitchen counter while rushing back and forth around my apartment getting myself ready for the day. I realized I was in such a better mood by the end of a long day because I already had made time for myself, time that I could enjoy, because I wasn’t yet exhausted from a full day’s work. I’ve since tried to continue this trend of giving myself some more time in the mornings just for me: for yoga/stretching, having a cup of coffee, responding to emails. It’s helped me feel like I’m not starting my day completely behind schedule.

One quote I recently read said, “Always be a little kinder than is necessary.” The quote is from James Barrie. The follow-up to that is “Be a whole lot kinder to yourself that you imagined possible.” It made me realize I hadn’t really been very kind to myself of late. Not realizing how much it is that we all do every day, it’s a wonder sometimes we’re as sane as we are. It’s easy to focus on what didn’t get checked off our to-do list today, but instead let’s focus on who we were today, who we listened to, who we helped, that peaceful moment you felt, a smile that made someone else feel better, a smile that made you feel better, and realize these are the things that matter most in life.

Be gentle to yourself today and every day, so we can better be gentle towards others.

Copley Church

Copley Church

fresh pasta

Fresh pasta!

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Home Sweet Home

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2014. Six months into residency and things have really picked up. I really feel like the independence, responsibility and workload have intensified dramatically over the past few weeks, and I’m loving the challenge! My patient schedule has increased to match my attendings’ schedules, which means no more breaks throughout the day aside from lunch, unless there’s a ‘no-show.’ Because of this, it’s encouraging me to make more decisions on my own and only seek consultation with my attendings when I truly need to consult with something, rather than simply from the habit of doing so. I’m becoming more confident in my findings and making decisions regarding treatment and follow-up much easier than previously. I’ve been having a lot more opportunity to work with the interns, which encourages me to think on my feet more, make decisions on the spot and become more comfortable being the one in charge.

The more I work at the health center, the more impressed I am by the services that are provided to its patients. I met today with a nurse-practitioner who works as a case manager working to help the most high-risk patients at the health center to guide them through the many challenges of meeting health care goals outside of the exam room–understanding and maintaining insurance policies, gaining access to food banks or other sources of healthy food options and overall helping the individual name and meet their personal lifestyle goals. We discussed the need for addressing lack of follow-up in a non-judgemental manner, realizing the many complicating life factors that stand in the way of many people even attending an appointment, let alone following through on a plan decided on by someone in a white coat. It really helped to open my eyes to many of the difficulties faced by our patients: homelessness, abuse, lack of adequate food, and illness and it was a good reminder to be sensitive to what goes on for that person outside of my exam room.

One lecture in particular that stuck with me from optometry school was one regarding how to conduct eye exams for patients with mental and/or physical disabilities. What I took away from that lecture as being most important, as well as useful in working with all populations, is to treat your patients as a guest in your home. It is your job as host to make them feel welcome; make them feel comfortable. It is your job to make it an inviting setting where they would want to come back. I try to remember that with all my patients.

It can be easy, especially when not speaking the same primary language as some of my patients, to get caught up with what exam findings you need to record and forget about how scary of a situation it would be to show up to a medical exam unable to communicate directly with the person who was about to bring many objects very close to your eyes and put drops into them that make your vision blurry for the next few hours. It’s something we often take for granted, because in order to make it through optometry school, we become very accustomed to these tests. But for many patients, the procedures we perform routinely can be as foreign as the language itself. This can be counteracted by how we make our patients feel at home in this setting where they may feel very out of place.

Every day, I am reminded what an opportunity we as optometrists have to make connections with so many, to provide for them a welcoming smile, a listening ear and the best vision possible.

Photos from a day at the MFA.

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A Time To Reflect

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The third rotation of fourth year students recently started at our clinic, which reminds me that it was this time one year ago that I moved to Spain to begin that adventure–the people I met, the clinical experiences I had that rounded out my American optometric education, the places I saw; I could be transported back there in an instant in my thoughts. (See previous blogs for details.) With the new rotation of students begins the sixth month of my residency. It’s a good reminder to think back to my own uncertainty beginning any new clinical rotation, each clinic with its various nuances that can easily disrupt the delicate balance of the rhythm to your exam you spent the past three months honing. The thing with doing eye exams, the more you do, the more you are able to develop a routine. When we’re starting out, we need to remember step by step: what case history questions do I ask and in what order? What test do I do next? Did I do everything I needed to before going to check in with my preceptor? There’s enough running through your head as a student, that sometimes it can be easy to forget that there’s a person sitting in this small, dimly lit room with you and some casual conversation also helps things to flow nicely. This becomes easier, of course; the more exams you do, the less you need to think about each step along the way, and you one day catch yourself flowing more quickly and easily through the tests in your exam without having to explicitly think what comes next, so instead, you can use that brain power to interpret what you’re seeing. “Does this finding make sense? What additional tests outside of my ‘routine exam’ do I now need to do based on this finding? What further questions should I ask the patient to see if the clinical signs are causing symptoms for this patient? Is the patient seated comfortably in the exam chair?” It allows us to better treat and better connect with our patients. It’s important to think back to those moments in my own training and to try to respond to the situations that arise with the fourth year students I’m working with in a way that respects the fact that I likely came across the same difficulties at one point or another during my own training. Having received the same education, I know what areas were difficult for me to understand until I was in clinic regularly and I try to elucidate this knowledge. I feel I have to take advantage of being so recently out of school, that my own past areas of confusion are still fresh enough in my mind to rectify them for others.

 

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Boston, Christmas

We had a holiday breakfast at work today to celebrate the collaborative work of all the health center’s workers. It’s so encouraging to be a part of such a large collective working on so many different levels to provide the best care to the most patients in the most efficient manner possible. From the top level bosses, who served lunches to the rest of the 300+ person staff before themselves being allowed a chance to eat, to people smiling and holding the door for each other in the hallways, the spirit of teamwork echoes from all corners of the building. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and at risk of sounding cliche, I’m grateful for the past four years’ worth of experiences at NECO, for the opportunity to pursue more knowledge and work in an ever-challenging academic and clinical environment, and to be a part of a community that strives everyday to better serve the needs of its patients’ overall health and well-being.

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Academy, Residency and Beyond

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Month four of residency feels somehow significantly different from months one through three. I know I’ve said before that each time I start to feel comfortable, residency continues to challenge me, and this past month, that seems to be even more the case. The level of complexity of my cases has increased dramatically. I feel a new level of confidence in taking responsibility for my patients. One thing I really didn’t feel comfortable with upon starting the program was coming up with my own treatment and management plans: I found myself always reliant on my preceptor’s input. Now, I find myself much more easily determining when I need to see my patients again and why, and what we need to do for treatment in the meantime.

Part of this, I feel, has stemmed from my recent return from the American Academy of Optometry meeting, which was held a couple of weeks ago in Seattle. The Academy is the large research branch of optometry in the United States that attracts optometrists from across the world for the latest updates on research, clinical advancements and optometric knowledge in all areas of the profession: glaucoma, retina, diabetes, nutrition, low vision, contact lenses, pediatrics, binocular vision, public health and so much more! I attended this meeting for the first time two years ago when it was held in Boston and, at that time, was completely in awe of all that was being presented. While some of the classes seemed to be right at my level, there was so much information to soak up!

This time around, while there were plenty of lectures that presented information in a new way for me or highlighted things I hadn’t thought about in awhile, there were a fair number that claimed to present “new” information on a topic but turned out to be status quo in my mind. Meaning, having just graduated from NECO, something that’s a “hot new topic” to someone who has been practicing for 20 years is much different than something I would use those terms for. That being said, I’ve come back from the meeting more confident in my knowledge base, but also inspired to continue expanding it and ever more ready to learn.

While out in Seattle, I got to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile now living all over the country, post-graduation. Those in my class, most of us doing our residencies, really seem to have grown a lot since graduation as we take on the role of doctor and let this carry out into our lives outside the exam room. I was so proud to see friends from the class ahead of me at NECO, who are now four months out of their residencies, all doing extremely well, having found positions that allow them to use the skills in their areas of expertise that they’d honed during the past year. It was inspiring to see residency really paying off in terms of the opportunities it has opened up for so many of us NECO grads!

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What Does a Three Year-Old Have in Common With a First Year Optometry Student?

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An update from my last post: I’ve since seen my first low vision patient from start to finish, meaning performed his low vision evaluation, worked through the paperwork of prior authorizations, had the devices he needed sent to us and dispensed them to him today! (Now, the last step is a few last steps to get the devices paid for.) Today was actually a busy low vision day — 3 patients, all at various stages of the low vision evaluations, from a first time patient to a long time patient who needed more functional assessment. It’s a nice feeling when you realize that the skills you’ve learned at NECO are exactly that, skills.

Each of us, by the end of our four years here, will have developed slightly different skills sets based on our interests and where those interests lead us in our fourth year rotation sites. Each interaction with a patient or with a preceptor or fellow classmate is a new learning opportunity. Take advantage of these. In your mind, you are building a bank of patients and ocular conditions/diseases. That way, the next time you see a patient with a similar presentation, you have an experience to draw from. Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that just because one patient with a certain condition responded in a particular way to treatment, that all others will behave in the same way.

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Two weeks ago, I started taking the first year students on vision screenings to the Head Start programs throughout Boston. Examining the three and four year-olds was the first task during my own first year, my first interactions with “real” patients. I remember how proud I was to go out and work with these students. How excited I was to travel across Boston, preventing amblyopia, one child at a time! This was right after I had returned from my first teaching experience, teaching first and second grade out in New Mexico, and each time I entered a school, I was reminded of my students.

I try to remember that excitement each week when I go to meet the first year students to bring them on their first screening. I think it’s hard sometimes to be the teacher you want to be while in the moment of performing a vision screening, since there are so many things going on between needing to keep the pre-schoolers’ attention and also pointing things out to the first year students. It’s funny to think that the pre-schoolers have been in school for about as long as the green optometry students, and they likely share some of the same nervous energy about the “new-ness” of the experience. It makes me think twice about situations where I felt I was taught very well and those where I felt like a learning opportunity was missed. I hope I’m taking advantage of more than I’m missing with my students.

Despite the age difference, teaching seven and eight year-olds isn’t that different from teaching optometry students, and I don’t mean that as even the slightest bit of an insult. Obviously the content is different, but the basic techniques of excitement, passion, positivity and encouragement still remain the overriding principles to a successful teaching/learning encounter.

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So Much To Learn!

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Just as I feel I’m getting in the flow of things, residency continues to challenge me–increased patients in my schedule, taking on more responsibilities around the clinic, feeling accountable for my own patients and working in preclinic in my “off-hours.” I’ve been doing something I rarely did in my spare time before: looking up journal articles to read on topics that interest me or in areas I want to learn more about.

I’m working in pre-clinic about once a week, which is the in-school optometry lanes or mini exam rooms where our first and second year students go to practice the new techniques/skills they are learning to incorporate into the eye exam. I remember how stressful those evenings and weekends could be, needing to get homework assignments observed and checked off by the residents, feeling pressure from the growing number of people in the room and learning procedures that always somehow took forever in the beginning. I remember it taking me at least 25 minutes to do keratometry for the first time! (First years, you’ll know what that is soon enough.)

I was able to have a fair amount of low vision clinical experience (low vision meaning working with patients who are visually impaired) throughout my time at NECO, and it was important to me in finding a residency program where I would be able to continue to do this type of work. The past few months at clinic have felt interim: our original low vision optometrist has moved and our new doctor has not yet begun, but we still have low vision patients who would benefit from a timely exam, so I have been able to take on these patients!

It’s been the first time I’ve had to work (with plenty of help from my low vision mentor at NECO, as well as our clinic’s previous low vision doctor) to decode the various forms and paperwork that are required to register patients with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and to get prior authorization from insurance companies to cover much needed devices like magnifiers for our patients. I’m really enjoying working in this new role and have been getting “referrals” from our other doctors in clinic when they see a patient who could benefit from a low vision evaluation.

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I find myself in a unique position, being a teacher one day, then more on the receiving end of education the next. Today after making what I felt like were a few blunders amidst being overwhelmed by non-English speaking patients I couldn’t communicate with, all of whom had a complicated ocular history and presentation, and juggling them with a walk-in (welcome to real life clinic, Kristin), I found myself in the position I felt some of my students were in last night while working in pre-clinic, floundering through answers to questions I should have had more confident answers to.

It made me realize how grateful I am to be doing a residency–a year where I am forced to think more critically, analyze my cases, delve further into differential diagnoses, not allowing myself/not being allowed to become complacent with my current knowledge level. The sign of a good academic challenge: the more you know the more you realize you don’t know.

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Eye Care Services

 

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These three tools will get you far in optometry, but never underestimate how far a kind word, a warm smile, and a caring heart will take you.

These past few weeks of residency have allowed me to start to feel more like a health care provider, slowly but surely. I notice myself trusting my findings and making treatment plans more easily than I did before. I love working at the health center — it’s such a diverse group of people that I’m able to work with on a regular basis. I feel like I travel around the world by a day’s end: Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Boston. I’m so intrigued to know more about people’s lives and what has brought them all to this small enclave of Boston.

This past week, I also had the opportunity to attend my first vision screening as a resident. Organizing vision screenings through VOSH was a big commitment of mine while I was a student, and it is rewarding to be able to continue this work to under-served areas within Boston. This new screening opportunity, which takes place in a church basement after a soup kitchen, was started by two third year students who have both recently returned from their first international eye care clinics with a renewed sense of wanting to serve our local community. It was inspiring to work with both of them and be reminded of my own passion for working in these settings.

I truly believe that we are given the opportunity to learn optometry so that we can use that skill to help those in need. And yes, everyone is in need and deserving of good eye care services, but some communities and populations find that service more readily available than others. Every day we are each given the opportunity (in whatever capacity our skills and knowledge render us capable) to make that day better for those with whom we interact.

The other day, I was working with a woman who was blind in one eye, had worsening vision in her good eye, and recently had a number of health ailments that kept bringing her in and out of the hospital. As she was leaving the appointment, she mentioned that she was in a hurry to get home because she would be cooking dinner for 20 members of homeless families who were finding respite at her church. It would be so easy for someone in her position to be fixated on her own medical limitations, but rather, she was spending her evening and her days working with others to make life a bit easier for those in need.

As we each go forward this week, let us try to be cognizant of ways we can help others in our day to day lives. Often it’s something small that can make a big difference for someone else, just by letting them know we care. There are so many things we cannot fix or cure in life, our own or those of our patients, but the way we handle precisely those more difficult situations by our continued dedication to compassion and serving those in need can make a world of difference.

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1 Month Deep…

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Just reached the one month mark of my residency. The responsibilities are increasing, as is the patient load, and I’m beginning to oversee some of the third and fourth year students’ patients. It’s been especially fun working with the students (also my friends from school) as it allows me to see what a difference even just a year can make. I find myself thinking back to my own level of comfort with diagnosis and treatment at that point in time. On the other end of things, I’ve been very fortunate to have last year’s resident working at my clinic full-time. Seeing all that she knows and how sure she is of plans of action to take, pertinent negative differentials to rule out and her exam efficiency is inspiring when thinking of my own growth for the upcoming year.

Massachusetts is a bit different from other states in how one obtains a license to practice optometry here. After graduation, an application is submitted to the Board for licensure. Upon receipt of the application, an exam regarding the laws of practicing optometry in the state of Massachusetts needs to be taken. Once that exam is passed, the license number is received. After that, another application needs to be filled out to obtain a certificate for the use and prescription of therapeutic and diagnostic eye drops.

I’ve just recently received my license number, and should hopefully have all my certificates for prescribing rights shortly. Then, I’ll need to be credentialed at the hospital affiliated with the health center where I’m working in order to officially sign my own charts and practice optometry. All the things you never think of while you’re in school. We think we graduate, get a diploma, walk into an exam room and the patient’s coming pouring in (obviously, because we’re such great doctors after our training at NECO, that the patients flock to us in abundance) and we get paid.

Learning to be more financially independent and fiscally responsible is also a fun aspect to residency (depending on your definition of fun). All the “play money” that we had while we were students starts to become closer to being “real money” as our 6 month grace period quickly approaches. After my first paycheck (for a minimal amount after 1 week of work), I thought I was rich! What was I possibly going to do with all this income? And in another two weeks, they were going to pay me again! I wanted to travel, see friends across the country I hadn’t seen in awhile, and actually convinced myself that I would be able to do so. That is until I realized I had at least 3 months worth of rent to pay plus moving costs within the next few weeks as I prepare to finish my last payment at my current apartment and sign a lease at a new place.

Ha! That idea of a trip quickly went out the window as the reality slowly crept in that a full time job means working more than jet-setting. The ever infamous September first move-in date, especially in Boston, is something to be avoided at all costs. Streets are blocked with moving trucks no matter where you turn; limited parking becomes even more sparse as movers have permits blocking usually available parking spaces. Luckily, I’ve been able to avoid it in the past by being able to move in a few days early each year. I’m hoping I can be as lucky this year.

More to come from the life of a resident…

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