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How to Survive Your Loved Ones’ Eye-Related Questions Over Winter Break

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in Blogs

You know it’s going to happen. As soon as your family and friends learn that you’re even beginning to consider a career as an eye doctor, the questions will come rolling in–if they haven’t already. It comes from a good place–a place of pride for your accomplishments and genuine curiosity–but eventually, I promise you, you will hear about every last ocular ailment of everyone in your life. So I think you’d be wise to begin preparing your answers now. Here’s a head start on how to handle some of the most common discussions you’re likely to be forced into over the winter break.

Cataracts (acquired lens opacification)
Also known as “Cadillacs,” this is a common condition almost everyone has heard of, and people are generally more scared about it than they need to be. Keep your emphasis on the good things here: Cataracts usually progress very slowly, so there’s no rush to do anything. We normally wait until the vision is blurred to the point it interferes with everyday activities, then refer for an outpatient surgery with a very low rate of complications. In the mean time, put on some UV-blocking sunglasses to try and slow down progression.

Myopia (nearsightedness)
I feel like about 50-60 percent of my close friends are “legally blind without [their] glasses.” Don’t bother getting into the definition of legal blindness here. Acknowledge that their vision is blurry, make sure they’re not abusing their contacts, and let this one go.

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A Glimpse of the Other Side

A Glimpse of the Other Side

Posted by on Aug 26, 2013 in Blogs

I vividly remember sitting through new student orientation around this time five years ago. I remember being nervous. Very nervous. And to be fair, there was a lot to be nervous about: making new friends, living in the city, establishing professional contacts, not to mention all of the work it was going to take to make it through the program.

I certainly wasn’t thinking I would end up joining the faculty.

Graduation 2012

But after 10 academic quarters (and 10 finals weeks), lots of patients at the Illinois Eye Institute, a few national board exams, and more patients on external rotations in Rhode Island, Colorado and China, I suddenly found myself wearing a gown with a green hood inside Rockefeller Chapel at my commencement ceremony.

Then came a residency program back at ICO, including plenty more IEI patients, three Grand Rounds presentations, an AAO case report and 10 weeks of Urgent Care on-call duty with, you guessed it, more patients.

And now, I finally have it: the coveted gray lab coat.

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