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Let’s Get Clinical

Let’s Get Clinical

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

As another academic year comes to a close, schedules for the first quarter of third year have been emailed out. Unlike the summer between first and second years, when students have the luxury of going home or taking exotic vacations, this summer will be a working one. My classmates and I will be attending class and we’ll also have three shifts in clinic, a continuation of the Patient Care Program we began this year.

Our two Primary Care shifts will be similar to our experience in this service area thus far, the primary difference being that we’ll no longer be paired with a partner. In addition to working alone, we’ll also be caring for multiple patients during a single shift. During my work in clinic this year, I’ve grown accustomed to discussing tests and patients’ results with my partner. I loved the convenience of having someone scribe while I doctored, or doctor while I scribed. If I had a question about a condition, I always had someone to ask. If I couldn’t find my tiny tonometry probe, there was someone in the same room with one. But my comfort level aside, I’m actually looking forward to going solo. I’ll be forced to rely on myself and truly develop my clinical skills.

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PAP and the Holy Grail

PAP and the Holy Grail

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

A major deciding factor for me in choosing ICO is that clinical experience begins in the very first quarter. In the first year, this experience–all of it in ICO’s clinic, the Illinois Eye Institute–is called the Patient Advocate Program. During first quarter, our PAP experience includes familiarizing ourselves with the layout of the IEI, getting an eye exam and writing a report based on our own experience as a patient.

The eye exams at the IEI probably aren’t like others you’ve had. Before coming to ICO, I’d arrive at the clinic and a technician would perform most of the entrance tests like lensometry, OCT, fundus pictures, keratometry, autorefraction and tonometry. All of these tests would be performed with automated machinery, and they’d be completed in about 20 minutes. I’d then be directed to a waiting area, where I’d sit for 10 minutes or so. Then the doctor would see me for another 20 minutes. I’d be in and out within an hour, and I was never dilated.

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How To Fit Contact Lenses like a Boss

How To Fit Contact Lenses like a Boss

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

Kiddos, spring has sprung!

We’re in the final quarter of optometry school, little ones. And as Commencement approaches, it’s time to learn about contact lenses. These are my last credit hours before the wings are clipped and I fall out of the tree.

First, there is an art to the contact lens.

Yes, it may appear to be a small cast-molded or lathe-cut piece of plastic to every John and Jane on the street–but if you look more closely, between those silicone and hydrogel moieties, it really is magic.

Imagine a life where you had to wear your dorky glasses everyday.

How on earth could 75 percent of romantic comedies gain traction if the tragic ugly duckling didn’t dispose of her gawky frames and wear contacts in order to warrant the attention of the loveable, albeit shallow, leading man?

(And you thought optometry was just about helping people see.)

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.

Let’s get into the thick of things. (Or for the more technical amongst you, the Dk/t of things.) See what I did there? Don’t lie, you laughed.

Below are some tips and tricks I’ve amassed thus far. As always, it’s advisable to take these with a large grain of salt.

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Painting Paris

Painting Paris

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

It’s been so long since I’ve picked up a brush, dipped it in paint and laid a thick stroke on canvas. I’ve always loved art and was immersed in it when I was younger. Now that I’m immersed with time-consuming classes, it only makes sense that I have fewer opportunities to pursue creative endeavors.

That changed last month, when one weeknight evening I was transported to a wonderful place that let me forget about all the drugs I had to memorize. My roommate Naz booked us an art class at VIP Paints, a surprise early birthday gift.


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How to Ride a Bicycle

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

  shoes and equipment

Do you remember learning to ride a bike?

I remember the day vividly. It’s one of the more defining memories of my childhood, one I’ve been thinking about a lot these days. I’m sure my dad and twin brother have different accounts of what actually happened, but since neither of them blog, allow me to tell you the true story.

I was six. We were vacationing in Montana and it was a gorgeous summer day. My brother had already mastered riding his bike (a mere day and a half before, but of course he made it seem like he was practically the bicycle’s inventor). I was determined that today was my day. My bike was shiny and red. It deserved to soar past my gloating brother.

My dad is calm to the core. Even at my most reckless, I have always been able to rely on his steady, factual, collected demeanor to guide me. He assured me that he would hold the back of my bike seat and not let go.

With the steady weight of his hands on the seat, keeping my balance, I peddled. One leg winding around, then the other. I saw my brother in the periphery, eyes widened, watching me. I must have been having so much fun watching Montana’s landscape inch past me that I didn’t notice my dad had let go at first. But then all of a sudden it hit me: The steady guide of my dad’s hands weren’t there anymore. Instead of being excited and reacting like a normal person, I whipped my head backwards, saw my dad shrinking in the distance, screamed bloody murder, and fell.

My brother’s mirthless laughter echoed around me. I threw my bike off the path, and with eyes narrowed to slits announced to my dad that I would not be riding bikes ever ever again.

As a parent, I’m sure my dad had to learn how to let go. But at the same time, whether six or 26, it’s just as hard to learn how to be let go.

Fourth year externships are a constant reminder of my bicycling saga.

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