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  • Writer's pictureLFaits

Cutest. Lab. Ever.

Life as a third year isn’t so bad right now. We had our first pediatrics lab with Dr. Allison, and since the majority of the class is made up of females, there was a huge estrogen-driven chorus of  “aww”  every few minutes. We watched videos of how to perform eye exams for infants, toddlers and pre-school children. Each lab, ICO faculty members volunteer to bring their young children to be our practice patients. You’d imagine that these kids would feel shy, or be intimidated by the vast number of students that take turns to talk to them, and make them focus on things to practice our techniques. You might think that that some would cry, or throw tantrums, but none of that happened. For my lab, Dr. Polanekbrought in her son Paxton and her daughter Payton.

Here is little Paxton, looking at the OKN drum until he pretty much got tired

Paxton looking at the OKN drum

We use these cards to get an estimate of his visual acuity. Kids tend to look towards the striped side if they can see it.

We use these Teller cards to get an estimate of visual acuity. Kids tend to look towards the striped side if they can see it.


Milana uses the Burton lamp with Paxton. 

Other labs had Dr. Allen bring in her daughter, and Dr. Pang bringing in her twin boys. We can try to practice on each other and have our partner try to do tests while we pretend to be a child, but having actual child participants really reminds of what we’re here for, and why we want to learn the material taught to us.

Dr. Pang and her twin boys. Photo credit goes to Susan Williams.

Dr. Pang and her twins. Photo by Susan Williams.


Susan using skiascopy bars and her retinoscope to get an estimate of his prescription.

I must say, and many would agree with me on this one,  child development lab is one of my favorite labs in my entire career at ICO. I can’t imagine it getting better than this. Our patients are adorable, and our creative collaborative efforts to keep the attention of children makes it even more interesting. I can’t wait to find out who our little helper will be in the next lab!


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