Slit Lamp Exam: A journey
To practice being a doctor, sometimes you have to sit as a patient
Last year, we learned visual acuity, entrance tests, direct ophthalmoscopy, and refraction. Last quarter, we learned near testing. Now, we have taken a turn for the… worse? If you consider learning slit lamp and BIO the worst, then you won’t think I’m over exaggerating.
I heard the slit lamp lab was very relaxed and not that hard. I walked into lab and found my patient. We both agreed we had no idea what we were doing, but that patience and practice were key. We found the light switch and how to move the whole table up and down; we were off to a good start.
That was the easy part, as was the looking at the lids and lashes. However, now I am trying to remember which circle indicates which filter, what the heck a parallelepiped light looks like, and to switch the light to the opposite side once I reach the midline of the eye. On top of all that, I’m trying to remember which filter and light you use to look at certain structures, and then figure out if I’m are even looking at the correct structure (anterior chamber? Help!)
After my second lab, although slit lamp is still hard, I may have over exaggerated a bit. Slit lamp is not the worst. During this second lab, we learned tonometry, but also had to do a slit lamp review. I could tell I was still learning and needed practice, but I took my time. I think I have become slightly better than the last time I did it. A doctor (instructor from lab) looked through the teaching scope. He walked me through it and gave me some helpful advice. While I am by no means ready, I am starting to appreciate the slit lamp more.
Bottom line is that, for the next three weeks, I will live and breathe in the second year eye lab; our slit lamp practical is before Christmas break. I think everyone can tell that I don’t feel ready, but I’m glad that I am surrounded by other second years who are just as clueless as I am. I mean, we only learned about slit lamp two weeks ago, and one of those weeks was Thanksgiving break!
We got through entrance tests, direct, refraction, and near testing. I think we can help each other get through slit lamp. …However, if any alums are reading this, tips and hints are very helpful!