Two weeks down, nine weeks to go. It’s certainly too early to be counting down spring quarter, the last of my second year. But I can’t help it! Once the quarter is over, my classmates and I will be halfway done with our education at ICO and even closer to reaching our visionary goals. But let’s backtrack a bit and talk about what’s been going on here so far.
When winter quarter ended in mid-February and numerous sighs of relief were expelled at the end of our last final, all you could see was happiness–a weeklong break was upon us! In celebratory fashion, my friends and I toasted cherry pop sugar cookies and grinned from ear to ear. When night came and rest was somewhat caught up on, we headed out to Eataly, Mario Batali’s 63,000-square-foot food emporium. Housing a market with more than 10,000 gourmet items as well as 23 eateries, Eataly opened its doors to much fanfare last December in River North. The venue was buzzing with hoards of customers and the lines were long, but the payoff for all the waiting was worth it–I’m still dreaming about that hot crepe oozing with chocolately goodness from the Nutella bar.
My classmates and I are taking six courses right now: Ocular Pharmacology, Ocular Disease, Physical Optics, Physical Diagnosis, Optometry Seminar and Microbiology. We’re in the third and final quarter of the Pharmacology and Optics sequences. In Pharmacology, we’re now focusing on the drugs we’ll be prescribing to our future patients. Optics course is looking a lot like physics right now.
I hear Ocular Disease continues through third year with a focus on different areas of vision and/or the eye. While our focus last quarter was on the anterior segment–cornea, iris, lids, lashes–this quarter, it’s all about glaucoma. One lecture hour into the course, I became acquainted with a lengthy list of different types of glaucoma. Up to this point, my understanding of glaucoma was pretty superficial and I’m actually excited to really grasp it. In Optometry, we’re both learning new clinical skills and improving old ones. Our lecture is more discussion-based than usual and in lab, we’re diving head-first into dynamic BIO (binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy). One can only hope that BIO will become less awkward as time goes on.
Physical Diagnosis is completely new and interesting, and illustrates the importance of general knowledge. Microbiology reminds me of undergrad and so far isn’t too unfamiliar. Along with these core courses, I’m excited to be taking a clinical elective called Ocular Prosthetics. Each quarter, it’s open to four second-year students and teaches us about the need and formation of ocular prosthetics (see photo at top). When I met with the instructor, ocularist Patrick Adkins, on the first day of the course, I was pleasantly surprised that find out I’d not only be learning about prosthetics, but be seeing patients as well. At the end of the session I was happy to know that viewing globe-less orbits did not unsettle me. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the elective will teach us.