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  • Writer's pictureLFaits

The First Year Shopping List

I was told before coming to ICO that I would be spending approximately $3,000 on equipment. I was skeptical at first, but they weren’t kidding. Here is a break down of the equipment that I purchased so far:

1.  Heine BETA Set 3 + Heine G5 Family Practice Kit

Between Welch Allyn, Keeler, and Heine, I decided to go with Heine. Before buying, you get the opportunity to “test” the equipment offered by each company to see which set feels more comfortable.  They vary in handle size, grip, attachments, etc., but everyone’s kit, no matter which company you decide to go with, will come with an ophthalmoscope, a retinoscope, and a transilluminator at the very least. You can customize your set too. Each company offers a number of options to choose from.

My set included an ophthalmoscope, a retinscope, a transilluminator, retinscope cards, two lithium battery handles (with a battery level indicator on the bottom of both handles, which is optional, at an additional price), a charger, a battery adapter and a zipper case.

The family practice kit came with a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff, and two spare cuffs (one adult and one child size). In total (taxes included), this entire set from Heine cost me $1,245.78.  And this was with the student discount.

2.  COVD Pediatric Kit (Optional)

The COVD club at ICO was selling these “peds packets” last quarter for $34.00.  The kit included a blue hippo fixation stick, a toucan fixation pupillary distance rule, a mini spinning fixation globe (which I can’t get enough of), two zoo finger puppets, one frosted fun frame occluder glasses set (in the shape of butterflies!) and one LEA symbols near vision card.

3. Trial Lens Set

There were three options to choose from: a trial lens set with a small carry-all case with a shoulder strap, a trial lens set with a medium case with a shoulder strap, or a large trial lens set with a carry-all case on wheels (as shown above). I opted for the one on wheels because I felt it would make it easier for me to get around. Plus, the large case had an extra compartment that I could fit some of my equipment in.

Many of my classmates had already purchased briefcases (either a small one for $36 or a large one for $58) sold by the Student Association. Since they had a briefcase, they chose to buy the small or medium trial lens set instead. Whichever option you choose, keep in mind that you’ll likely be carrying three large cases of equipment with you to and from clinic.

In total, I spent $604.15 including taxes on my trial lens set.

4.  Entrance Testing Equipment and Everything Else

When my classmates and I came back from Thanksgiving break last Monday, we were all surprised to learn that we needed to purchase more equipment, be used in our Optometric Examination Techniques Lab starting that week.

When I brought my bag of goodies home, I was surprised at how much stuff was actually in there. There was a loose prism set, a horizontal prism bar, two A & E fixation cubes, a multiple pinhole occluder, a maddox rod and occluder, a linen tape measure, a nearpoint card, a Hardy Rand and Rittler color test book, a Randot stereotest, a penlight, a nearpoint roto chart and a multi-rule.

I spent a total of $873.92.  If only I had known that I would be spending so much money on the first day of back at school, I wouldn’t have done so much Black Friday shopping the week before. Oh, well. Lesson learned.

All in all, I’ve spent about $2,757.85 on equipment so far in my first year. Later on, we’re going to need to get a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope (BIO) and more lenses, which will likely bring my total up to about $4,000 by the end of the year. Oof.

This quote came to mind when I realized how much personal spending I need to cut back on now: “If you live like a doctor while you’re in school, you’ll live like a student when you’re a doctor.”

Stay frugal, my friends!


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