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Recent Posts

  • Summer Recap
  • Holy Philly Cheesesteaks, OM2014!
  • Waxing Wistful
  • Summer Events
  • The Beginning of Externs!
  • Bonjou! Haiti Mission Trip
  • To Capitol Hill Optometry Goes!
  • Vision Expo East 2014
  • Our last summer ever!
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  • Lisa Russell

    Summer Recap


    Well… as I predicted, our last summer break absolutely flew by! I can hardly believe it’s already time to start back up and begin our second year courses. The break may have been quick, but it was definitely eventful! Starting tomorrow, I’ll have some fun second-year events to write about in my blog posts – but for now I’ll recap the events from this summer.

    In my last post, I talked about various events I was able to take part in throughout the first half of the break – including an elementary school career fair, SCO’s graduation ceremony, and the Solutions in Sight event. These events, along with my full-time position at O’Brien Vision Center, kept me busy up until the big trip to Philadelphia for Optometry’s Meeting! Ben and I actually drove to Philly and made an eventful road trip out of it. Our trip included everything from a classmate’s wedding in beautiful North Carolina (congratulations again, Caroline!) to visiting my oldest brother in Washington, DC. We even squeezed an incredible day trip to New York City into the week! The conference itself was awesome. Students had the opportunity to attend all Continuing Education courses free of charge, so that was something that I definitely took advantage of. I spent my time at the convention center listing to brilliant ODs at CE lectures, volunteering at SCO’s exhibit hall booth, and learning a lot about what’s going on in the world of optometry. Some of my favorite parts of the trip included the Student Bowl (which was a blast) and being able to do some awesome sight-seeing in Philadelphia. Of course I had to try a Philly Cheesesteak – I would definitely recommend Jim’s Steaks. :-)

    A few days after I returned home from my eventful road trip, my sister and her boyfriend came to Memphis to visit and to spend the 4th of July with Ben and me. We had fun doing some sight-seeing in Memphis with them and watching the fireworks from Beale Street. Once they left to head back to Texas, it was already time to get ready for the Student Ambassador Summer Retreat! The retreat was this weekend and it was a blast. We did some fun team-building activities and spent the whole weekend on a beautiful lake in Arkansas. Getting to know each other better and becoming closer as a group was the perfect way to spend our last “free” weekend. Unfortunately, we had to pack up this morning and head back to Memphis – and now it’s time to start preparing for the summer mini-term which starts tomorrow!

    I’ve heard that second year flies by even faster than first year did – so I’ll probably be “recapping” second year before I know it! Wish the Class of 2017 luck as we take on a new semester. :-)


    a1 a2 a3 a4

    Amy Puerto

    Holy Philly Cheesesteaks, OM2014!


    Hello Blogosphere!

    Special summer greetings to you all from Optometry’s Meeting 2014! This has been my first trip to Philadelphia, PA, and it’s not disappointed. My schedule has been packed with meetings, and I’ve enjoyed every moment representing Southern College of Optometry. This was my first OM since transitioning out as SCO’s AOSA Trustee, but I’ve still found a way to add on the extra responsibilities of AOSA National Delegate and National Liaison of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry to my conference agenda. I also made my first conference speaking debut! The AOA’s President’s Council invited me to speak on a panel to discuss my opinions on how to promote transitioning AOSA membership to state associations and the AOA. I looking forward to many more speaking engagements to come!


    Meetings aside, OM never fails to be a fun event…the National Student Bowl, social and networking events, delish hors d’oeuvres, free OD CE, celebrity sightings, awards and comedic performances. Yep, OM is a nonstop blast!

    This year I had the added bonus of receiving a travel grant from HOYA to attend OM2014. My digital case report was on HOYA’s SYNC lenses as a therapy to alleviate Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). My report was one of 23 winning case reports nationally recognized with a travel grant.

    And if being in the City of Brotherly Love wasn’t enough, my baby brother joined me for this optometry conference too! Since the lil’ bro is on summer vacation from undergrad, I thought what better way for him to see what his cool big sis does in her daily life than expose him to our little-big world of optometry. And guess what… In the first 30 minutes of his conference experience, my brother had already met all the big SCO, AOA, and AOSA leaders–does this kid not just have a knack for networking or what?!


    And let’s not forget the history—oh history–of Philadelphia! In between my packed schedule, I was able to carve out pockets of time to visit Constitution Hall, the Liberty Bell, even the very stair steps that Sylvester Stallone jogged up in his famous “Rocky” scene. Can someone say Da-da-dum, da-da-dum?! What an exhilarating feeling to walk the very cobblestone streets our Founding Fathers strode themselves…maybe a little Ben Franklin wisdom imparted itself on me, I mean he was the inventor of the bifocal after all ;)

    I hope you enjoyed some of the photos that captured yet another great Optometry’s Meeting. It was great catching up with my optometry friends and family across the U.S.! Next up Seattle for OM2015…

    Carpe Diem,


    Virgilio Gozum

    Waxing Wistful


    Going to be honest here. Most of this blog post was written right after the end of spring semester. For one reason or another, however, I never fully connected all my thoughts together. First, after finals I went to the spring TAOP meeting in Florida. Then, I began the process of moving to a new apartment. Next, I had an awesome time in Merida, Mexico, for SVOSH, and now I’m in the middle of my career as a fourth year intern at SCO. Time whooshes by, and if I’m not careful the summer will pass by without a word from me here.

    But let’s talk about what I meant to say before I got distracted by…everything. I wanted to talk about the Class of 2015.

    It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come since the very beginning.  Scattered strangers were we before the fall of 2011. From California to Nova Scotia we hailed, scarcely aware that roughly 130 other souls would soon cross paths with ours.

    Suffice it to say that a lot has happened since then for the Class of 2015. Lectures and practicals led to school screenings, which soon gave way to checkouts and clinic. Part I of the NBEO followed our initial clinical experiences, and now here we are: 4th years,  externs, almost-doctors.

    How did we get here so quickly? Where did all the time go? These are questions everybody has been asking recently, and there really is no good answer. No matter what, however, it is supremely evident than none of us got to this point by ourselves. Everyone has had a little help from their friends, fellow 2015ers who have helped carry the burdens of optometry school.

    My summer group, I can confidently tell you, is pretty awesome. We will soon be preparing for Part III of  boards (the clinical one, in Charlotte, North Carolina) together. However, roughly 90 other classmates are right now elsewhere. While I definitely miss many, many people in my class (more than I can mention here!), certain people come to mind for purposes of this blog post. Allow me to introduce you to just a small sample of the people in my class who have made these past few years some of the most memorable thus far.

    The Nerds

    I’m not sure if in my head I’ve ever formally named this group of people, but I’ve always associated them in the same circle relative to me. But this group, consisting of Mark, Jordan, Maddie, Kaitlin, and Kelly, is a nerdy one, and proudly so. (My kind of group!) So, I am now retroactively calling this group The Nerds, at least in my head.

    Have you seen the Lego Movie? “Everything is awesome?!” is a phrase in that movie, which I saw with The Nerds plus my roommate Andy. Indeed, we have had many legendary game nights and a few trivia nights with some assortment of this group, and everything was in fact awesome.

    After that movie, we all headed to a Ben and Jerry’s nearby and spent nearly an two hours enjoying each other’s company. Checkers was played, piano keys were tickled, songs were sung. As Mark, Andy, and I burst into “Do You Hear the People Sing” from Les Mis, I wistfully realized that such fun, spontaneous outings with my classmates would soon be a thing of the past. Future gatherings will have to be planned out, and this sentiment has weighed heavily in my thoughts of late.

    The Gang

    Carissa, Aaron, Jessica, Alanna, and Kaeli. I have spent a lot of time with these people; they’re among my closest friends in my class. This is quite an active group – I’ve played many a sport with some combination of these people: Frisbee, tennis, basketball, volleyball, flag football. We’ve celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving together. We’ve also participated in many school events, as well. All except for Aaron have participated in SVOSH at least once, and Alanna and Kaeli were SVOSH officers with me. Also, I have been involved in TAOP with this group (with the exception of Kaeli), and we have attended many events for the future of our profession.

    I will sorely miss the proximity of this group as fourth year continues. Our friendships are an honest, simple, genuine kind, the sort that you look for in lifelong friendships. I’m glad to have them.

    The Bros

    The regular absence of three particular classmates in my life will be most painfully felt on a daily basis: my brothers, Pinto, Michael, and roommate Andy. Oh goodness, how I miss these three. We’ve seriously run the full gamut of optometry school friendship. From practical practicing to last-minute test preparations to TAOP/SVOSH/RAM events to Eye Balls and eyeballs, we’ve survived and done it all together.

    We’ve played the same combination of sports as noted above with The Gang. We’ve lost our voices cheering for the Grizzlies. We’ve run the Urban Dare scavenger hunt, and Pinto and I were a Main Street and a balloon sword away from winning this year’s after placing third last time. We’ve celebrated new love and supported each other through heartache. I honestly cannot imagine optometry school without my bros.

    I remember when I met these three. Andy had posted to my Facebook wall and asked if I really did speak 21 languages, as Facebook suggests. Eventually we talked about becoming roommates, and looking back, I have never been more thankful for a Facebook post. As for Pinto and Michael, I met them at some first year orientation pool party when we noticed that all the Asians in our class were somehow standing in a circle. We talked of our common experiences at UT schools, and we’ve been friends since. Now, here we are, fourth year externs at SCO in different semesters: me in the summer, Michael in the fall, and Andy and Pinto in the spring. At least we had an awesome time saving vision in Mexico for SVOSH!

    As I dwell on these things in my too-quiet apartment, I take note of an important distinction between high school/undergraduate friendships and those made during optometry school. Friendships made before optometry school form the foundation upon which other connections later in life are built. However, there is a key difference: optometry school friends will also be colleagues as optometric physicians. That in itself is a link that will continue to connect all of us and will help sustain our professional careers in the future. We won’t just be friends in the future, we will all be optometrists, and darn good ones at that.

    Thus it was true, that scattered strangers were we in the fall of 2011…but scattered friends and colleagues we will be for a lifetime after graduation in the spring of 2015. So here’s to you, Class of 2015. Thanks for all the memories these past few years, and good luck with the rest of this final year of our adventure called optometry school.

    I get by with a little help from my friends.

    I get by with a little help from my friends.

    Lisa Russell

    Summer Events


    Hello, readers! It’s hard to believe our summer break is already halfway over. Between working full time, planning my trip to Philadelphia for Optometry’s Meeting, and volunteering at various events at SCO, the weeks have been flying by. My brain is enjoying the temporary study break, but I’m sure by the time our summer mini-semester rolls around next month I’ll be excited and ready to go back to school!

    My position at work has turned out to be the perfect summer job. I’m working at the same private practice I have worked at every Saturday since last summer, but I have more responsibilities now and it’s been a really great experience for me. In addition to my regular patient pre-testing duties, I’m getting to do a little more hands-on work with the patients and I am also working in the optical selling/dispensing/repairing/ordering glasses. It has been a perfect opportunity for me to experience different aspects of the office on different days and to get a better idea of what going into private practice would be like. It’s a busy and fast-paced office with a great system and great doctors, and I just love it. I have worked for a few optometrists in the past - but never in a private practice setting. I know I’ll be happy to have some extra experience later on when I start planning what type of practice I want to go into myself!

    I have one day off work each week, and I’ve been spending that day off volunteering at different events to help out at SCO since a lot of my classmates aren’t in town for the summer and the 3rd and 4th year students are already back in school. The week after final exams I volunteered at the Class of 2014′s graduation. That was an exciting day for everyone and it was fun to see so many proud families and happy graduates at the ceremony! The following week I worked at an elementary school career fair with one of my classmates who is also a Student Ambassador, Evan. Evan and I had a lot of fun talking to the students and teaching them about being an optometrist. The students had a lot of questions and they absolutely loved the demos and model eyes we brought with us. The whole day was a blast and I’m looking forward to the next time I get to work at a career fair! Hopefully Evan and I inspired some of the third and fourth graders to consider optometry down the road. :-)

    This past week, I was able to help out at the Success in Sight event at SCO. This event is a way for juniors and seniors in high school to get an idea of what optometry and optometry school are all about. They got to learn a lot about vision and even how to perform some basic procedures on each other. Since these students are in the time period now where they’re starting to think about college and majors, it was the perfect way to introduce them to a great career option for the future. They seemed to really enjoy the event and hopefully a few years down the road they will consider applying to optometry school!

    Now Optometry’s Meeting is only a few weeks away and I couldn’t be more excited! This trip will be extra special for me because in addition to visiting Philadelphia and attending the meeting, I’ll be stopping in both North Carolina for one of my good friend/classmate’s wedding AND in DC to visit two of my brothers and my precious nephew on the way. It’ll be a long drive, but the whole trip should be a blast. I’m sure I’ll have tons to write about after the meeting, so look out for a long post next month. ;-) Also – best of luck to Trent who is representing SCO at the Varilux Student Bowl in Philadelphia!

    I hope everyone’s been having a wonderful summer! Thanks for reading!

    Amy Puerto

    The Beginning of Externs!


    Life is good, blogosphere!

    Okay, let’s start with some highly anticipated news…I passed Part 1 of Boards!!! Can you believe it!? The past three years have been so busy balancing both my academics and my leadership endeavors, passing this exam has been a real time-management-icing-on-the-cake-feat. Even more exciting is that my classmate, Jessica Haynes, achieved THE HIGHEST SCORE NATIONALLY on Part 1! She outscored over 1600 students–what an achievement! My classmates did really well on this first of three Boards exams, and I couldn’t be more proud of our collective accomplishments. After taking the exam back in March, and then waiting nearly two months for the scores to be released, I’d say we all deserve a big scoop of ice-cream, or at the least some  good quality Memphis fro-yo at YOLO :)

    With Part 1 checked off my to-do list and Parts 2 and 3 scheduled for December and August, this all could mean one thing….it’s fourth year, baby!  Time has truly flown by way too fast; It’s like I was just a measly first year only yesterday…can you imagine those blog posts from back in the day?

    Speaking of 4th year, I finished my first week of externships at SCO’s The Eye Center. Each day I rotate through one of the following clinics: Ocular Disease, Pediatrics, Adult Primary Care or practice at the University Eye Care clinic at University of Memphis, Low Vision or Vision Therapy, and Contact Lens. Each day was packed with patients! I was introduced to new technology, including the completely automated phoropters and Optos retinal camera in Adult Primary Care, to experimenting with the latest in contact lens designs from dailies to sclerals. It’s like I went away for a week to Haiti and BOOM, I’m a fourth year and expected to be more efficient, knowledgeable, and prepared to meet the increasing number of patient encounters I see daily. While I’ll be the first to admit I’m struggling to keep up, my staff doctors have been supportive and instructive, so I welcome the challenge that’s ahead for me.

    Check back for more updates soon. This is my last summer in Memphis, so you know there’s going to be a lot in store :)

    Carpe Diem,


    Amy Puerto

    Bonjou! Haiti Mission Trip

    Photo's Compliments of 3rd year, Angela Han

    Above Photo Compliments of 3rd year, Angela Han, FCO Haiti Mission Trip 2014


    Bonjou Blogosphere,

    Each year SCO’s Fellowship of Christian Optometrists organizes a week-long medical optometry mission trip, and this year I was fortunate to participate in the mission trip to Les Cayes, Haiti. I’m excited to share with you all my experience. Not only did the we, the student optometrists, provide full eye exams–diagnosing disease and treating conditions like dry eye syndrome and conjunctivitis, but we also provided each patient a free pair of eye glasses and sunglasses. Most importantly, we made it a priority to share the Christian faith with our patients.  Organized through the Praying Pelicans Mission organization, our trip saw us serving Haiti’s most impoverished citizens in the mountains of Southern Haiti. While this has been a more than rewarding experience in both my education and spiritual journey, I also witnessed the true conditions of poverty and struggled with feeling helpless to provide sustainable change for the Haitians I served.

    Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, and it’s circumstances were further devastated following a 7.0 earthquake in January 2010. Haiti is a country of 10 million people, of which 40% live within the borders of the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Dependent on international aid, much of Haiti seemed stuck with simply making ends meet day-to-day. Having travelled and lived abroad, I’m not immune to poverty–it’s something we see in the United States and in The Eye Center clinic daily as well– but nothing prepares you for the level of need and desperation that’s in Haiti. While it’s evident the Haitians are full of country pride and are among the most hospitable people I’ve met before, your heart breaks at knowing your efforts barely touch the greater organizational needs of that nation. My hope is that the health care my classmates and I were able to provide will help improve the lives of the patients we cared for, and I have to be satisfied in knowing the rest is in God’s  hands.

    This mission trip showed me the important role optometry plays in providing international aid, and I feel a greater spiritual calling to use my clinical skills to help people in need.  I hope to provide optometric care to Haiti again, and in the meantime, I’m already looking forward to my next mission trip!



    Bondje beni ou,





    Amy Puerto

    To Capitol Hill Optometry Goes!


    Greetings from Capitol Hill, blogosphere!

    Washington D.C. is truly my favorite city–the rich history of the city gets me every time. Being here makes me even more excited for my externship rotation at Walter Reed VAMC in Spring 2015!

    So what brings me to this amazing city once again? None other than the annual AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference! This is my third CAC…I guess you can say I’m an old pro by now ;) As you may recall CAC brings together students, optometrists, and state leaders together for a one-of-a-kind opportunity to lobby for optometry. Hands down, this is one of the best networking conferences for student ODs, because it puts us in direct communication with the top optometric leaders from the states where we want to practice. Even more, students have the unique experience of actually lobbying alongside these state leaders as they advocate for key optometric legislation in Congress. Congressional Advocacy Conference allows me to take an active role in promoting optometry to our national leaders and keeping the profession at the legislative table during such a dynamic time in health care reform.

    While there are several optometry issues worth advocating for, the legislation I’m most passionate about is HR 920. Focusing on the National Health Service Corps, this law provides funds for student loan forgiveness for health care workers willing to work in undeserved regions across the United States. Optometry’s foundation is in providing all people access to primary eye care, however in an oversight in 2002, optometry was left out of this bill. Now we’re working to get recognized once again as one of the medical professions eligible to compete for these student loan forgiveness funds. As someone looking to practice in rural Kentucky, I guarantee this financial aid service not only helps the doctors looking to practice in these impoverished regions, but it also raises the standard of health in those regions as well. Most importantly, the changes to this program will not cost the US Government any additional money…HR 920 is truly a win-win situation!

    Here’s just a peek of my CAC 2014 schedule:

    Sunday: Arrive in DC—>stroll Pennsylvania Avenue–> Assist at the conference registration booth–> attend the opening reception–> mingle with my fellow AOSA Trustees and hit the roof top of the JW Marriott with the AOA Trustees and KY Delegation

    Monday: WORKOUT–>Welcome ODs to a CE course on ICD-10 and verify doctors’ CE attendance–>Student Lobbying 101–> Luncheon with special keynote speaker–> more AOA-PAC lectures sessions–> Dinner with the KY delegation at Filomena’s–> Student Party at The Black Rooster–> Late-night impromptu student and OD’s networking soirée at the JW’s 1331 Lounge.

    Tuesday: WORKOUT–>Breakfast of Champions–>Day on the Hill–> Evening flight back to Memphis just in time to catch a few ZZZzzz’s before the dawn of Wednesday.

    Kentucky Optometric Association leaders meet with Appropriations Chairman, Congressman Hal Rogers from KY.

    Kentucky Optometric Association leaders meet with Appropriations Chairman, Congressman Hal Rogers from KY.

    There are exciting headlines to come in my next blog post too…think: NBEO Part 1 results, beginning of 4th year externships, and my mission trip to Haiti!!

    Carpe Diem,


    Amy Puerto

    Vision Expo East 2014


    It’s Live From New York, Blogosphere!

    I just finished attending Vision Expo where companies roll out the red carpet to showcase the newest and greatest products in ophthalmic and optical technology. The conference appeals to a diverse audience of professionals passionate about eyecare and eyewear. Each spring, over 20,000 fashionistas, optometrists, students, and exhibitors converge in NYC to see the best-of-the-best in new product launches and optometric designs.

    While Vision Expo may be for the seasoned optometric professional, it gladly welcomes students from schools of optometry, opticianary, fashion, and pre-optometry. Besides receiving free registration and unlimited doctor-CE access at this conference, they can also attend a one-of-a-kind student program called, “The Vision Expo Business Experience.” This interactive program gave me an inside look at the products needed for future practice success. I also learned how to maximize vendor relations, and how to use the tradeshow network to benefit future purchases. For this program, students are broken into small groups to build a purchasing plan to enhance a hypothetical practice. Then we have a set of tasks to complete, including “shopping”  for products in the exhibit hall. The second part of the program is all about sharing the lessons we learned on the exhibit floor and exchanging clinical pearls on practice management and practice metrics.

    The day of learning was capped off at the Optometry Student Party at the swanky Paramount Hotel on Saturday night.

    One of the highlights from the trade show floor was experimenting with Google Glass. For those not familiar with this avante-garde technology, it is a wearable computer with head-mounted display that lets you take pictures, record videos, share images, access the internet, and much more. It acts like a personal projector screen for all your social media outlets that only you can see when wearing the glasses! No more bumping into people as you update your Facebook status when texting and walking at the same time on your cell phone ;)

    Of course, being in New York City, how could you not do a little sight-seeing? Lucky for me, my mom was able to share in this post-boards escapade as we also celebrated her birthday in the Big Apple–Happy Birthday, mom!

    Vision Expo & Google Glass

    Vision Expo & Google Glass


    Carpe Diem,


    Lisa Russell

    Our last summer ever!


    Happy summer from one happy member of the Class of 2017! It’s hard to believe that we’re already done with our first year of optometry school and are a few days into our “last summer ever.”  I figured this would be a good time to recap my experiences as a first year student to summarize what can be expected.

    When I first moved to Memphis from the Houston area, I was worried that the transition from college in my home state to optometry school in a new state might be a tough one. Luckily, SCO made the transition easy. Having 131 classmates who I already had so much in common with was a major plus – especially since the majority of us did move to Memphis from somewhere else around the same time. Thankfully, we were able to quickly build a support system here before classes even began in the fall. I moved up about a month before school started, which gave me time to get settled in my new home and adjust to living in Memphis. I spent that month stocking up on school supplies and everything I thought I might need to start life as an optometry student. Once student orientation rolled around in late August, I was more than ready to start!

    When classes began in the fall, a lot of us didn’t know what to expect academically. We all come from different backgrounds and different colleges, so adjusting to our courses in the fall was a different experience for everybody. For myself, the major adjustment was in the volume. In college, I always worked 20+ hours a week and had no problem finding time to devote to my studies. In the fall here at SCO, we were taking six courses (many of which included a lab) and all of them required a lot of time outside of class. Once I adjusted to devoting more of my “free time” to schoolwork, the transition wasn’t bad. The courses were manageable and the labs were interesting. By the time I got into a routine, had my family come for our White Coat Ceremony, and got adjusted to my new Saturday job, it already seemed like it was time for finals. I thought the fall semester flew by, but it was nothing compared to the spring.

    My second semester at SCO was a busy one, and it seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. Academically, the spring semester was pretty similar to the fall. However, we knew the ropes a little better and already knew the majority of our professors, so it seemed to get off to a smoother start. Between my new role as a Student Ambassador at SCO, having even more courses than we had in the fall, applying for scholarships and travel grants, and preparing for my half marathon, the semester absolutely flew. Before I knew it, it was time to start figuring out my summer plans and preparing for finals. Finals were a little rougher in the spring because we had seven (instead of five) and they were all in one school week (rather than broken up with a weekend in between). When it was finally Friday at 12:30 and we were done with our last final, we were a happy crowd! Many of us (including myself) enjoyed a weekend of beautiful weather at the Beale Street Music Festival downtown – which was perfectly timed for post-finals celebration!

    I am spending my summer break staying in Memphis and working full-time to save a little bit of money. However, a good number of my classmates went home for the break to relax and spend time with family. My only plan this summer besides my job is to head to Philadelphia for the AOA Optometry’s Meeting in June, which I am really excited about! It should be a great experience and a good way to make some connections and learn a little more about optometry. Other than that, I have a few various events taking place this summer for the Student Ambassador program including helping out at the Class of 2014’s graduation ceremony this Friday, volunteering at a Career Fair for children next week, and of course the Class of 2018’s student orientation in August!

    Overall, I learned a TON as a first year student and I had a blast doing it. While it was stressful at times, having a group of awesome classmates made it enjoyable. There are a lot of ways to get involved at SCO, and joining organizations makes being an optometry student a lot of fun. Joining organizations is a great way to meet students in other classes and learn more about specific aspects of optometry.

    That pretty much sums up my first year. The bottom line is that being a first year student is a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it. Only three more years to go! :-)

    Amy Puerto

    Goodbye 3rd year, Hello Externs!


    And that’s a wrap, Blogosphere!

    Third year is officially complete, which means my fourth and final year of optometry school is here (oh.my.goodness!). Part 1 of boards is done, I attended my last lecture ever (but I somehow think I’ll find myself in the lecture hall one day again!), and now I’ve turned in my last final exam ever!!

    All that separates me from Graduation May 2015 is a mission trip to Haiti, my externships at SCO, Kentucky (time to get laser-certified, folks!), and Walter Reed VA, a couple more optometry conferences, applying for residency, and fulfilling my final year of student leadership duties along the way… just your typical busy year ahead ;) To top it all off, I’ve already signed up for Boards Part 3 –the live clinical skills and injections assessment!

    While it’s all very thrilling to be starting this next step in my optometry student career, it’s bittersweet too–my classmates, 131 friends I consider more like my extended family, will for the first time in three years no longer be together in the same place as we are scattered across the US at our various extern sites. As class president I was given the opportunity to say a few words to my classmates at Senior Send Off a few weeks ago, and the one thing I kept reminding my peers was that we’re going to do amazing things…through every challenge we’ve faced as a class, we’ve faced it together and not only did we overcome those challenges we excelled beyond expectations. I’m so impressed by each of my classmates and they’ve inspired my leadership each day. I can’t believe I won’t see any of these people for an entire year, but trust me, when May 2015 rolls around I hope Memphis will be prepared because when the Class of 2015 gets together We.Are.Unstoppable!

    Before I forget, huge kudos to my fellow class inductees into the Gold Key International Honor Society. This award recognizes the top 10% student leaders in the Class of 2015 from SCO. I am privileged to have been selected as International President and will strive to continue the Legacy of Leadership this organization represents alongside my classmates.

    Last day in clinic, YAG Laser practice, and the Class of 2015 3rd year officers.

    Last day in clinic, YAG Laser practice, and the Class of 2015 3rd year officers.

    Gold Key & Senior Send-off

    Gold Key & Senior Send-off

















    Okay, now for hats off to the Class of 2015: Here’s to the memories we’ve made, smiles we’ve shared, and many more optometric achievements to come!

    P.S.–Congrats to my classmate Lindsay and her husband Nate on welcoming a new bundle of joy this past week, Baby Hazel.

    Carpe Diem,