You know it’s been busy, when I’ve been absent from the blog scene for a few months. CAN. YOU. BELIEVE. IT? In my last update I had just begun my externship rotation at Eye Care Centers of Kentucky–with eight office locations and six doctors. Fast forward to now, and I have received second-to-none clinic experience in ocular disease and cared for nearly 900 patients! My speed has definitely picked up (sayonara 1 hour exams!), and I’ve seen everything from newborns to 101 year old patients in a day’.s work! My preceptor was also very supportive in letting me shadow other doctors including a retina specialist, cataract surgeon, and dry eye disease specialist. Even more, I observed several optometrist preformed laser procedures including YAG-capsulotomy, Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI), and Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) in our office. As you may recall from one of my previous blogs, Kentucky has one of the best scope of practice laws in the nation. This affords optometrists and patients greater access to needed health care treatments in many rural towns. During my rotation, I saw optometry work to it’s fullest; I was even invited to attend a hearing at Kentucky’s state capital on a legislative bill that would protect optometrist’s role in telemedicine. Good news–it passed!
If all that wasn’t enough, I even was able to keep up my globe-trotting travels during my externship. I attended two new conferences this fall: COVD and FCO. The College Of Vision Development (COVD) Conference is focused on providing optometrists and students insight into the latest research on vision therapy and its associated conditions. There was also a poster presentation where residents shared their current research projects and an exhibit hall where I could test out the latest in vision therapy technology. COVD was held in sunny San Diego, and staying waterfront definitely didn’t disappoint! My favorite lecture was on slowing myopia (near-sightedness) progression with contact lenses in children, and I see myself incorporating this evidence-based medicine into my future practice.
The other conference I attended was the Fellowship of Christian Optometrists held in Nashville, Indiana (seriously, it’s a real place!). Actually, this conference was hosted at a lodge in a national park. It was absolutely stunning, and the lodge always had a warm fire going in the fireplace. The best part was hearing inspiring testimonials from missionary optometrists returning from the Middle East and as far as Papua, New Guinea. Of course I can’t forget the special ocular disease study session hosted by the one-and-only, KMK Kyle! It came at the perfect time as I was already in the midst of studying for NBEO Part 2.
Speaking of NBEO Part 2…I can check that exam off my to-do list (finally!). I took my last of three national boards in early December. Part 2 was completed at a computerized testing center with 150 patient cases that focused on the safe treatment and management of ocular conditions. The SCO clinic experience once again proved to be a great foundation for the materials I was tested on, with the combination of my prep materials, and my current private practice rotation, I believe I was prepared for the exam. Of course, now’s the waiting game—results won’t be released until the end of January so fingers-crossed and prayers said!!
I’m currently applying for optometric residency. I’m excited for this next journey in my optometry career and can’t wait to share with you more about the residency application process. Of course the hardest part is asking for those letters of recommendations. Even though I’ve met many optometric mentors willing to support my residency application, I’ll be the first to admit I still hold my breath right before I click the send button.
I think that catches us all up a bit better for now. Happy (belated) Thanksgiving….I’ll save my other holiday wishes for my next blog post ;)