What's Next?

Now What?!?

Hey everyone!

It seems like a million years have passed since I last visited this space, but that’s just because I finally took part I of NBEO! I’m so proud of all of the work my class has put into preparing and taking this test. We won’t find out our results until May, so right now I’m trying to put it on the back burner and hope for the best!

Now that Boards are over, I have been trying to figure out what the next few years will be like. It seems crazy to think about, but the reality is that I will be leaving Memphis in just a few short months, and in another year I will be graduating and able to practice on my own. The past few weeks have been spent doing a lot of resume updating, soul searching, and talking to the staff doctors about their experiences. I’m in a unique situation because my fiancé is in the military, and we will most likely be moving around a bit, at least for the first few years if he decides to stay in. There are several options for me, and I’m considering all of them at this point—whether that is being employed by a private practice, working for a corporate company, or pursuing a residency at a VA or elsewhere.

While I still don’t know exactly which path I will take, I’m excited to continue to look into more possibilities, and I’m feeling thankful that I’ve chosen a profession that will allow me so many different choices!

The rest of the semester is going to be filled with finishing classes, finishing clinic,  a little bit of wedding planning, and hanging out with friends as much as possible before we all spread out for externs. I am loving having a bit of downtime now that the majority of the studying is done, and I’m trying to soak up the freedom while I can! I hope you are all having a beautiful spring!

at 4/4/17 | 0 comments

Home stretch!

Hello readers! Things have been busy with my institutional externship lately and I realized today that I haven't posted recently with our updates about "what comes next." In my last post I talked about the long process of applying and interviewing for jobs. Now I'm thrilled to share that in February I accepted an offer as an associate optometrist at a large private practice in my home town of The Woodlands, TX!  I originally found the job listing on the AOA website and I flew home to Texas for an interview the week after my initial phone interview because I could tell right away that it would be a great fit if they hired me. It's a multi-doctor private practice with multiple locations and it will be a fantastic group to join. I can't wait to get started this summer and to finally be out on my own doing what I've worked for so many years to do. It's a great feeling!

While I was interviewing for jobs, my husband Ben was interviewing for residency positions. He ended up applying for two residency programs: an Ocular Disease/Ocular Surgery residency at Eye Center of Texas (a referral and surgical center) and a Primary Care residency at the DeBakey VAMC in Houston. The interviews were tough and the application process was a little nerve wracking at times, but earlier this month we found out he matched with his top ranked position at Eye Center of Texas! It's a competitive site and I'm one proud wife. I know Ben will do a great job there and he'll learn SO much in one year.

Now that we both have employment lined up, we're working on figuring out the details of our big move back to Houston, TX. Our four years in Memphis have been wonderful but we're so excited to be living near our families again soon! It's so hard to believe that we're only a little over one month away from graduation. We found out in January that we both passed all three sections of our National Boards, so we really are in the home stretch now! The past few years have been a whirlwind but I definitely feel excited and more importantly, PREPARED!

Thanks for reading!

-Lisa :)

at 3/22/17 | 0 comments

Spring Break, here we come.

Hey everyone!

Well, a lot has happened over the last month! I promised to update you all on State Day, as well as SCO's EyeBall 2017 event.

First off, state day was an incredible experience. There were optometrists, literally, from all over the country at SCO, available to network and answer questions. I personally spent a great deal of time talking to the optometrist present from Florida, my home state. I learned a significant amount about what it's like to practice in Florida, own a private practice and how to get involved in the Florida state association (FOA). Also, Dr. Andrea Thau, the current AOA president, was able to speak with us about the importance of getting involved in our state and national optometric associations as well as some of her personal experiences and what led her into the position she is in now. Overall, the entire day was wonderfully organized and extremely helpful. It opened my eyes to the importance of advocating for our career.

EyeBall 2017 was also amazing! There was dancing, drinks and lots of mingling with classmates. The venue chosen for Eyeball was located right along the Mississippi river so the view was absolutely gorgeous!! It has definitely been one of the highlights of my time at SCO so far, and so I am already really excited for next year's EyeBall event.

All in all, second semester of first year has been great, thus far. We recently completed our first exam week which consisted of 7 exams in one week! Though there were a few more exams during this midterm week as opposed to last semester, it actually seemed a little bit easier. I would say it's probably because we've all become pretty accustomed to what we have to do in order to prepare for the week long of exams.

Lastly, I would also like to add that I was recently selected to be a Class of 2020 Student Ambassador! Something I really wanted to get involved with since I first toured at SCO and knew that it was the optometry school I wanted to attend. You may see me around if you come by for a tour or an event on SCO's campus!

Well, spring break starts today and I am off to FLORIDA for some much needed beach time! (though Memphis has actually been feeling like Florida lately, haha!)

I will be back with you all soon!

at 2/24/17 | 0 comments

All A-Boards!

Happy 2017, everyone!

It seems like forever since I’ve written, but that’s because it’s been a busy past few months!

Last semester finished well for me, but now I can’t believe I am a few weeks into my last semester of classes at SCO. After this semester, my classmates and I will be spread out all over the country doing externships. Luckily for us, we still have one huge and terrifying hurdle to conquer before that, which will be sure to bond us together—Boards!

As third years, we will take the first part of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exam in March. Part II is in December 2017, and Part III can be anywhere from August 2017 until March 2018 (this is the hands-on/practical portion of boards, and I plan on getting it over with as early as I can!).

I think that everyone probably prepares for this portion of the test in his or her own way. It’s really easy to get caught up in how much someone else is studying, but really it’s an individual sport all the way.

I started studying over Thanksgiving break, by reading the KMK review books that I purchased (most of my class ordered these as well), and continued as much as I could through Christmas break. Our class has also had some review sessions in the mornings with various professors to go over some more challenging concepts. In addition to that, those of us who bought the KMK review course had our first review weekend a few weeks ago, so it’s pretty much in full-swing.

Other than boards, this semester is mostly about me trying to gain as much clinical experience as I can before externs start in a few short months. We still have 4 classes outside of boards studying, and we are in clinic 3 days a week as well. I have a feeling May is going to be here before I know it!

All of the studying aside, one of my goals for the year is to try to keep everything in a good balance, so I took this past weekend off to head to Colorado to visit my fiancé. It was a great mini-break, and now I feel refreshed and ready to take on all that this semester continues to offer.

at 1/19/17 | 0 comments

What comes next?

Happy New Year! Last time I wrote I had just finished Part II (my final part) of my National Boards exams and was wrapping up at my fall private practice externship site. Since then I enjoyed a trip back home to Texas for the holidays, found out I passed Part III of Boards and my injections exam (woo!), and began my third and final externship rotation at Olive Branch Eye Care & Charles Retina Institute. So far things are going great at my new rotation! It's an awesome site because I'm getting to see patients in a private practice setting most of the time but I'm also getting the opportunity to work alongside ophthalmologists in multiple settings. It'll be a unique opportunity to work in primary care, cataract/refractive surgery, and vitreoretinal surgery settings all in one rotation and I know I'll learn a ton over the next few months!

I'll write in a month or so with more specifics on my rotation once I've been working there for a bit longer, but for now I thought I'd talk a little bit about what comes after graduation for me. I'm in the process of applying for jobs now and trying to make sure I find the perfect fit. So far I've interviewed at a refractive surgery center, a hospital, an on-site elementary school eye exam program, a corporate practice, and three different private practices. I know that sounds excessive, but I'm just trying to keep as many options open as I can! It's been a very interesting experience interviewing in all these different settings and I'm looking forward to seeing where I end up in May. Each position I've applied for has totally different hours, equipment, staff, expectations, responsibilities... you name it. I didn't know there would be this many factors to consider when applying for jobs! By the end of this month I'll be done with all of my in-person interviews and it'll be time to really sit down and figure out where I want to be. But for now I'm enjoying exploring all of these opportunities! One question I've heard a lot of students ask is where to find job opportunities. I've found them through SCO's Hayes Center match site, an optometry recruiting company, general job search websites, word of mouth, and from the AOA website. I was worried that it would be difficult applying for jobs in Houston when I'm living in Memphis, but it hasn't been too bad and I've still been able to find plenty.

Next time I write I should have an update on all of this! If you have any questions about my job search experience feel free to send me a message. I'm learning as I go but I'm excited for the future!

at 1/18/17 | 0 comments