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I can't believe that my SCO experience is already halfway done! It seems like we were just pulling our moving van up to our new apartment in Southaven. My wife and I were recently reflecting on our time in Memphis and decided that even though it feels like we just got here, we definitely have made 2 years worth of memories! We were looking over our pictures and couldn't believe how many fun things we've been blessed to enjoy, from Grizzlies games to picnics with classmates. Even though we go out and explore some part of Memphis almost every weekend, we are amazed that we continue to find new things every time! Just this past week, we went to the Pink Palace museum for the first time and FINALLY tried the pulled pork nachos from Central BBQ. If I have one regret about living here, it is waiting two years to try the nachos.
Second year was definitely a busy year. Because it is the last purely pre-clinical year, our staff doctors and professors really pushed us to learn as much as we could. Even though it was very busy, and stressful at times, it was a lot of fun! Instead of viewing the classes as just something I had to "get through" like I did sometimes in undergrad, the clinical relevance of the material created a sense of urgency. I truly wanted to learn everything that was presented in class, not just to do well on an exam, but to be ready for clinic! I wanted to hit the ground running with my patients. Although the classes definitely pushed us to get ready for clinic, we still had plenty of opportunities to practice what we learned. Our labs were focused on new procedures. We improved the efficiency of our exams. We improved the skills we had learned first year. For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of second year were the school screenings we did. It was fun, challenging, hilarious, and humbling to perform eye screenings on school-aged children as young as three. I always walked away more excited to be an optometrist!
Now, a few weeks into third year, I am more sure than ever that I picked a wonderful career! My first patient encounters in clinic have reinforced my desire to get to know, diagnose, and treat those with whom I get the privilege to work. Every day in clinic is both humbling and exciting! It has been as wonderful to discover strengths as it has been frustrating to identify weaknesses. The good news is that I still have two more years of patient encounters at SCO to work on those weaknesses and a lifetime of work to continuously learn and improve.
I am so grateful I chose to attend SCO. Although only beginning, my clinical experience so far has been very rewarding! The "ah-ha" moments that we were promised in class would come have indeed come! It is amazing how much easier it is to internalize concepts when you discover them with your BIO or pick them up with your 90. Because The Eye Center at SCO is so busy, we are seeing lots of patients! Because of the many patient encounters we have had and will continue to have, I feel very confident that, upon graduation, I will be well prepared to go anywhere in the country and do a great job as an optometrist.
I can't wait to see what I will see in clinic this week. Until next time!