Hello again! Now that I'm over halfway through my 4th year intern semester at The Eye Center at SCO I just wanted to check in with an update on what it's like to be seeing patients here as a 4th year. It's a pretty big change from 3rd year clinic so there is a lot to talk about!
For comparison I'll start with a quick recap of what 3rd year clinic is like. As a 3rd year, you have classes in the mornings from about 8:00 until about 10:00. After that, you have clinic for the rest of the day beginning at 10:00 - but only three days per week. Each of these three days is a different clinic assignment: one day in primary care, one day working in the optical, and one day rotating through other more specialized services such as vision therapy, teen clinic, technology, and our external nursing home service. The other 2 afternoons are either free time for studying (which comes in handy when it's time to study for Part 1 of Boards!) or labs, depending on the semester.
As 4th years, we no longer have any classes (which also means no more studying for midterms and finals - yay!). Another change is that only one third of the class is at The Eye Center each semester because the other two thirds are out on their external sites first (each student has to spend one semester in-house at The Eye Center). Also, it's a lot more like working a real full-time job: we are in clinic from about 8:00am until about 6:00pm five days a week. We are divided into groups of 4-5 students and each group is in a different service each day of the week. My group is in pediatrics on Mondays, primary care on Tuesdays, low vision/vision therapy on Wednesdays, contact lens clinic on Thursdays, and ocular disease on Fridays. It's a good system and it makes sure we get adequate exposure to each service so that we are competent in all areas and are able to determine what services we might want to offer when we are out practicing on our own. I also think being in a different clinic each day of the week makes the weeks fly by, and I can't believe the summer term is over halfway over already! It's been a busy summer, but I'm learning a ton every day. I'm excited to begin my external rotations in the fall so that I can apply everything I'm learning here in different settings. Graduation is in 300 days and I'm making sure to benefit as much as possible from time working with my brilliant attending doctors before I'm out on my own!
Thanks for reading - I'll write again at the end of the summer to wrap up my experience as a student doctor at The Eye Center before I head off to my private practice site in the fall. I hope everyone had a happy 4th of July!