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It’s amazing to realize I’m just about finished with my second semester of clinic as a third-year student. Thinking back on all of my patient encounters to this point, it’s incredible how diverse of a population there is here in Memphis. Even more diverse than the population has been the array of ocular conditions, diseases, and other diagnoses that I’ve been able to see. Third-year students are assigned to Adult Primary care once a week, then rotate through various responsibilities the other assigned clinic days including optical, vision therapy, teen clinic, technology, and the external clinics such as Focal Point and University Eye Care. Most of the specialized care we give at the clinic, like contact lenses and ocular disease, is assigned to 4th years, so I originally didn’t think I would have as varied of patient encounters as I have already had. However, my experiences in clinic have been surprising, educational and extremely rewarding! In my short two semesters, I have really come to love Primary Care. It keeps me on my toes because my patients can have just about any type of ocular concern and it’s up to me to find the proper diagnosis and treatment. It has really helped me hone my clinical skills and decision making and I’m feeling much more prepared for my externship rotations during 4th year.
Another aspect of my life has also recently kept me busy and has been very rewarding. My wife Andrea and I welcomed our son Porter into the world at the end of August! He’s such a joy to us and already has quite the personality!
One of the most common questions I get while giving tours to prospective students is what it’s like being married with a kid in optometry school. It’s a fair concern for many people who live with a significant other, are married, or who come to school with a family. I thought I’d share a few thoughts for today’s blog post.
Although your schedule in optometry school is very busy, there is ample time throughout each semester to spend with family. Personally, I don’t know how I would have gotten through school otherwise! Andrea has sat as a patient for me many times as I’ve practiced skills after hours, helped me memorize hundreds of drugs, helps with financial support working part-time, and makes delicious lunches that often cause jealousy among my classmates! She has been an incredible support throughout my time in school and knows that she may not see much of me during exam weeks, but we have also had a lot of time together to explore Memphis and several parts of the Mid-South. SCO is also a very family friendly school and the administration understands well the responsibilities that come with family. Porter’s due date was originally over our week-long break between semesters. But when that didn’t happen, the faculty and administration were extremely helpful in helping me get excused from clinic and classes for a few days when he came the next week.
As with any aspect of optometry school, having a family definitely requires careful use of time. However, there are many married students at SCO, many of which have children, who are able to balance school and family responsibilities well. It’s a good thing too because it would be hard going too long without seeing this kid’s smile!