1) You get to the clinic 45 minutes early and can hardly sit still from being so excited.
2) You have already imagined how scary your new attending doc will be before you even arrive at the clinic…
3) You couldn’t get to sleep the night before because you were so nervous!
4) The front desk pages you, and suddenly you forget what optometry is.
5) Everything takes 10 times longer than it should. Your case history takes 35 minutes and you can’t figure out why!
6) You see a tropia on cover testing, and spend the next few minutes triple-checking to make sure you’re really seeing it!
7) You accidentally occlude both of your patient’s eyes during the refraction…
8) You can’t find any of the knobs or power switches on the slit lamp…
…so you just have the patient sit in an awkward position during your anterior segment evaluation.
9) Your patient asks you a question about eyes, and you draw a complete blank.
10) Your patient asks for directions to the bathroom, and you realize that you’re not 100% sure where it is…
11) You drop your patient’s monthly contact lens down the sink or on the carpet.
12) You can’t find your tonometry probe ANYWHERE!
…but then you find it on the floor!
13) You get fluorescein everywhere BUT in your patient’s eyes.
14) Your patient education skills leave much to be desired…
15) You suddenly lose your ability to do basic mental math. PRA and NRA nets, anyone?
16) You take a moment to think of something impressive and witty to say when you check in with your attending.
…but then you get one of these looks.
17) You take way too long on your dilated fundus exam because the retina is just so beautiful!
18) Your BIO routine could double as a yoga session.
19) You feel like a million bucks when you do something perfectly…
…but before you know it, another curve ball comes along!
20) You don’t know what to say when your patient asks how long you’ve been performing eye exams.
21) You freak out a bit when your attending asks you what you think the patient’s C/D ratios are.
22) You wonder how your patient’s visual fields could have spontaneously improved…
…and then you realize you forgot to patch the patient’s other eye.
23) You feel like dancing a jig after surviving the day!
24) You must strongly resist the urge to high five your patient on their way out. After all, you didn’t make their vision any worse! That’s definitely a win.
25) By the time you get home, you’re so tired you can hardly keep your eyes open…and you only saw two patients!
Do you have any memorable moments from your first experiences with real patients? Share them in the comments section below!