The First Month of Optometry School Checklist

Optometry school is NOT easy, if you like a challenge then Optometry School is FOR YOU!

It is not just classes and tests that you must focus your energy upon, but you must be hypersensitive to you financial situation, your commute to and from school, staying active with clubs/committees, networking yourself, and of course keeping in touch with any potential opportunities you have back at home.

The SUNY Optometry 2013 class is about a month and a half into school and here is a brief checklist of what I have done in 1.5 months.

  • Bought $1,000 trial lens / trial frame kit.
  • Bought a Keeler Retinoscope and Ophtalmascope for $800
  • Bought a Randot Stereo acuity test booklet
  • Bought a Ishihara Color Vision test Booklet
  • Bought an occulder, a sphygnometer, a stethoscope
  • Spent about $200 on textbooks.
  • Joined VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services To Humanity)
  • Became the 2013 representative for the committee on Health, Safety and Energy Conservation.
  • Took 3 cumulative quizzes in Optometric Theory and Procedures
  • Took 1 take home test in Integrated Optics
  • Had a Optometric Theory and Procedures assessment on Ophthalmoscopy, (where we have to draw every detail of a students retina in a limited amount of time by using an Ophthalmoscope to view the retina.)
  • Shadowed 5 different patients in the Optometric Clinic at SUNY (the largest in the nation) and saw nearly blind patients, vision therapy, low vision, pediatrics, general care, contact lenses exams, crazy patients and much more.
  • Learned the ENTIRE HISTORY of optometry from DAY one until the current day.
  • Learned how to preform the basics of an eye exam- Visual Acuity Testing, Stereo acuity, Ophthamoscopy, Retinoscopy (with astigmatism), Keratometry, Lensometry, Non-Contact Tonometry and much more. (Keep in mind everyone, you may THINK you know how to do NCT and Lenso because they are the basics that you may have acquired working for an optometrist but I guarantee that the way you perform the test, or the words you use to describe the procedure of your results have flaws. We learned the optics of these tests down to the millimeter and learned how to preform them flawlessly!)
  • Learned the gross anatomy from Thoracic Vertebrae #5 and up using a half dozen cadavers. Although the second half of our semster is strictly focused on the orbit and the eye, we have done EVERYTHING up to this point and have briefly touched upon the orbit. That means EVERYTHING from T5 and up!
  • Learned so much optics that my head has officially EXPLODED! By the time midterms come around I will be able to tell you how light acts in pretty much ANY situation under any index, through any lens and exactly how to measure focal points, far points, radius of curvature, image and object vergence, real, virtual, and optically real objects or images and any thing else you care to know about integrated optics.
  • Had more lights shined in my eyes that you can IMAGINE.
  • Studied more then I ever have in my life (its cool, we still have fun)
  • I also met amazing people, moved into a beautiful place in Astoria Queens.

This is a quick post and there is LOTS that I left out, but I will start to keep a running list of more detailed things.

Keep in mind this is only 1.5 months! In 2 weeks I take midterms which will mean I am 1/4 way done with my first year. WOW TIME FLIES WHEN YOU ARE HAVING FUN!

Life is good in Optometry School, don’t let anyone on any forums tell you that it is not. It is extremely challenging and I am sure I have not seen the half of it. The most important piece of advice I can give is that you must have a dream, a burning desire to do something that will personally fulfill you in your future and so long as you keep your goal in mind, no matter how tough things get you will not lose. Working your butt off at Optometry school is just a small step in the bigger picture to achieve what you truly want in life.

Optometry is cool and it is very unique. It is lots of fun and there is room for people who will bring something positive, innovative and creative to the profession.

What do you think about optometry school guys? I know lots of people are reading these posts, almost 70 a day! So go ahead and comment and let me know what is YOUR opinion about the profession. I will be glad to anwser any questions.

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