Optometry’s Meeting, from San Diego to Philadelphia

Optometry’s Meeting 2014 in Philadelphia officially kicks off this Thursday! Optometry’s Meeting is one of the best events of the year for students and always a great time. So what’s to come this week? First, let these three University of Waterloo School of Optometry students share their experience at last year’s Optometry’s Meeting in San Diego for you to get an idea of the event. Then, take a look at our recent article on this year’s Meeting in Philly!

Kayla Beattie, Class of 2014 

As soon as I took that first step into the San Diego Convention Center, I knew I was in for a treat. The registration process was very easy and organized, the content of the CE courses was exciting, and, on top of having an identification ribbon for every school attending, I could walk around confidently with a ribbon that said “Stay Classy, San Diego” attached to my name tag. The world of optometry became a playground that I couldn’t wait to experience.

StudentBowl 2013Throughout the week I had an incredible time meeting students and optometrists from across the country in a slew of events put on by various sponsors. Amoung the many events was the ever popular Varilux Student Bowl. The atmosphere was high energy, competitive, and supportive all at once. One student from every school competes for the title of Student Bowl Champion in the hopes of representing their school with pride and gaining an opportunity to say “Good luck next year!”.

I had the opportunity to learn a lot about current research, what to do when optometry school is over, and how to run a business effectively. As a student, most courses were focused on what to do after optometry school, how to apply for jobs, what kinds of practices are out there to work for, and how to sell yourself as a new employee. I also paid a little extra to attend the OD CE courses which were concerned more with current research, uncommon cases, and hot topics in optometry.

Overall, Optometry’s Meeting in San Diego was an experience I will not soon forget, and I cannot wait to attend as an OD in the future. Anyone on the fence about attending in Philly? Jump off that fence and get there!

Morgan Welburn, Class of 2016

The first time I walked into the exhibition hall at Optometry’s Meeting in San Diego, I was taken aback by how many people and organizations take part in making our profession a success! This meeting aims to unite students, ophthalmic companies, practicing optometrists and optometric enthusiasts to create an unforgettable learning experience filled with excitement. It definitely got me more excited about becoming an optometrist!

Optometry's MeetingThe most energetic and fun filled experience at Optometry’s Meeting has to be the Varilux Student Bowl. The atmosphere is almost overwhelming with music, costumes, smoke lights and students wildly cheering on their classmates! Last year marked an exciting moment with the first ever student bowl tie!

There were also multiple learning opportunities for optometry students who were able to attend various education sessions. My favorite classes were definitely Sports Field Vision, where we learned various techniques aimed at analyzing the visual skills and training of football players, Laser Therapy in Optometry, and A Day in the Life of a Primary Care Optometrist, where we were taken through a typical day in the life of an optometrist discussing patient cases and treatment options. All in all, Optometry’s Meeting was an experience of a lifetime that I would without a doubt participate in again!

Anita Lau, Class of 2015

This was my first time attending Optometry’s Meeting, and overall, this was a great networking opportunity for students in a more casual setting. There were numerous social events that allowed us to interact with students from other schools, optometrists, and company and AOA representatives. I enjoyed the Varilux Student Bowl and its reception the most. The Student Bowl showcased each school’s spirit, and the reception had good food and music, making it a terrific way to end the night. Also, it was great that some of the events were held outside of the San Diego Convention Centre, thus, allowing us to get a taste of the city’s vibrant culture. For example, iConnect with TLC (the student party) was held at Stingaree, a local nightclub, and the Presidential Celebration was held aboard the USS Midway Museum.

Optometry's MeetingOf the education sessions that were included with my registration fee, I really enjoyed “A Day in the Life of a Primary Care Optometrist.” The lecture was both interesting and interactive because it was presented as several case studies to simulate patients coming in to see you, and as facts about the cases were revealed, we were asked questions such as what tests should be done next and possible diagnoses and implications. Aside from the lectures, exploring the Exhibit Hall was also fun and educational because I was able to ask questions and learn more about various optometric products and services, and at times, try them first hand, such as performing LASIK on a cow eye.

I had a great time at Optometry’s Meeting last year, and look forward to this year’s meeting in Philadelphia!


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