The month of April - the scariest month to face as a second year optometry student. This week alone I have a test and 4 quizzes. Then next week, I have a final lab practical for Anterior Segment Disease lab, a quiz on billing and coding in Theory and Methods, and the ever nerve-wrecking pre-clinic checkouts on Friday the 13th... April also brings preparation for finals, another final lab practical for Vision Therapy, and preparation to leave the country for our mission trip to Honduras. It's the craziest time of the year with lots of information to keep up with, and the knowledge that come summer term, you will be seeing real patients at the Eye Center.
I have very mixed emotions regarding entering clinic. I'm obviously very excited for the opportunity to see a lot of findings that aren't "normal," but that also brings about a slight fear that I will miss a lot of stuff! Thank God for staff doctors to help us along the way. I'm also nervous about the great deal of information I have to remember when I head over there between various diseases and treatment options, along with contraindications and how to use all the equipment! I am pumped that it will be less classroom time and more hands on, which is how I learn better anyway. Once I see something and the staff doctor helps me diagnose it, I can better diagnose it later when I see a similar presentation.
In addition to the excitement and nerves, I'm feeling awe in the fact that I'm actually going to be a 3rd year optometry student. Just saying those words is surreal, and knowing that I'm only 2 years away from my degree is thrilling! I'm ready to get out into the real world and have a job in a city that I'm happy to call home. Memphis is and has been an adventure, but is no where near the type of city I see myself living for the rest of my life and raising a family. I'm ready to see other cities, and eventually settle down in North Carolina.
That brings me to my most recent thought about 4th year externships. At first, I really wanted to come home to NC, but recently I began thinking that living in a completely different state would be interesting. After I graduate, experiencing another state will require passing that state's boards in order to receive a license to practice optometry. I think taking the fall and spring semester of my 4th year to see other states would be a wonderful option. There would be no strings attached, meaning I could just experience that state freely as an optometry student, not yet an optometrist. Right now, Tyler and I are intrigued by Colorado and California. One of the rotations has to be at the Eye Center in Memphis, so I'm praying that I can get the summer semester at the Eye Center, then have the Fall and the Spring semesters to visit other states, while still networking with NC doctors for a future job.
So many emotions and thoughts run through my mind everyday. It's hard to take things one step at a time when you know so many exciting events and opportunities lie ahead of you. I just pray that the Lord's will be done through all of my future endeavors.
God bless everyone!