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    5 true pieces of advice first-years hate hearing


    3. “You will be practicing, and it will suddenly just happen.”

    My initial reaction: Look, this is science, and science is not magic, so tell me how to do this. Practice is a slow improvement type process, and there simply are not enough hours in my day to trial-and-error this skill into existence. I get it, you have to study for boards and I am a whiny first-year, but how about just telling me you won’t help me instead of making up a terrible excuse?

    Related: 3 steps to success in clinical practice

    Why it is still true

    Oh boy, this phrase got me fired up more than once. Retinoscopy, gonioscopy, binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy (BIO) fall under the umbrella of, “I don’t know what happened, but I am not terrible at this skill anymore.”

    You’re sitting with your partner in the labs following every instruction to a T, but there is nothing to see because you’re new to the concept. No one can help you with mental multitasking. At some point, usually halfway through a very frustrating session in which you stare blankly at a reflex for 10 minutes; push the three-mirror gonioscopy lens on so hard the patient passes out; or hold your patient’s eye open way too long, everything clears up and you can suddenly complete the task.

    I say this phrase all the time now to my friends in classes behind mine. They hate it. No one wants to hear the answer is practice, but it is the only thing that helps.

    Shelby May
    Shelby is a third-year student at Southern College of Optometry. She is particularly interested in Vision Therapy and Pediatrics. Any ...


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    Optometry Times A/V