AAO Pinning Ceremony at UIWRSO!

The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) Student chapter at the Rosenberg School of Optometry (RSO) held their Annual Student Fellowship Pinning Ceremony. During this past AAO national meeting in Denver, Colorado, 26 students from the RSO received their Student Fellowship. This is a record amount at RSO and we are excited to have so many students interested in learning. The Academy’s annual meeting provides the highest quality continuing education and the most current vision science research, which includes nearly 300 hours of Lectures & Workshops, symposia, and scientific lecture and poster presentations over 4 days. The students loved the experience and best of all, thought the Academy was so much FUN!

The AAO has a special program for students to go through in order to receive the title of student fellow. After the requirements are fulfilled, the student is awarded an AAO pin at the school’s pinning ceremony. Each student completed a series of continuing education courses, symposiums, poster sessions, and paper presentations throughout the weekend, as well as representing RSO at the AAO national meeting.

The following students were recognized for this year at the pinning ceremony:
Amanda Achilles, Amy Belloli, Samantha Bohl, Timothy Bradshaw, Alicia Chacon, Wiliam Cluff, Amy Cuevas, Caroline Dang, Minati Desai, Sheyda Durig, Amanda Estrada, Kimberly Kim, Kyler Knobbe, Daniel Lam, Paul Lau, Denisse Lopez, Susan Ly, Jason Ngo, Jenny Nguyen, Monali Patel, Lisa Prejean, Ashley Pylant, Jennifer Ramey, Rebecca Sheeder, Anthony Vanrachack, and Beatriz Villegas.

Guest speakers included Dr. Valdes, an RSO professor who recently earned AAO Fellowship or F.A.A.O., and Mr. Terry Peterson of Zeiss. Both gave amazing speeches and the students enjoyed a delicious dessert reception sponsored by Zeiss.

Lastly, the event was put together by the AAO student chapter officers:
Ashley Pylant – President
Susan Ly – Vice President
Linh Nguyen – Secretary
Minati Desai – Treasurer
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Rick Trevino

Chuggin’ Fluorescein in Lab!

Drinking Fluorescein
My first gulp of fluorescein sodium flavored Gatorade!

On Wednesday, April 4th, 2014, UIWRSO had their very first Fluorescein Angiography (FA) lab. What is Fluorescein Angiography? It is a test that optometrists can perform by taking advantage of the fact that Fluorescein glows! Fluorescence is caused by the emission of light by a substance following absorption of electromagnetic radiation (light). Emitted light has a longer wavelength than the absorbed radiation, this is more visible especially with special filters to highlight the parts that we want to see glow. In our case, the retinal and choroidal blood vessels!

Drs. Majcher and Trevino were very happy to finally present this lab to us. After going over lectures upon lectures of how FA can visualize the source of the problem and do wonders in making differential diagnoses, I was very excited to finally see how this test is done! I was the first volunteer, many students were hesitant because the Informed Consent Document  (waivers) mentioned the possible side effects, such as unpleasant taste, staining of skin/mucus membranes, discoloration of urine, increased risk of sunburns with sunlight exposure. Allergy was another concern, this is why we had a medical monitor on call, Dr. Parkhurst from Parkhurst Nuvision; however, every student in lab has probably instilled over a bottle of fluorescein into each other’s’ eyes while practicing taking eye pressures or checking the cornea in lab; as expected no allergies were noted.

Before the start of the procedure, I was instructed to dilate my eye and take a normal color fundus photo as the baseline. After drinking the Fluorescein, I can take a fundus photo every 10- 15 minutes (in angiography-mode) for an hour or so. We expect Initial appearance of dye at 8 – 10 min and max fluorescence around 10–15 min. The fluorescence persists for approx. 2 hours!

We are performing oral FA (an alternative to conventional intravenous (IV) fluorescein angiography), because oral fluorescein administration is safer and is less likely to cause allergic reactions. Dr. Trevino mixed 1g fluorescein sodium powder and 8-16oz of a sweetened liquid beverage (Gatorade) together and topped off the yummy glowing drink with a straw to prevent staining of the mouth. His instructions were “Drink as fast as you can!” because that way the bolus of Fluorescein will hit the eyes faster and brighter!

There were about 7 groups of students and each group had one volunteer who drank the fluorescein. Every time the volunteer would go take a fundus photo, the group can follow them and see how the pictures came out. Our technician, Matthew Kruse, would teach us how to operate the Fundus camera and gave us tips on making the patient more comfortable behind the camera.

Below is the sequence of my fundus photos! I’m glad they came out healthy! I hope by participating as a volunteer, that I can better explain to my patients what Fluorescein Angiography entails!  [pb_slideshow group=”5″]

Scholarship Awarded to UIWRSO Student

Intern Linh Phan has been selected for the 2013 Transitions Students of Vision Scholarship.  This scholarship was open to optometry and opticianry students.  In order to apply, students had to submit an entry to the “Share Your Impact” contest.

An entry could be a video, short story, photograph, poster, drawing, or illustration that demonstrated how the student will use (or have used) his/her professional expertise to impact the lives of others.

Finalists were selected based on their answers to two questions:

(1) How did, or will you, use your professional expertise to make a difference in the lives of others?

(2) What impact did, or will, it have in their lives?

Entries were judged based on creativity and their ability to communicate answers to the two questions above.  Intern Phan submitted a short story about volunteering for optometric services, and was one of ten grand prize winners, from more than forty-five applicants.  As a grand prize winner, she will receive a $500 scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to Transitions Optical headquarters near Tampa, Florida​.