My Last Year at RSO!

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After spending a whole year with my third year clinic group, it was hard to part ways! I would not get to see many of my classmates until graduation in the spring ’16. It was a bittersweet moment indeed. The summer semester went by before I knew it, and we went off on our externships. Some students moved to Florida, some decided to live with family in the East coast, and some stayed in Texas. Dr. Majcher, our externship coordinator, made sure to find the best places for externships. There are many locations and modes of practice to choose from. For example, I picked all private practice externships because that is what I wanted to pursue (you probably figured that out from all my previous private practice club posts). However, some students picked VA sites or eye hospitals to see more ocular disease, while some classmates wanted to specialize in vision therapy so they went off to a pediatric/vision therapy based practice. All in all, I think picking the right externship for yourself is very important part of your education and growth.

Allow me to introduce to you the layout of RSO’s 4th year. There are three semesters (summer, fall, and spring) in the 4th year, however you spend only 1 semester on campus, this semester is called your 4th year in-house rotation. The in-house rotation is broken up into mini-rotations where you are focused on a subspecialty of optometry. The other two semesters will be considered your externship, meaning you will pick two externship sites to spend 3-4 months in.

Here’s a recap of my 4th year experience so far.

I was in-house for the summer. I got to know my classmates, who were in my in-house clinic group, really well. My clinic group was so much fun, we went out to eat, inside jokes lightened up the day, and helping each other out made the day go by so much smoother. I really appreciate working with them because they shared with me their tips on patient care and their experience with challenging cases. I consider them more than just colleagues but life-long friends and I will truly miss them.

The in-house rotation was full of learning. I wish I could write a blog for each, but for briefness’ sake, here is a summary of each mini-rotation. We worked with visually impaired patients at the Low Vision and Rehabilitation Clinic. After seeing cataract and LASIK surgeries. we learned how to manage those patients at the Peri-Op rotation. At the Glaucoma Clinic, we watched glaucoma laser treatments and monitored the patients’ conditions. If you are wondering what the Visual Neurophysiology Service is, there is only a couple in Texas. Challenging patients, most often tertiary referrals from retinal specialists, neurologists, etc, came to see us for special testing. Contact lens services made me more confident in fitting all sorts of contact lenses (scleral, hard, soft, astigmatism, multifocals, etc).  Also we saw infants to high-school students in the pediatrics rotation. Vision therapy rotation gave us week-to-week interaction with the same patient and it was a great feeling to see them improve over the time.

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

Scholarships and Texas State Optical Banquet

Dr. Stanfield is on the scholarship committee with Susan Ly, Scholarship recipient
Dr. Stanfield is on the scholarship committee with Susan Ly, Scholarship recipient

The University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIWRSO) offers many opportunities for students to apply for scholarships. As you know, scholarships do not have to be repaid and are awarded based upon academic performance or other criteria specifically outlined. UIWRSO optometry students are able to apply for many different scholarships specific to the program. Once you are enrolled, the faculty scholarship committee will forward outside scholarship opportunities to all students meeting the criteria specified in the application whether it be year in school, clinic, state of residence, etc. You can find more information here .

As a smaller program, I feel that I have comfortably established a professional relationship with my professors because they are so helpful and friendly. By building this rapport, UIWRSO faculty and staff have assisted me in the scholarship process, from proofreading, draft edits, to writing a letter of recommendation. They have been a great help in my optometry career and I am so thankful!

Having recently completed our first set of board exams, I appreciated being invited to the Texas State Optical (TSO) Banquet. Both 3rd and 4th year students attending RSO were invited to a full course meal with dessert at the Omni hotel near our school. Students and their guests mingled at the mixer with TSO board members and UIWRSO faculty. The 4th year students are going to graduate soon, so they spent a lot of time together talking about their fun times at optometry school. The third year students finished their boards part 1 and were enjoying this special treat. Many faculty showed up to hang out with the students before they move forward with their lives. The meal was a self served Southern buffet. The food was so good that I got seconds!

The CEO of TSO, Mr. Marvin, began the evening speaking to the students about TSO. Then we had a word from Dean Wingert  who was followed by Dr. Stanfield. Dr. Stanfield is head of the TSO scholarship committee, so he announced the winners. I was fortunate enough to be selected for  one of three $2,000 scholarships offered by Texas State Optical Inc. This award is given to a student that has an interest in private practice and wrote an essay about it. It was an honor to be selected and this award and I would like to thank the TSO Scholarship Committee.

Dr. Parker demonstrates Customer Service in a “Full Scope Practice”

Dr. Parker - Essilor

The Private Practice Club at UIWRSO welcomed Dr. Parker to lecture on “Full Scope Practice” on Monday, March 2nd from 6-7pm in the Lecture Hall 328.  Over 60 students and faculty came out to this event and were very please with the presentation, role-playing, videos, and the tips for improving their customer service. Dr. Parker was very interactive and invited students to come to the front to act as a customer or patient while Dr. Parker acted as an “engaging” or “not so caring” doctor to demonstrate the impact that good customer service have on the patient.

Dr. Ryan Parker graduated from the Oklahoma College of Optometry at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah Oklahoma in 2004.  While in school he was honored to be elected as President of The AOSA and greatly enjoyed his time serving the national student association.  He opened Parker Family Vision Center in 2007 after being involved in two partnerships.  Dr. Parker practices full scope optometry.  He is proud to be among a select group of Optometrists in the state of Oklahoma that have completed the training to become licensed to perform PRK eye surgery.  Dr. Parker works as an optometric consultant in professional relations for Essilor of North America and lectures for Essilor nationwide. He has lectured on practice management topics at many of the schools and colleges of Optometry and has presented numerous lectures to opticians and optometric physicians on a variety of spectacle lens related topics.

He shared his experiences with the students and many students were glad to have learned more about private practice from a customer service point of view. Please watch this clip to hear what he had to say!

TEXAS BBQ dinner from Rudy’s was served in the cafeteria afterwards. There was brisket, sausages, beans, corn, peach cobbler, pecan pie, and refreshing ice tea! Essilor sponsored Dr. Parker to come to our school as well as the food for the school.

 

What is Interprofessional Education?

 

Last year when I volunteered at the Catholic Charities Wellness and Resource Fair, I met a lot of friendly UIW students from the other professional schools, but a pharmacy professor, Dr. Cynthia Nguyen, taught me something that has stuck with me ever since. Dr. Nguyen told me about Interprofessional Education and how it can change the face of healthcare for the better. The World Health Organization describes Interprofessional Education (IPE) as when students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. Efficient team work implies shared decision making and responsibilities, consensus on the ethical principles, constructive conflict management, and reflection of the role of each member within the team (Narayanan). Only recently have I learned that the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry is one of only a handful of optometry programs that integrate IPE into the academic and clinical experience.

In addition to optometry, UIW has multiple health professional programs such as pharmacy, physical therapy (PT), and nursing. Each program has a solid curriculum, however the programs rarely interact. This is definitely changing. Dr. Cynthia Nguyen joined the Feik School of Pharmacy as the Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (IPECP) Coordinator and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. She is currently working with other health disciplines at the University of the Incarnate Word to enhance an Interprofessional Education model and clinical site that allows students an opportunity to be a part of a patient-centered, multidisciplinary healthcare team. 

From left to right: Nicole Ghitea, Calvin Sanchez, Alissa Davenport, and Susan Ly.
From left to right: Nicole Ghitea, Calvin Sanchez, Alissa Davenport, and Susan Ly.

I too, believe that integrated professional education can lead to better integrated care and ultimately a better patient experience. So I volunteered to join the IPE group in the fall of 2014 and that has been one of my best experiences at UIW! The IPE group of 60 or so students would meet weekly on Wednesday at the Bowden Eye and Vision Care Clinic. Every IPE morning, the faculty would place 4-5 students from Pharmacy, Optometry, Physical Therapy, and Nursing into a team. Among our team, we would have a team meeting on communication and the plan for our upcoming patients. In addition to meeting with our IPE teams, the faculty would prepare lectures. The topics of the lectures and meetings were about how IPE works in caring for chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. Currently, type 2 diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, affecting 29.1 million people (9.3% of the population). The prevalence of diabetes is expected to continue to rise in American adults, dubbing it as the pandemic of the 21st century. Because diabetes is a chronic condition, having a team of providers as opposed to one provider can greatly improve health outcomes and compliance.

We were assigned one patient per team. Each team traveled together so I was able to see what the other professionals did in an exam. What was once a big mystery is now clear to me. Everyone was awed by my eye exam because they did not know why the optometrist do what they did. Throughout the morning we explained to the patient and each other the importance of our procedures in monitoring diabetes. It was such a great learning experience. I especially like to listen to how the other professional students spoke with the patient, the questions that they ask, and the language that was used; I reflected on how I could reword my questions during case histories for a better patient experience.

The IPE program is generating much interest at UIW.  Students from the different health professional schools are currently working on a constitution to form an interprofessional student group with a mission to optimize health care. Calvin Sanchez, a second year pharmacy student at UIW, invited two nursing students Nicole Ghitea and Alissa Davenport, and myself to the first interprofessional executive board meeting. Since then Danielle Kimbrough, a Physical Therapy student, has joined and we have communicated via email and met on Google hangouts to talk about the plans for this student group. This is all very exciting and I’m glad that I had the opportunity at UIW to meet such amazing people! One of our plans was to meet at a restaurant for a meet and greet! Over 20 students and faculty came out to the mixer in the seafood resturant, Ceviche 210. I enjoyed a delicious fish taco and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon with my new UIW friends!

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References

Narayanan, Srihari, Timothy Wingert, and Patricia Sanchez-Diaz. “Interprofessional Education Challenges With Implementation In An Optometric Curriculum.” Interprofessional Education Challenges With Implementation In An Optometric Curriculum. American Academy of Optometry, 2012. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.