The bucket list before your first day of practice
Take a long vacation. It has been tough to get just a few days off of work, let alone a week or two for an extended vacation. You'll have the rest of your life to work and though it seems tempting to work and make your first paycheck, you'll be glad you decided to take that long break.
The To-Do list before your first day of practice
- Decide where I want to live and practice
- Getting my license in that state
- Finding an ideal job
- Deciding where I want to be and how I will be practicing 5 to 10 years down the line
Your biggest challenge after graduation
My biggest challenge after graduation was finding a job I was happy with. Optometry has so many different modalities that it is hard to find an ideal match. For example, did I want to work in an optical where my day consisted of seeing 10 patients, fitting contacts, and refracting? Did I want to work in a private practice optometry group? Should I work in corporate optometry so that I get paid more and have amazing benefits? These are questions you’ll find yourself asking as well upon graduation. The best thing to do is to just dip your feet in everything and give it a shot. You’ll be surprised where you end up and you will get valuable experiences.
Your biggest challenge in first year of practice
Similar to some of my colleagues, the biggest challenge is handling the transition from being a student to being a clinician. I was so used to having a supervisor help me when I was unsure of something that it was challenging when I was on my own for the first time.
The best part about working with experienced / senior ODs
I work with four OD's and 5 OMD's, all of whom are older than me. I would have to say that I am extremely fortunate to have more experienced clinicians who are so willing to help me when I was unsure of management.
The most challenging thing about building a patient base
My age! I can see the hesitation in some of my patients when they see that I’m a new doctor they haven’t met before and that I look so young. Smile, look them in their eyes, and treat them like family and pretty soon, they’ll love you more than you know.
The hardest part of your day
I see on average 30 patients a day so time management is the hardest part!