Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer School: Guest Post by Morgan Grove

The summer between first and second year of Optometry school is often referred to as ‘your last summer ever’ by students here at Pacific. We work very hard during the school year, and first year is definitely a big lifestyle adjustment, so when that summer arrives it welcomed with open arms. A chance to relax, get outside instead of studying in the library, and spend time doing your favorite activities without worrying about the next upcoming test or proficiency in the back of your mind.

That summer is bliss, but what about the next one? I just finished my first session of summer school ever in my decently long time as a student. The dreaded summer between second and third year – in which you have to start seeing patients for the first time as well as keep going to labs and lectures. Let me tell you, I was not looking forward to this summer at all. I did as many things as possible during my ‘last summer’ so when I was locked up in the library studying I could at least remind myself of the experiences I had the time and freedom to discover the previous year. 

So I came back from our short break at the end of second year, having just earned my white coat and survived another round of finals and resigned to start summer school. Don’t get me wrong, I love Optometry school and Pacific, but I was just not looking forward to spending my summer indoors instead of out exploring. Thankfully, though, summer school did not end up being the prison sentence that I had imagined it would be.

First of all, you get start your clinical experience, which is what you’ve been working for the past 2 years and it is Amazing.  Working with patients is a whole new challenge, and each week brings a different kind of encounter. Sometimes this can be a little overwhelming, but fortunately we have amazing peers. I loved both of my clinic groups and attending doctors, and learned so much from all of them.
Another great surprise for me was that even though I was in summer school and still had to go to class every day, I actually had time to do some exploring with my incredible classmates. We got to spend an Oregon summer together, which is definitely a great experience. One day some of us hiked Saddle Mountain, which isn’t easy but the view is amazing.

The coast is only an hour away, and during this summer we definitely took advantage of that, jetting over to watch the amazing sunsets and breathe in the sea air. Also, Portland is just a short drive and it was great to check out all the things going on in the city – food, drinks, and of course, the Timbers!

During the summer we were also lucky enough to have a few long holiday weekends, and that was so nice because we could get away and see family or just have a little more time to explore. I went to Crater with my family and it was breathtakingly beautiful!

Since Optometry’s Meeting is also during the summer, we got a little time off to attend that if we chose to as well, which I did. It was in Philadelphia this year and it was such a unique experience to check out Philly as well as get to interact with students from other schools as well as doctors (also Bonus! We got to meet Mrs. Philadelphia at Love Park while we were there). 

Even though it doesn’t seem like I did much else besides have fun, I did still have to study during the summer. But on the bright side, studying for a midterm isn’t so bad when you get to do it like this:
And, when August comes, and you finally do get all your studying done (for this semester at least), all the tests have been taken, all the patients have been seen, then you do get a couple weeks to get out there and do whatever you want before fall semester starts up. So don’t dread summer school, just take advantage of the time you do have off and do something amazing!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Getting Away: The Key to a Balanced Life in Optometry School

Of all the things I'd been skeptical about, I didn't feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.- Cheryl Strayed, Wild

The best medicine for an overworked brain is nature; Optometry students know that feeling all too well! To balance the hard work of a graduate program, our students have tried many different activities to aid them in continuing a sense of well-being. Fourth Year student, Shane McDonald, shares some photos of his various adventures throughout Oregon!

Climbing Monkey Face and Smith Rock

Camping and hiking Mt. Hood, 2.5 hours outside of Forest Grove

Climbing Bulo Point, about 3 hours outside of Forest Grove.

As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities to experience the beauty and nature of the Pacific Northwest near PUCO! If you have a chance to schedule a visit with us, try to experience some of the sought-out climbing and hiking locations in the area. You can use the Portland Hikers Field Guide to map out the best location for your hiking or climbing desires.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry on YouTube!

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) has released a video, Be a Doctor of Optometry: Put Your Future in Focus, on their new YouTube channel! 

“The video reinforces what many optometrists already know,” says Dr. Jennifer Smythe, Dean of Pacific University College of Optometry and ASCO President. “Doctors of optometry have unlimited career opportunities, great success at achieving work/life balance, and are primary health care providers that make a real difference. We also have the privilege of having a positive impact on the ability of an individual to succeed and be happy in life by improving vision and eye health.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Guest Post: Tyler Rose: Mr. Optometry Pageant

To start 2014 off right, Pacific University College of Optometry hosted its first ever Mr. Optometry pageant in the Taylor Meade Auditorium. It was quite the event and a great experience for everyone! The pageant’s festivities were organized by first year entertainment representative Becca Lange with the aid of the council members of the Class of 2017. Students and Faculty all participated in helping make it an epic night! The judges for this event were our very own Dr. Coffey, Dr. Citek, and Jeannie Oliver; our charming MC’s were Drs. Doll and Halverson. There were nearly 200 audience members who attended the Mr. Optometry Pageant for its debut year!

Jeannie Oliver, Dr. Coffey, Dr. Citek
Each class had a handful of brave participants who were nominated by their class and willing to participate in the various activities. The night began with a choreographed dance to the song “I like to Move it Move it”, surprising audience members with the skillful display. Contestants then went on the catwalk to show off their best clinic attire and had a thought-provoking question waiting for them to answer on the spot. Questions such as, “If a patient had come to you that self diagnosed themselves with a number of diseases, how would you go about treating them?” or “As Mr. Optometry, what do you think some of the responsibilities are?” or “What would you do if a woman’s water broke in your office?”

Intermission was graced with a bake sale; goods were donated to each of the contestants by classmates and the contestant who sold the most goods got the most points. Afterwards, the points were tallied and four unfortunate souls were cut from the rankings. However, the show must go on, and the remaining semifinalists played two Optometry-style game shows; Family Feud and The Price is Right.

Family Feud!
The night’s talent portion was nothing shy of amazing as contestants beautifully showcased their acting skills. They each had one minute to act out 10 charades in front of the audience, each charade getting more and more challenging. Audience members got to call out their answers to the contestants, some turning out to be quite hysterical! For example, one of the contestants was acting out “Getting accepted into Optometry School” and jumping up and down in excitement, while audience members yelled out “Cheer leader!”, “Pants on fire!”, and “Raise the Roof!”. The last category, “Best Eyes”, was determined anonymously by votes from the students and faculty. The winner of this category was awarded separately with the “Pupil’s Choice Award”

Drs. Doll and Halverson and First Year Student Samantha Sperber awarding winners.

After all of the acts were performed, the votes and points were added up to award the winners. There was suspense in the air as another 3 were eliminated off the stage. Finally, the final 3 contestants were awarded the following; Pupil’s Choice award was won by first year, Chris Kimball, Runner up was first year, Jordan Tanous, and Pacific University’s one and only Mr. Optometry 2014 was awarded to second year student ambassador, yours truly, Tyler Rose.

Pageant Wave!

It was a great event and a fun way for the whole school to assemble and really get to know each other better. We all learned some hidden talents and fun facts about our classmates and faculty members! Over $1,000 was raised at this event. Heine and Pioneer donated prizes for the winners of Mr. Optometry, runner up, and Pupil’s choice award.

This year might have been the first annual Mr. Optometry at Pacific University but it certainly won’t be the last. It was not only a great success but will become an event you will not want to miss in the future. The festivities of the pageant will grow and improve each year, I guarantee it! We hope to continue this fundraiser and anticipate that it becomes a tradition for PUCO students for years to come!

Hope to see you there next year for Mr. Optometry 2015!

Thank you to all the volunteers who put this on!
 Photo Credit: PUCO First Year Students Britlynn Chan and Dana Brady.