Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Guest Post: Cathy Yuen: The biggest optometry event of the year is calling for YOU!

To all the new incoming first years, congratulations for surviving the first week of optometry school! As the first week comes to an end, I hope you have all found your way to swim through the piles of email you get each day and to keep track of all the quizzes and labs that you have.  It was nice to see so many of you coming out to the SOA Spring Picnic last week.

At many events throughout the year, you will often hear that travel grants for the Optometry’s Meeting are being raffled off.  In case you aren’t sure what the Optometry’s Meeting is and how the travel grant works, I will tell you a little bit about it.  Optometry’s meeting is one of the largest optometry conferences held annually at different cities across the US.  I had the opportunity to attend this year’s conference which was held in sunny San Diego!

At the conference, there are dozens of booths that feature the latest diagnostic technologies, new products on the market, and designer frames.  Basically, you will find everything related to optometry.  There is also a large selection of continuing education seminars available.  Topics range from practise management to amblyopia treatment and to glaucoma diagnosis.  You are guaranteed to find some talks that interest you!  Aside from the optometry aspect, there are also many opportunities for you to socialize with students from other optometry schools in the US and Canada.  One of the sponsors of the conference, HOYA, organized a private event for us on the USS Midway.  It was pretty cool to go on the longest serving aircraft carrier of this century!

 One of the highlights of the conference is the Student Bowl.  The bowl is a jeopardy-style competition where each school sends out one representative to answer optometry trivia questions.  The atmosphere was awesome! Pacific had a great turnout and we cheered our hearts out for our rep, Gleb, who did an awesome job!

After the conference, I visited the San Diego SeaWorld with my friends and had a great time seeing all the animals and shows.  One of the highlights of the day was getting splashed by the killer whales in one of the shows.  We were soaking wet from head to toe! Fortunately, it was really hot that day so we dried off in no time but at the same time, we all got sunburns by the end of the day!

Photo by Amandeep Soor
Next year, the Optometry’s meeting will be held at Philadelphia.  I highly encourage you to try to attend as it really is a fascinating experience! As you will or have heard many upperclassmen say, the summer of your first year will be the last one so take advantage of it! Now, to help you to go to the conference, many organizations such as SOA and AOSA graciously donate travel grants that will be raffled off at different events throughout the year.  The travel grants can be used towards airfare or accommodation.  If you want to increase your chance of winning, make sure you show up to all the events! Philadelphia is waiting for you!

Photo by
Thanks for reading!  Hope you guys had a great long weekend!

-Cathy Yuen


  1. I have been considering becoming an optometrist up in Red Deer, and I was wondering, what certifications are needed to follow this career path?

    1. Jason,

      Please contact us at for more information about Optometry!

  2. Great post! This sounds like a great event to have attended. Thanks for the info!