Our lucky last article is for the 4th years! 4th year is a whirlwind of a year rife with existential crises, self-discovery and friendship. Here’s the advice our current UNSW OptomSoc Treasurer, Tyson, has to give you.
What I Wish I’d Known in Fourth Year – Tyson Xu, Class of 2017
1. Keep your logbooks up to date – Do them straight after you test a patient so that you don’t have to rush through them all the day before it’s due and so that you can also start implementing the things that you’ve learnt into your next consultations
2. Be curious – If you don’t know why – ask! Also, expect all supervisors to be slightly different and that’s what makes this career so dynamic and exciting. If we did everything the same we’d be technicians but because we’re all unique in the way we choose to practise, we are clinicians. Find out why some supervisors have certain preferences and learn from them!
3. Take initiative – Read up on areas which you are unfamiliar with and reach out and discuss cases with peers, lecturers and supervisors for their take on diagnosis and management
4. Form study groups and learn from each other – You’ll often find that you will complement each other in that you’ll know something that someone else doesn’t and they’ll know something that you don’t.
5. Be a scientist and perfect your craft – I want to finish on this note because there will be times when you feel like you’re just “filling in the boxes” and rush through tests so that you don’t get a U for time. However, I encourage you to use this opportunity (especially during first rotation) to be a scientist and experiment performing tests in different ways to perfect your craft. Find out other ways of conducting tests and implement them to help you decide what works for you. Then, use all of your knowledge and extract clinically significant information to address your patients’ concerns. Make the most of this opportunity and become the optometrist that you want to be.
Editors: Cindy Van and Celine Zhang
Disclaimer: The views & opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of the UNSW OptomSoc or UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science.