12 March 2013

Guest Blogger.. A Students View

Hi everyone! My name is Lindsey Parker and I am a third year student from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.  I'm currently a student extern at Dr. John Burns' office in Clinton, MD.  I've taken over his blog this week to provide some insight into my first month here at Eye Design.  My first few days were all about learning the EHR software and dusting off my clinical skills after a two-month hiatus from patient care.  In addition to seeing patients, my extern experience has also included lobbying for an important optometric bill and becoming a patient myself.  

Stepping out of the office this past week, I had the opportunity to witness the legislative side of optometry by traveling with Dr. Burns to the Maryland House of Delegates in Annapolis to advocate for upcoming legislation, HB1160.  This bill prohibits insurance companies from requiring providers to discount services that they do not cover.  It also prevents insurance companies from requiring participation in an associated vision plan as a condition of participation in its medical plan.  It was a unique experience simply being in the House, watching the delegates, assistants, and staff bustling around (we even had an encounter with the lieutenant governor).  Dr. Burns and I had a brief meeting with Delegate Robert Costa, bringing the bill to his attention and discussing the effects the passage of the bill would have on our profession.  This experience has emphasized the importance of participation in state and national optometric organizations because, like it or not, optometry is a legislated profession.

One of the most exciting parts of my rotation so far has been my transition from extern to "guinea pig".  Dr. Burns introduced me to GVSS (orthokeratology), a vision-correcting procedure he has been offering patients for many years. I had learned a little about orthoK in school, but didn't know much about the fitting of the lenses or the management of GVSS patients.  While this technology was previously limited to mild myopic prescriptions, recent advancements in lens technology have allowed for correction of moderate myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia, and even presbyopia.  After wearing glasses since I was four years old, I was ready and willing to test one of the new lens designs on my moderate astigmatism. The first night was a little rough (needless to say, I was happy to shut my eyes and go to sleep after putting the lenses in).  But when I took the lenses out in the office that first morning, I could see 20/20. I had never before been able to accomplish that without glasses or soft contact lenses.  As I continue with the lenses, I'm starting to be able to go all day with clear vision. It's an exciting advancement that I'm grateful I've been able to try and something I hope more patients become aware of as an alternative to glasses and contact lenses.

I'm looking forward to many more unique experiences in the next few months of my rotation here in Clinton.  


At March 13, 2013 at 5:14 PM , Blogger Toby Crane said...

I think that the optometrist in Mesa, AZ, is going to be doing a great job! Thanks for sharing this information. Keep up the great work!


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