After growing up in northwestern Pennsylvania and attending Arcadia University in suburban Philadelphia, I decided to move to Southern California to attend the Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry. I always knew I would return to my roots on the east coast, so I was very excited when I learned that Edmonds and Associates offers a clinical rotation site for Western University students.
The idea of continuing my clinical education with such a highly respected team of optometrists in one of the leading eye hospitals is a dream come true for a student planning fourth year rotations. When I walked into the office at Wills Eye Hospital on my first day I was nervous, and essentially star struck, as I entered the building surrounded by top medical professionals.
At the center city location Edmonds and Associates specializes in low vision and contact lenses, both areas that I had little clinical exposure to when I started. I knew that for twelve weeks I was going to be stretched outside of my clinical comfort zone but had so much to learn in order to provide the best and most comprehensive care to my future patients. From day one I was seeing patients and was made to feel like part of the health care team. There has been such a great balance of direction, responsibility, ownership, and support from the Edmonds and Associates team. Each one of the doctors has helped me to become a better clinician and has provided me with unique insight for producing top quality patient care. Whether it be in the exam room seeing patients or in private conversation, I have been inspired by each doctor and feel as though each one has invested in my future, the future of the profession, and ultimately the future of quality patient care. I have also had the opportunity to work with fellow fourth year optometry students from other schools and spend time with the new Ophthalmology residents at Wills
Eye Hospital. I have found it beneficial to collaborate with other members of the health care team as I believe we all have something to learn from each other to better the overall care of patients.
Most of my days are spent at the Wills Eye location in center city Philadelphia, but I have also been invited to spend days in Drexel Hill and Great Valley. By working in each of these offices I have been able to experience hospital-based optometry as well as the private office setting. As I prepare for my career, I am grateful for every opportunity to experience various practice settings.
The number one reason I have chosen this profession is the patients. I love people, hearing their stories, and working with them to help maintain healthy visual systems and achieve their visual goals. After many years of classroom learning, it is a good feeling to be in full time patient care. Throughout this rotation I have been able to use my foundation in the science of optometry and put it together with the art of caring for the individual patient. With the help of my supervising doctors, I have been encouraged to think outside the box to achieve successful patient outcomes which continually motivate me to ask more questions, take on more difficult cases and to never put a limit on what I can learn from patients and my future colleagues. As I finish out my first rotation, I am thankful for the Edmonds Group and all of the patients for giving me such an education and fulfilling launch into my career as an optometrist and health care provider.