A Day in the Life: Second Year Doctor of Optometry Graduate Student

Samantha SpinattoHey everyone! My name is Samantha Spinnato and I am second year in the Traditional Optometry Program at Salus University. Time really does fly here in optometry school. This semester we started seeing patients at The Eye Institute (TEI). When I started optometry school, I decided I wanted to get myself involved in clubs and organizations on campus since that was one thing that I really loved about Salus. I am currently the General Manager of the Note Taking Service, the External Fundraiser for SOSH, and the secretary for Lion’s Club and Gold Key. Sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming, but it keeps me busy which helps me stay on top of my studying.

For me each day presents a different challenge. Each day I have a different task I must get done. My schedule is different every day. Luckily for you I picked a day that was packed filled with clinic, an exam, a lecture and a meeting. Here’s what a day in my shoes is like!

6:30 a.m.: My first alarm goes off, early enough so I can lay in bed for a few more minutes before I get up to rush to get ready and get all my things for the day together. By the time I am ready, and breakfast was eaten, and everything is packed I must run out of the door.

7:30 a.m.: If I am lucky, I’m ready by 7:30 a.m., and I have time to run to Starbucks to get my favorite cup of coffee to begin my day.

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7:50 a.m.:
I report to Suite 1 [at TEI] for my primary care shift. We sign in and unpack our suitcases when we get there. Our first patient is usually scheduled for 8:15. I make sure everything is out and perfectly set so once I am assigned a patient, I am ready to begin.

8:30 a.m.: Luckily on this day, I was paired up with another student in my class. It’s helpful when we are working together so one of us can scribe while the other does the exam. I love being in clinic. It is the best part of my day. Being in clinic is a very rewarding experience, we are practicing the skills we have learned to perfect in the last year and a half. When everyone is done with patients for that shift, our attendings and residents will have a round table discussion where we review different cases as well as what they feel we need to work on for the next week.

Group Shot in Front of Salus12:30 p.m.: Its now time to rush out of clinic and run to grab some lunch at my favorite sushi place in Glenside and get to school to get into exam mode. By the time I get to school I have enough time to look over my review sheet, eat quickly and find my seat in the Hafter Center for the exam.

3:30 p.m.: FINALLY, EXAM OVER! But now it’s time for a two hour lecture. This is probably the most difficult time of the day. Usually after this long of a day already, I will just sit in class and listen to the lecture rather than take notes.

5:30 p.m.: Quick club meeting before I can finally go home for the day. Usually these meetings are with the executive board of the club just to make sure we are on task for our next event or general meeting. This is also a fun part of my day because of all the planning that goes into upcoming trips and events.

6:30 p.m.: Time to have dinner and relax with the roomies! Our favorite pastime is to sit on the couch and binge watch a tv show and eat some chips and salsa! I wouldn’t be surviving optometry school without my roommates!!

Spinnato-(3).jpeg12:00 a.m.: Most days I cannot make it past 12 a.m. I make sure I make my day as productive as possible so I can get a good amount of sleep so the next day is just as productive.

Even though most days are long, stressful and extremely exhausting, I would not change my decision of being in optometry school and being involved at Salus University. I am very happy where I am and the career path I have choose. I am glad I was able to share a glimpse into my day as a second year student at Salus! I hope to see you around!

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” – Robert Tew




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