Looking at a future in medicine

Rachel Dixon ’19 interns with optometry practice

Supported by: Talanian Work & Learning Fellowship
Major: Biology

Eyes on the prize: “After Wheaton, I plan on attending a four-year graduate program to become a doctor of optometry. My internship with Optometric Associates of Bristol and Dr. Amy Himmelstein, M.D., has allowed me to gain experience and knowledge working in my future profession. I initially started interning here the summer after my sophomore year of college and continued over the winter break of my junior year.”

The daily agenda: “My main duties included providing one-on-one contact lens fitting instructions with patients, answering phones, scheduling appointments, maintaining files, ordering frames, checking the contact lens inventory and overall organization of the office. I also assisted my coworkers in carrying out tasks as needed.”

Lessons learned: “I have gained so much knowledge about the management of a small business and about the daily life of an optometrist. I have also learned valuable information on topics that I know will be of great use to me in the future, such as health insurance and emergency calls.”

Course connections: “In a physics course that I took, we completed a unit on optics that covered material such as concave and convex lenses in correlation to the human eye. We also touched on the anatomy of the human eye in physiology. This provided me with important background information, and it helped me to better understand the purpose of certain pieces of optometry equipment.”

Seeing the future: “My favorite part of the internship was observing Dr. Himmelstein interact with her patients. Seeing relationships that have been established through years of personal healthcare is wonderful to witness. This family-like dynamic is something I hope to achieve with my patients in the future as an optometrist.”

Staying motivated: “This experience encourages me to keep pushing and do my absolute best in all of my courses. I was able to work directly with patients, which allowed me to have a glimpse into my future. My courses may challenge me now, but at the end of the road I know it will lead to an enjoyable career in the healthcare field.”

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