Nandita Anand, now half-way through her first year as an OVS resident, gives insight into her first eight months in residency and what being an ophthalmology resident looks like here at the University of Chicago.
1. How has your first several months of residency been?
Incredibly enriching and exciting! My time has been filled with "firsts" –this includes my first solo ophthalmology consult in the middle of the night, pediatric strabismus surgery, intravitreal injection, PRP laser, ectropion repair and many, many more. I felt prepared for these experiences because of the guidance of my seniors and my attendings.
2. What do you think is special about the residency program at U of C?
We see very interesting and diverse pathology on a daily basis. Being at this large academic institution, we have ample resources for research and collaboration. We also have faculty that is not only knowledgeable and are leaders in their field, but also very approachable and committed to resident learning. There have been several instances during which attendings have spent their free time teaching me surgical techniques in the wet lab on an individual basis.
Another huge asset to my learning has been our wonderful patients. Whether it is to allowing me to examine their peripheral retina or waiting patiently until I complete their laser procedures; they are understanding and supportive. I feel that in the short time that I have been here, I have had the chance to build meaningful relationships with many of them.
3. Describe a typical workday in the life of a first year resident.
Depending on the rotation, our everyday work schedule changes. Currently, I am on the oculoplastics/ retina rotation, and my day typically is morning clinic, followed by afternoons in the operating room. While in the OR, I am working one-on-one with the attending to expand and improve my surgical experience. I value that this program puts emphasis on having first year residents spend as much time as possible in the OR while also giving us the opportunity to experience as many subspecialties as possible.
4. Do you have any advice for medical students who are currently interested in possibly pursuing ophthalmology?
I would encourage them to start exploring the field early so they can learn all how truly wonderful ophthalmology is. The field has so much to offer ranging from pediatric to adult care, cosmetic procedures to trauma, and from refractions to transplants. I would assure medical students that this field is rapidly expanding with new treatments and innovations helping improve the lives of patients.
5. Where do you see yourself in the future?
My long term goal is to be a well-trained, competent ophthalmologist who enjoys working with patients and caring for them. As I have yet to complete all my rotations, I am keeping my options open with regards to fellowship! U of C is providing me with a strong foundation for my career in ophthalmology by giving me the opportunity to learn from world renowned faculty dedicated to resident learning, as well as access to world-renowned research and a diverse clinical experience.