This continuing series features a 4th year SCCO student, Daniel Brinchman, who is finishing up his first rotation in Lawton, Oklahoma at the Lawton IHS Hospital optometry clinic.
Here’s Episode 3:
Well it’s just about time to wrap up my stay in Oklahoma. It’s been countless delicious BBQs, nearly 400 Native American patients, 46 clinic days, 25 driving hours exploring the region, 8 cities visited, 2 trips out boating on the lake, and 1 life-changing experience.
One favorite memory in particular during the time out here was traveling to the city of Memphis, Tennessee to explore and look at schools. If you haven’t been, put it on your list of places to go. I was able to find an affordable condo for rent downtown blocks from historic Beale Street with the help of my favorite new lodging website www.airbnb.com. The city and people are alive with a vibrant culture, savory soul food, and groovin’ live music. I learned both Elvis and Johnny Cash helped give birth to rock and roll here and that southern hospitality is alive and kicking. Thanks to all the Southern College of Optometry friends who were incredibly welcoming every step of the way!
Here’s a short video showing street performers on Beale Street:
Next stop? Tucson, AZ Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital. The patients will be typically retired males who have served this country as career soldiers. This demographic will be a drastic change from the patients seen at the Indian Hospital, but that’s the whole point now, isn’t it?
Varying practice setting and patient ages and ethnicities during rotations will help expose me to the range of different ways this profession can be practiced. Also I look at this time as an opportunity to learn while my life is still mobile and responsibilities are minimal.
What do I know about Tucson? It’s an hour away from the Mexican border so the burritos better be on point. This is paramount for a San Diegan whose blood is 15% hot sauce. Maybe I’ll work on my golf game with the retirees; perhaps I’ll don a University of Arizona Wildcat’s mascot suit and run across the end zone while the fight song plays; or quite possibly I’ll barter to get a horse and ride off into the sunset with the Native Americans.
Whatever happens, I’m glad to have you along for the ride.
-Daniel Brinchman, SCCO Class of 2014