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All Aboard to Take the Boards!

It’s the beginning of March, the birds are chirping away, and the days are getting longer. This can only mean one thing: Part 1 of Boards are only 2 weeks away! Part 1 of the National Board Examinations begins the third week of March and with midterm exams coming up every minute of studying counts. I have put months of hard work into taking notes, making flashcards, taking practice exams and studying efficiently.

Spring semester of third year is quite different from the previous semesters in that I am spending less time in class and more time in my clinical site and independently studying for boards.  The past two months, I have been waking up at 7am to get ready and start my busy day.  Time management is key when I have morning classes, clinic in the afternoon, then making room to study in the evening.  I would highly recommend making flash cards especially for the ocular and systemic pharmacology section. I like to study them when I am on the train to clinic or when I am watching TV.  I study best in the morning so I like to go over new material early in the day and understand it well.  Then in the evening I like to review previous material and go over a few practice questions. Repetition, repetition, and repetition will take you a long way.

I have so much to look forward to post-boards. One thing I’m really looking forward to is going to the Dominican Republic to provide eye exams to underserved communities as part of the VOSH club.  During the first week in April, I will be part of a group of 20 students and two professors who will be flying to Santo Domingo for 7 days.  I have put a great amount of effort into the past two years to be able to attend this once in a lifetime opportunity and I cannot wait to share this wonderful experience with my classmates.

Two weeks later, I will also be going to Fort Worth, Texas to attend a conference sponsored by Alcon Laboratories.  Right after I return, to top of the final days of my third year , I’ll be attending the 88th annual Eyeball at the Boston Museum of Science.  I am looking forward to seeing past and current professors, as well as my classmates, dance the night away.

My clinical education experience here at the New England College of Optometry has been incredible and I cannot wait to see what fourth year has in store for me. I have been exposed to various ocular diseases, various types of clinics, and amazing preceptors throughout my three years in Boston.  I’ve had experience working at a private practice, community health centers, various population groups, and soon being exposed to a different optometry environment abroad. I am also looking forward to March 20th at 5pm when I will be out of the exam room for the Boards and can finally say all the studying paid off! Until then—I will get back to studying!

Biren is in his fourth year at NECO. He is from Chicago, Illinois. During his free time, he enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and trying new foods. He always enjoys great company and making new friends.