by Samantha Del Campo, OD (Nova ’18), New Grad Coordinator

During the month of April, a few important events take place in the career of an optometry student. These are, of course:

  1. Exam week
  2. Exam week
  3. Exam week
  4. The COVD Annual Meeting!

With all the stress from items 1 thru 3, some behavioral optometrists might even claim that students are experiencing a “tunneling effect”,  or central phenomenon where all peripheral data occurring outside of this exam week have been suppressed. As a solution to this troubling symptom, my advice as a VT-practicing new grad is to “look soft” with our vision… and realize that the COVD 2019 Annual Meeting AND exam week can BOTH be mastered with adequate preparation!

Looking back now as a practicing optometrist, I can’t recall the resulting grades from my own April exams (obviously I must have passed!). Instead, what I will forever remember are the life-long connections I made and the diverse knowledge I gained from making sure I got to the COVD Annual Meeting that month.

Even if you can’t make it to every event at COVD 2019, these are the top 4 things that no student (or resident) should skip–trust me, a little extra exam week stress is absolutely worth it!

The Student/Doctor Mixer

Looking for a job? Imagine a line of successful vision therapy doctors looking for a new associate, eagerly waiting for their turn to take the mic and convince YOU why you should consider a career at their office! Plus, free food & drinks!

The VisionHelp Roundtable Discussion

Visualize this: you are sitting at the same table with some of the biggest names in optometric vision therapy, AND they’re giving you personal career advice to jump-start your venture into the world of optometry! Someone please check if I have an abnormal shift to my egocentric midline, I think I’m going weak from the excitement!
Last year’s moderators included Drs. Neil Draisin, Gary Etting, Dan Fortenbacher, Len Press, and Barry Tannen!

The Exhibit Hall

Purchasing equipment? No problem, check out the deals going on EXCLUSIVE to the Annual Meeting! I was lucky enough to shake the president of Bernell’s hand and hear about what he could do for us new grads! Numerous vendors offering the latest equipment for vision therapy, EHR systems, and more–they all come to the COVD Annual Meeting, ready to help you grow your practice!

Exclusive Education!

Last but certainly not least, this portion of COVD 2019’s offerings is the core of the whole event. Learn in-depth about unique topics you might have only seen one lecture about in school and start getting big ideas about your future career in developmental optometry!

The events you’ll enjoy at the COVD Annual Meeting are unparalleled by any other gathering I’ve attended. They provided me with tools I needed, as well as the support of the COVD Family–both of which proved invaluable while setting out on my career as an optometrist practicing vision therapy.

All in all, yes, exam week is a lot of stress. But in my experience, there’s no better stress reliever than visiting my COVD Family at the Annual Meeting!

I hope to see you all in Kansas City April 9th-13th 2019!