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An Expert On Eyes, Blind To Potential Consequences

, , , | Healthy | May 17, 2022

This happened when I was still a med student. We were learning how to perform an opthalmoscopy, which is an examination of the retina, optic disc, etc. To do so, you normally have to use eye drops to dilate the pupil and then look at the back of the eye with a lamp. As he explains all this to us, the ophthalmologist spots my eyes.

Ophthalmologist: “Oh! Wow! You have such large pupils! That’s rare, but very useful for us! Are you okay with letting your classmates practice on you? That way, we won’t have to use the eye drops!”

Me: *Thinking this won’t take very long* “Uh, sure, okay!”

How wrong I was. What follows is literally thirty minutes of people lighting lamps directly into my eyes. The ophthalmologist encourages them to practice more, gushing about how useful it is to have a student with such large pupils! Finally…

Ophthalmologist: *Addressing me* “Oh! We only have five minutes left. You still need to take a turn, too!”

My classmates shut off their lamps and I blink, for the first time in thirty minutes not looking directly into a lamp.

Me: “Uh, sir, I’m afraid that won’t be possible.”

Ophthalmologist: “What? Why not? We didn’t use the eye drops on you!”

Me: *Still blinking* “Yes, but all I can see are dancing spots in front of my eyes.” 

Ophthalmologist: “O-oh… That could happen, I guess…” *To my classmates* “Would you mind escorting her to your next class until she can see again?”

If I ever need an ophthalmologist, I now know where NOT to go. Luckily, I was never interested in that field anyway, because I never learned to perform an opthalmoscopy.

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