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The student voice of Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Leaf

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Certain Experiences Impact perspectives on future

How my internship at CEI changed my views on what lies ahead

JUST+LOOK.+The+OR+is+ready+for+the+upcoming+surgery.+In+opthalmology%2C+such+a+small+organ+can+make+a+huge+difference+in+someone%E2%80%99s+life.+%E2%80%9CWhat+I+like+about+my+job+is+that+I+can+make+a+difference+in+someone%E2%80%99s+life.+Opthalmology+is+all+about+such+a+small+part+of+the+body%2C+but+if+you+can+treat+it%2C+you+can+help+them+for+such+a+long+time%2C%E2%80%9D+said+Dr.+William+J.+Faulkner%2C+cornea+specialist.
JUST LOOK. The OR is ready for the upcoming surgery. In opthalmology, such a small organ can make a huge difference in someone’s life. “What I like about my job is that I can make a difference in someone’s life. Opthalmology is all about such a small part of the body, but if you can treat it, you can help them for such a long time,” said Dr. William J. Faulkner, cornea specialist.

JUST LOOK. The OR is ready for the upcoming surgery. In opthalmology, such a small organ can make a huge difference in someone’s life. “What I like about my job is that I can make a difference in someone’s life. Opthalmology is all about such a small part of the body, but if you can treat it, you can help them for such a long time,” said Dr. William J. Faulkner, cornea specialist.

Harsimran Makkad

Harsimran Makkad

JUST LOOK. The OR is ready for the upcoming surgery. In opthalmology, such a small organ can make a huge difference in someone’s life. “What I like about my job is that I can make a difference in someone’s life. Opthalmology is all about such a small part of the body, but if you can treat it, you can help them for such a long time,” said Dr. William J. Faulkner, cornea specialist.

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  During the first week of August, I had the opportunity to complete the second and final week of my internship at the Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI). It was a remarkable experience, shadowing numerous doctors in the different fields of ophthalmology.

  In just the span of two weeks, I was able to see a myriad of cases as well as various surgeries, ranging from ones that required two surgeons in the operating room (OR) to ones done with a laser in five minutes.

  I was able to observe and try out different procedures used to check patients, which let me see so many new things.

  I could see the back of the eye and the optic nerve while in the retina¹ clinic and I had the opportunity to see aluminum embedded in a patient’s eye in the urgent eye clinic.²

  One of the surgeons even taught me how to scrub in the OR, including how to gown up and wear gloves without contaminating the sterility of any of the instruments.

  I witnessed the hustle and bustle as the nurses rushed to make the room latex-free for a patient and the calm when they were running ahead of schedule.

Every case, every patient, every doctor was unique.”

  Every case, every patient, every doctor was unique.

  Through observation, I learned numerous techniques regarding how to interact with patients.

  Some employed personal stories to connect with their patients while others used humor.

  I watched as one joked around with an elderly lady over forgetting her birthday just so that she could remain relaxed as he checked for glaucoma.³

  “I hope you can forgive me for missing your birthday party!” jested Dr. Robert Goulet III, glaucoma and cataract surgeon.

  What I admire most about the doctors I followed was their ability to perceive the mood of their settings. They knew when to be fun, when to be serious, and when to just relax.

  The cases I witnessed and the settings I experienced will stay with me as I venture into the realm of medicine.

  But the part that I will always remember, my favorite part, was not the OR, not the interactions, not even the cases. It was the people I met along the way,

  There was so much diversity at CEI. I saw people from all walks of life – different ages, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds. Doctors and patients alike brought different backgrounds and experiences with them.

  It was an honor being able to meet so many people from within and outside the community.

Smiles are like sunshine in a stranger’s day. Just smile and you will make a difference in someone’s life.”

— Anonymous

  In this respect, this experience was invaluable. Not only has it increased my determination to become a doctor, but it has provided me with the opportunity to meet different kinds of people.

  And even as some came in extremely sick and in pain, they all smiled and lit up the room with their stories. There was one in particular whose words I will never forget.

  “All you need to do is smile. Smiles are like sunshine in a stranger’s day. Just smile and you will make a difference in someone’s life.”

  So even as I travel along the long path to becoming a doctor so that I can one day make a difference in someone’s life, I will remember to smile…because that is all I need to accomplish that goal right now.


¹The retina is the layer at the back of the eyeball which contains cells that are sensitive to light and which trigger impulses through the optic nerve, helping form visual images.

²The role of the Urgent Eye Clinic is to sort and treat emergency ocular conditions and to refer to the appropriate sub-specialist if necessary.

³Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which is vital to good vision. This is the leading cause behind blindness.


I would like to give a big thank you to all the people who helped make this experience so valuable:

  • Ms. Amy Jost, CEI Clinical Research Department,
  • Ms. Tricia Toft, CEI Human Resources,
  • Dr. Ginger Henson, oculo-plastics surgeon,
  • Dr. Michael Snyder, cataract and iris replacement surgeon,
  • Dr. Robert Goulet III, glaucoma and cataract surgeon,
  • Dr. William J. Faulkner, cornea specialist,
  • Dr. Daniele P. Saltarelli, optometrist,
  • Dr. Prashant Parekh, retina fellow,
  • Dr. Yogin Patel, retina fellow,
  • Dr. Michael R. Petersen, retinal specialist,
  • Dr. Karl C. Golnik, neuro-opthalmologist,
  • and the nurses who assisted in the OR and the different clinics.
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The student voice of Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio
Certain Experiences Impact perspectives on future