14 Days in Ophthalmology - Day 9

Ophthalmology Exam

A pair of early morning emergencies last Tuesday prevented Brad Christensen from traveling to Des Moines with members of the ophthalmology team to see appointments at Iowa Veterinary Specialties (IVS).

This Tuesday though, not even a major ice storm that swept through Central Iowa could keep Christensen from his appointed rounds.

Ophthalmology Exam

Every Tuesday, members of the ophthalmology program, including one student, goes to IVS to see patients in the Des Moines area. IVS is a satellite emergency and specialty hospital in Des Moines, owned and operated by the College of Veterinary Medicine.

“I’m glad I got to do this today,” Christensen said. “It’s been interesting to see how they do things differently here.”

And there are quite a few differences. Some of obvious – the location and working out of a different veterinary clinic is a primary one. But one difference the students see right away is the time spent with patients.

“It’s a little faster at IVS than at Iowa State,” said Kaiti Grief, the fourth-year student who traveled to Des Moines last Tuesday when Christensen was called in on emergency calls. “When patients come to Iowa State, they expect there to be a little longer wait since it is a teaching hospital.”

While the Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital is a teaching hospital, IVS is a business and is run as such. Patients are seen every 30 minutes instead of the typical hour on campus. That means the students don’t conduct a preliminary exam or take down patient information but instead of being the student lead on two, maybe three patients in a day in Ames, they see up to a dozen patients at IVS.

“I have been worried a little bit about how, once I’m in private practice, I’ll get through so many patients so quickly,” Grief said. “But going to IVS showed me it is possible to get patients in and out quickly and still give them outstanding care."

Tomorrow: A Full Schedule