Clinical Optometry School Experience
The UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIWRSO) is proud to offer multiple clinical settings to achieve diverse patient encounters. This is achieved through a clinical network that includes multiple sites spanning from San Antonio to Dallas Fort Worth. UIWRSO partners with many medical organizations in San Antonio and features the largest core vision safety net provider in South Texas for patients who are uninsured, underinsured, and insured through public funding. The UIWRSO clinical network operates on the principles of patient dignity, respect, and diversity. It is the program's mission to serve the population of San Antonio and South Texas regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or financial status. The UIWRSO clinical network is dedicated to provide eye and vision care to those in need regardless of their ability to pay.
The commitment to the San Antonio community is of paramount importance. One of the best examples is an affiliation with the Northside Independent School District (NISD). Through a strong relationship with the NISD and in partnership with Essilor UIWRSO provides over 600 examinations and spectacles annually to students who fail their school vision screening. In recognition of this service, the UIWRSO was selected as the 2014 NISD Outstanding Community Partner of the Year.
The curriculum is strategically planned to provide the student with a stepwise, clinical educational experience throughout the four years of the professional program. The didactic and clinical laboratory instruction begins in the first semester of the first professional year and continues throughout all four years. All courses, including basic science courses, integrate and emphasize clinical applications and scenarios.
At the beginning of the second professional year, students participate in supervised vision and disease screening activities outside of the classroom. In the spring semester of the second year, students will undergo instruction in integrated clinical problem-based learning, where they gain experience in the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients. The student's experience and clinical preparation are enhanced by the integration of the Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscope (BIO) Simuation System - Eyesi. The series of clinical case analysis courses will continue in the summer semester of the third professional year, as well as in the fourth professional year while the students are assigned to the UIWRSO clinical network.
Starting in the summer (first semester) of the third year and continuing through the remainder of the third year, interns will spend approximately 12 hours per week participating in direct supervised clinical experiences in the examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of patients at the UIW Eye Institute (UIWEI) and the Bowden Eye Care and Health Center. The assignments for third year interns will include rotations in the Adult Care and Pediatric Services. Additionally, third year students are also assigned to the optical dispensary.
During the fourth year, interns are assigned to clinical externship training sites for two semesters and the UIWRSO clinical network for one semester. The fourth-year rotations within the UIWRSO clinic network include direct supervised patient care in the Cornea and Contact Lens, Ocular Health, Peri-Operative (Parkhurst NuVision), Low Vision and Rehabilitation (San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind), Vision Therapy, Visual Neurophysiology, and Adult Care Services.