Externship Career Opportunities For Optometry Students
Overview of Externship
Clinical externships take place in the fourth professional year. The Externship Program is designed to broaden and enhance the student’s diagnostic, treatment and management experience of ocular and visual conditions. Students are assigned to external training sites for two of the three semesters in the fourth professional year. One of the three semesters will be spent within the UIW clinical network including the UIW Eye Institute, Bowden Eye Care and Health Center, and the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind. The UIWRSO has approved externship sites both locally and across the United States. The assignment process is completed during the third professional year in order to give students adequate time to prepare for externship.
The primary goal in the selection of externship sites is quality training. The sites must provide a high volume of quality patient encounters. The student is assigned to sites that optimize their training and clinical experience. Externship assignments are based on student preference, grade point average, and the proper mix of sites to optimize the training experience.
Clinical experiences in private practice, referral centers, ophthalmology/co-management centers, Veterans Administration hospitals, Department of Defense hospitals and other hospital-based facilities are available. Participation with Doctors of Optometry and other professionals in comprehensive patient care are emphasized. Case conferences and grand round experiences may be assigned. Case presentations, evidence-based research on clinical conditions, and ongoing enhancement of examination skill proficiency as assigned by externship faculty, constitutes an important component of this clinical experience.