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Preparing to Choose:

  1. Please refer to the Clinic Manual for basic information about externships. The instructors at each site have provided this information.
    • In the Clinic Manual scroll down to find “Clinical Rotations” near the bottom of the page.
    • Below “Externships” is the link to the web page, Externship Immunization and Documentation Requirements
      Please review immunization and documents to be sure that you can provide what they require before you choose. Requirements vary greatly.
  2. Each student has a minimum of three external rotations. One of your external rotations must be at a Primary Care Site and one must be an Ocular Disease/Medical Site. In order to obtain a diverse clinical education, students must select three unique externships. They cannot attend an externship more than one time. See Externship Categories and Selection Process
  3. Externship Surveys are filled out by current and former students and can be found on Meditrek. Please take advantage of all of the resources at your disposal.
  4. With your help, we make every effort to fulfill our commitment to the Externship sites. Once you have selected your externships, we inform the sites as to who will be attending. These externship assignments are then considered commitments. In order to continue to provide these quality rotations, you must honor these commitments. These rotations rely on our students for patient care and schedule patients accordingly. Therefore, changes to the schedule of rotations are not possible. The Externships in turn make every effort to fulfill their commitment to take and mentor our students. On rare occasions, a site may close for various reasons which Clinic Administration has no control. In these instances, students are reassigned to another available externship site.
  5. Please take time to consider what your educational goals are and which rotations might help you attain these goals. Our rotations offer a diversity of practice settings, including VA hospitals, Air Force bases, surgical centers, and HMOs. We suggest seeking a variety to enhance your clinical experiences.
  6. Please be realistic about your budget for the entire fourth year. All travel/housing costs, immunizations, and documents are at the student’s expense. It is possible for a student to move five times during the course of their fourth year of clinic. Please consider your housing situation and all related expenses when you are both in-house and away. Please note that the school is not responsible for providing housing solutions for our students. Expenses to consider include moving, storage, housing, travel for board exams or residency interviews, other personal traveling, and immunization and documentation costs. Improper budgeting or financial hardship will not be considered a compelling reason to change rotations. Therefore, you should plan accordingly if you are considering out-of-state rotations or rotations which do not provide housing.
  7. Please consider your personal situations. Homesickness, changes in personal relationships, or minor family situations will not be considered to be compelling reasons to change rotations.
  8. When you are considering a rotation that takes multiple students, please give some thought to personal compatibility with your classmates. You are often living and working with your classmate(s) a significant amount of time and might not know anyone else in the area.
  9. Please note that daily schedules may change at a site. All sites have the possibility of being a 5-day rotation. Sites that have a 4-day/week schedule when you select them can convert to a 5-day/week schedule. Some sites are open on the weekends. Interns will be responsible for attending all clinic days despite any changes in schedule.
  10. Please note that an externship site may be suspended/cancelled or terminated at any time. Clinic Administration often does not have any control if either of these events were to happen. If this happens, students will select an alternate externship from a list of available sites for the session that was impacted. There will be no template changes (no change of student’s In-Out template). If no alternative externships are available for the impacted session, students will be given an In-House schedule on a space-available basis. All scheduling communications with external sites will be initiated by the Externships Director, as such please do not reach out to an externship to inquire about availability.

Preparing to Attend:

  1. Again, please refer to the web page in the Clinic Manual: Externship Immunization and Documentation Requirements Please review the required immunizations and documentation. It is important to note that externships do contact us throughout the year with additions and/or changes to their required paperwork. Each site has the final say on requirements that are needed. Please review each rotation’s site particularly for restrictions on U.S. citizenship. You are responsible for knowing and complying with all requirements and deadlines (for example including, but not limited to, paperwork, immunizations, background checks and training courses) to be eligible to attend your assigned externships. Please know that requirements may change at any time, however, you must be in compliance with all requirements.
  2. Submit required immunization verifications and documentation at least 2 months in advance of attending their facility. ASAO maintains the UCBSO-required immunization records you submitted in advance of attending Optometry School and they can provide you with a copy to forward. Specific sites may require additional immunizations and expired PPDs.
  3. Please note that PPDs must be current and not expire while on rotation. They must be redone yearly and each PPD test requires 3 days – administered on day one and read on day three. If your PPD test comes back positive, you will need to get a chest x-ray.  Please note that some PPDs requested may be two-step PPDs where you will need to have the process done twice within a certain timeframe. As an alternative to a PPD skin test, you can obtain a Interferon Gamma Release Assay or IGRA TB blood test such as Quantiferon.
  4. As stated above, ASAO is the office of record for UCBSO-required immunization verifications. Students generate additional site-specific required documentation and neither ASAO nor Clinic Administration holds copies. Please be sure to maintain copies of all your immunizations and trainings while in Optometry School. Students initiate required background checks as instructed on a site’s requirements page.
  5. Make copies of everything you submit to the externships and keep these copies with you in case you need to resubmit upon arrival.
  6. Contact the Clinical Faculty member for each externship at least 6-8 weeks in advance of attending their facility.
  7. Confirm with each externship that they have received all required immunizations and documentation at least one (1) month prior to attending their facility.
  8. Please note that if you arrive at an externship and have not submitted the required immunizations and documentation, you may not be permitted to see patients. Every day that you are not allowed to be in patient care may be considered to be a missed day. If you are not ready to start patient care on the first day of clinic due to inadequate preparation, you will accrue THREE debit days for each day that you miss clinic and do not see patients at the start of your rotation.  Days missed in clinic will have to be made up, so please make sure that your paperwork is complete.
  9. All travel/housing costs, immunizations, and documents are at the student’s expense.
  10. Site-specific forms and other documentation that you will need to complete for the externships can be found at Externship Immunization and Documentation Requirements.
  11. If you are not in compliance with a site’s requirements and are unable to attend your assigned externship or external clinic, we may not have alternative in-house or external rotations available during the same session or the onboarding period may be too short to complete requirements. In the event that you are unable to complete all five 4th year clinical sessions prior to graduation, you will need to complete your training after graduation and tuition for summer session will apply.
  12. Students are required to complete a Patient Log Sheet form and and an Externship Survey for each externship they attend. These are mandatory requirements for completing the 4th-year program and provide invaluable feedback to administration and to future students. See Externship Patient Log Sheet Instructions and Externship Surveys.
  13. If you have any questions regarding required immunizations and documentation for externships, please contact Dr. Vikki Yu at or 510-642-0945.