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Immunizations Required

  • Current PPD or interferon-gamma release assay (T-Spot or Quantiferon)
  • MMR
  • Varicella
  • Hep B
  • Tdap (Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis) – Get either a Td or Tdap booster shot every 10 years after first dose)
  • Influenza by November 30th of each year
  • Covid-19
    • Complete VA Form 10-263 and submit along with a copy of your Covid-19 vaccine card, when requested.
    • If student is not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, they must file for an exemption (medical or religious) using the VA Form 10-263.

Immunizations Records Submit to and Date:

  • Held on file at Berkeley Optometry or have them readily available upon request.
  • Covid- 19: Submit Form 10-263 and a copy of Covid-19 vaccine card to the surgical service student coordinator, when requested.

Documentation Required

  • CPR certification
  • Knowledge of Blood Borne Pathogen, review online resource:
  • Date of Birth, Middle Initial.
  • Selective Service Card (register by Age 26)
  • Social Security Number
  • International Students and Social Security Numbers:
    • Health professions trainees (HPTs) training at VA medical centers receive temporary Federal appointments and personal identity verification credentials. To be properly vetted and eligible to participate in training, non‑US citizen HPTs who are temporarily in the United States must have:
    • A nonimmigrant F-1 or J-1 student classification; or, an I-20 (or DS-2019) certificate of eligibility; AND
    • A US Social Security Number
    • Unfortunately the use of a “pseudo-SSN” is prohibited in certain Federal systems. Your facility may have found work arounds, however use of a pseudo-SSN, or other 9-digit number, will not be permitted after May 1, 2018. Therefore, we are notifying the field in advance of this change in the onboarding process for non-US citizen trainees.
  • Fingerprinting: Due to a Federal mandate, students must be fingerprinted prior to their arrival at VA San Francisco. You can be fingerprinted locally at VA San Francisco or VA Martinez.
    • This must be done NO GREATER than two months before the start of your rotation and NO LATER than 2 weeks before the start of your rotation.
    • Please contact the surgical service student coordinator, Claire Dilag (, to make sure all requirements have been met before scheduling a fingerprinting appointment.
      • The completed fingerprinting form and email to Claire. This must be done before scheduling a fingerprinting appointment.
        • VA Work Location: 662
        • Organization: VHA
        • SOI#: VAP2
        • SON#: 1622
      • To schedule an appointment for fingerprinting at the San Francisco VA:

Documentation Submit to and Date

  • Approximately two months prior to your start date, you will be contacted by the surgical service student coordinator to complete your VA On-line Training, Fingerprint application, and WOC form.
  • Feel free to contact Sandra Harpster, OD with any questions. or at 415-221-4810 x 22721.

Absence Policy

  • Attendance and punctuality during the SFVA clinical externship are expected as this is an important part of a student’s education and professional development. Students need to be consistently present at their clinical assignments in order to fulfill both their educational and patient care responsibilities as they prepare for their roles as a primary care optometrist and a member of the healthcare team.
  • Any requests for excused absence must be requested at least one (1) month in advance of the desired day off and include a justification for the absence.  All requests must be approved by the SFVA Optometry Student Program Coordinator.  Requested leave will be granted at the discretion of the SFVA Optometry Student Program Coordinator.
  • In case of emergency, the student must call the SFVA Optometry Student Program Coordinator at the earliest opportunity to explain the circumstances of the absence.
  • Educational activities to compensate for the education lost due to absence may include: oral presentation, summary of an assigned journal article, or an American Academy of Optometry style case report.  The type of assignment will be determined by the SFVA Optometry Student Program Coordinator.
  • The following absences will be granted without additional education requirements:
    • NBEO Board Examinations Part 1 or Part 2, one day; NBEO Part 3 two days
    • Religious holiday
    • Death in immediate family or personal childbirth
  • Consistent with Berkeley Optometry policy, trainees who miss ≥ 10% of their assigned clinic days will receive an “incomplete” for this clinical rotation.
  • The SFVA Optometry Student Program Coordinator is available to discuss any special situation that may arise regarding attendance with the individual student.