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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.
    • If student is NOT fully vaccinated (and filed an exemption), they will need to complete COVID-19 testing WEEKLY.
    • If student is NOT fully vaccinated or filed an exemption before the start of their rotation, they CANNOT come to the VA.

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.
    • Fingerprinting at the San Francisco VA:
      • Please click on the following link to make an appointment for fingerprinting (walk-ins are discouraged and appointments take priority): order to make an appointment:1. For “Agency Name”, type “vet” then click on “DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS”. Scroll down and click the blue “Continue” button.

        2. Select an “Enrollment” type appointment then click the blue “Continue” button.

        3. Type in the zip code of the San Francisco VA Medical Center (94121) or that of the VA facility nearest to you then click the “Find Locations” button. Scroll down on the page and click on the “VA San Francisco VA Medical Center” or your chosen VA facility then click the blue “Continue” button.

        4. Choose the date that you would like to come for your appointment. The available appointment times will display when you click on the date. Select your desired time, click the “OK” button. On the calendar screen, click the blue “Continue” button.

        5. Enter your first name, last name, phone number, and email address on the next screen. All fields must be filled out in order to continue. Once complete, click the blue “Continue” button.

        6. Review the information regarding your appointment on the screen. If everything is correct, click on the green “Make Appointment” button at the bottom of the screen.

        7. On the next screen, you will see a confirmation message and a confirmation number. This number will also be sent to you in a confirmation email which should arrive within a few minutes your appointment has been scheduled.

      • The office hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m., last walk-in at 3 p.m.
      • Here is a blank Fingerprinting form. Please complete the form and include the appropriate SOI and SON numbers to identify the VA that you will be taking the fingerprints for. Most numbers can be found in the clinic manual under the requirements for that VA site.
      • Please bring 2 original and current forms of ID (one must be a Government-issued photo ID) and your completed Fingerprinting Form to your appointment.
      • The PIV Office is located in Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 2A-103 (San Francisco VA Medical Center, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121). Click for map of VA San Francisco PIV Office.
    • VA Martinez is another location that you can go to for fingerprinting.
      • VA Northern California Health Care System Martinez – PIV Office, 150 Muir Road, Bldg. 21 Rm 219, Martinez, CA 94553, (925) 372-2000, ext. 6755. The PIV office is located inside Bldg. 21 on the second floor in room 219.  Customer parking is located in the large gravel parking lot, across the street from Bldg 21. Click for map of VA Martinez PIV Office.
      • Open Monday through Friday 8:30 to 11:30 a.m 1-3 p.m. Closed for lunch between 12 and 1 p.m.
      • You can make an appointment by emailing In the subject line, please indicate for “Fingerprinting.” In the message, please provide:
        • first name and last name
        • phone number
        • email address
        • three dates and times that work for you.
          • They will reply to confirm the date of your appointment.
        • You can also do walk-in fingerprinting on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m to 11:30 a.m. to 1-3 p.m. Wait times vary.
        • What Documents to Bring to VA Martinez: 
          • Bring two pieces of identification with you.  1) one government identity source document ID with photo and your full legal name (including middle name); 2) one government identity source document ID (photo or non-photo) with your full legal name (including middle name). For example, you may use your state issued Driver’s license and a Social Security card, Passport, Voters Registration Card, Birth Certificate, School ID card or PIV card. Expired IDs are not acceptable.
          • Click here for Acceptable IDs.
          • The completed fingerprinting form. Please provide the SOI and SON (see below) of the VA that you need the fingerprints for so that they know where to send the results.


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 Heather Jones, OD with any questions. or at 415-221-4810 x 23551.

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.