Starting in May 2018, the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford will offer a clinical externship in optometry to fourth-year students at Berkeley Optometry. The Byers Eye Institute at Stanford is a free standing, state-of-the-art medical and surgical facility dedicated to combating blindness and preserving vision. Home to over 40 full-time faculty members of the Department of Ophthalmology at Stanford spanning every clinical subspecialty of eye and vision care, the Institute is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies that allow comprehensive care for patients with diseases that range from simple refractive disorders to the most complex ocular and visual disease states.
The rotation is structured to give optometry students exposure to both acute and chronic ocular conditions that require accurate diagnosis and appropriate therapeutic intervention. 50% of the clinical rotation will involve working with full-time ophthalmic faculty in primary care, urgent care, and cornea. The remaining 50% of the clinical experience will be electives among neuro-ophthalmology, uveitis, oculoplastics, or glaucoma. The student will participate in direct patient care under the oversight of attending faculty four and a half days a week. The remaining half day will be spent attending educational sessions, which will include will grand rounds, clinical case conferences, journal clubs, research conferences and didactic lectures.
The partnership between Berkeley Optometry and Stanford is significant because it is the first time Berkeley Optometry has offered an externship with our prestigious neighbors in the south bay. Moreover, the arrangement marks an exciting new beginning in the quest for greater understanding and familiarity between optometrists and ophthalmologists. “Together optometrists and ophthalmologists form the complete eye health care team — we work together professionally throughout our careers, so it makes a lot of sense for us to train together too,” says Berkeley Optometry Dean John Flanagan. “This is a wonderful opportunity to forge a new interprofessional relationship between optometry and ophthalmology here in California.”