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Clinical Education

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The New England College of Optometry offers a superior clinical education that introduces the aspiring optometrist to a richly diverse patient base in a variety of settings, including hospitals, community health centers, private practices, and mobile eye clinics. NECO’s unique clinical programs put students on the forefront of community-based, collaborative care, emphasizing the important role optometrists play in developing patient-centered health care models.

Our Clinical Program Sets Us Apart

With access to more than 150 clinics and 200 schools in the greater Boston area and beyond, NECO uses the city’s vast medical network to provide you with real-world clinical education starting in your very first weeks here. Rated by US World News and Reports as one of the cities with the best health care and best hospitals in the country, Boston is the perfect location for an optometrist in training. In addition, our fourth year students have the opportunity to travel all over the U.S., Canada, and China for their rotations.   View 2014-2015 Final Year Rotations by State.

Learn more about our specialized clinical program in an article from the 2012 Annual Report which features NECO alumnus/former professor Dr. Elise Harb, OD ‘04, MS ‘05. View Annual Report article on Clinical Education.

Our Unique Approach to Clinical Education

The College is fortunate to be located in a city known for its world-class hospitals and superb medical care. Our wide-reaching New England Eye clinical network provides the ideal training ground for the student optometrist interested in a thorough and forward-looking education.

At our two flagship locations, New England Eye Commonwealth and New England Eye Roslindale, we are at the forefront of providing care to our patients by attracting top optometry professionals, obtaining innovative technology, and integrating the support of our skilled optometry students from the College.In addition to NEE’s Boston area health facilities, the college maintains teaching and service affiliations with VA hospitals, US Public Health Service centers, major ophthalmic practices and other health facilities throughout the country and in Canada and China.

An Immersive, Comprehensive Experience Starting in Your First Few Weeks

Students participate in patient care beginning in their first few weeks, conducting clinical observations of optometrists examining patients and participating in vision screenings in a variety of settings. Within the first four weeks of your first year, you will participate in vision screenings at local elementary schools or Head Start programs. Second year students are assigned to clerkships in practices in the Boston area such as private practices, HMOs, hospitals, and corporate and multidisciplinary clinics. During the their year, students experience three different clinical rotations in primary care, among with the first of two contact lens rotations. The final year of the Doctor of Optometry degree program is entirely clinical—spanning 12 months of full-time clinical rotation assignments available at more than 50 clinical practice site throughout New England, the United States, and even worldwide.

Clinical Education Four-year OD program
First Year Students conduct clinical observations of optometrists and participate in vision screenings at local elementary schools and Head Start programs.
Second Year Students participate in clerkships in practices in the Boston area such as private practices, HMOs, hospitals, and corporate and multidisciplinary clinics.
Third Year Students experience three different clinical rotations in primary care, among with the first of two contact lens rotations.
Fourth Year Students cycle through four external rotations, taking full responsibility for patients under the supervision of clinical preceptors. Rotations include a community health center, a VA hospital, specialty care (vision therapy, pediatrics, specialty contact lenses, low vision) and an elective (private optometry practices, additional VA opportunities, hospital based clinics, or ophthalmology practices).
For more information about clinical education at the New England College of Optometry, contact the Office of Clinical Education:  
 
Erik Weissberg, weissberge@neco.edu, Director of Clinical Education, 617-587-5750
Beth Harper, harperb@neco.edu, Instructor of Record for Clinical Programs, 617-587-5575
Tracy Kelley, kelleyt@neco.edu, Clinical Programs Coordinator, 617-587-5656
Cameron MacMartin, macmartinc@neco.edu Administrative Assistant, 617-587-5551
 

Laura Clinic1

NECO offers its students the opportunity to work in a myriad of clinical sites. This broad selection of sites ensures that we will be prepared to excel in any clinical setting after graduation.
Laura Goldberg, Class of 2016