Skip To Main Content

Externship Program

  image

The final year in the four-year and accelerated OD programs is comprised of four external rotations that complete the clinical education experience. During each clinical rotation assignment, students participate in full-time patient care under the guidance of a clinical preceptor, assuming responsibility for the eye exam from start to finish. This includes helping to coordinate follow-up care, selecting and ordering eyewear, and providing patient education to promote eye health and wellness.

The goal for the externships is to help our optometry students develop into competent, clinically proficient, and caring optometrists who are capable of practicing independently as well as with other providers in multi-disciplinary health care settings.

External Clinical Rotations

Students typically rotate through four types of clinical assignments:

  • Community Health Center
  • Ocular Disease  (generally a Veterans Affairs Medical Center)
  • Specialty Care  (vision therapy, pediatrics, specialty contact lens, or low vision)
  • Electives  (these can include private optometry practices, additional opportunities at a VA hospital, military bases, university-affiliated hospital clinics, and optometry/ophthalmology group practices)

Fourth year externships are available in over thirty states in the United States, and around the world in China, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 

Current externships opportunities include:

  • Community Health Centers: Greater Boston Area and Holyoke, MA
  • VA Hospital Programs:  California (Fresno), Connecticut (Newington, West Haven), Maine (Togus), Massachusetts (Bedford, Brockton, Jamaica Plain, Lowell, West Roxbury, and Worcester), New Hampshire (Manchester) New York (Hudson Valley), Oregon (Portland), Rhode Island (Providence), Vermont (White River Junction), and Washington (Vancouver)
  • Specialty Care:
    • The NECO Special Populations Rotation (multiple locations in the Greater Boston area including: Boston Medical Center, NECO On Sight Mobile Eye Clinic, Joslin Diabetes Center, Perkins School for the Blind, Tufts New England Medical Center, and many others)
    • Vision therapy (central and southern CT, western MA)
    • Pediatrics (Miami, Virginia, China)
    • Specialty contact lens (Atlanta, western MA, Miami, St Louis, southern NH, eastern PA, central NJ) or low vision (western NY, southern CA, southern CT)
  • Electives:
    • Academic Medical Centers (China, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, United Kingdom)
    • Army Health Clinic (Virginia)
    • Canadian Eye Clinics (Ontario, Canada)
    • Additional Community Health Centers (California, Minnesota)
    • Indian Health Services (Alaska, New Mexico)
    • MD/OD Group Practices involving Cornea, Cataract, Retina, Glaucoma and Refractive Surgeries (Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey)
    • Naval Health Clinics (Hawaii, Rhode Island, Virginia)
    • Private Optometry Practices (California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia)
    • Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Washington)
Share this Post: