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Clinical Education: Year 3

In the third year of clinical education at New England College of Optometry, students continue to take on more responsibility for the clinical care of patients. They work under the guidance of clinical preceptors and perform complete eye exams. Clinical assignment locations during the third year include comprehensive eye centers, community clinics, community health centers, group practices, hospitals, and VA hospitals.

During the year, students learn to:

  1. apply the primary care clinical skills and ancillary testing skills necessary in performing a complete eye exam
  2. integrate theoretical knowledge, analytical skills, and clinical skills to develop a differential diagnosis for and to manage a wide array of visual problems effectively communicate with patients and coordinate with other healthcare professionals to ensure the delivery of high quality eye care

Throughout the course of the year, students gain efficiency as they independently collect and analyze data necessary to manage the visual needs of their patients.

I think having the ability to be in clinic and treated as a colleague, rather than a student has really shaped my clinical abilities. To be able to see your “own” patients and put into practice all the skills you've learned has a huge impact on your confidence as a student clinician. There's no more experience more exciting than being able to see something you've learned in the classroom first-hand in your exam room.

Alexa Fox, Class of 2017

Clinical Education Coursework, Year Three

(PC32125) Patient Care IIIa
(PC32126) Patient Care IIIb
Instructor of Record: Erik Weissberg, OD
This sequence of courses gives students direct patient care experience and responsibilities in affiliated health centers, Veterans Affairs hospitals, private practices, or in the New England College of Optometry (NECO) Clinical Network, the College's network of clinical placements. Clinical preceptors will evaluate and guide the student through the process of providing eye care. Students are graded on key clinical tools: technical skills, knowledge base, analytical skills, diagnostic skills, management and treatment, communication skills, efficiency, attitude, and professionalism. The students are evaluated with a midterm progress report and a final evaluation, and receive a final clinical grade (honors, pass, remedial, or fail) at the end of each term based on meeting all of the requirements and on clinical performance. The requirements include fulfilling immunizations, CPR training, HIPAA training, and submitting clinical observation forms, log forms, and preceptor evaluations.

The Office of Clinical Education monitors the quality and quantity of patient encounters for each student. Through the clinical assignments, students will gain proficiency in full-scope optometric patient care. Students develop clinical reasoning skills by integrating technical and didactic knowledge with diverse patient encounters ranging from simple to complex.