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College of Optometry

Externship Program

Students in white coatsDuring the fourth year, students broaden their clinical experience at mostly off-campus externship sites. Throughout these four quarters, students will typically rotate through four sites that will provide exposure to a variety of clinical settings that may include private optometry or ophthalmology practices, Veterans Administration clinics, Indian Health Service clinics, armed forces facilities, as well as WesternU specialty clinics.

These practice settings will provide a diverse patient base, emphasizing patient management in primary care, vision rehabilitation, pediatrics, ocular disease, and surgical co-management. The international site selection provides students an opportunity to also explore locations throughout the U.S. and abroad.

The students’ formal optometric education culminates with the fourth year externship and it is expected that students will reach proficiency in optometric scope of practice that will fully prepare them for graduation, residency training, and licensing anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.

Current Students – Click here for detailed Externship Site Information.

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PC = Primary care
PCMed = Primary Care with medical emphasis
PCMed/CL = PCMed plus specialty contact lens fitting
PC/CL = PC plus specialty contact lens fitting
Med/Laser = Medical with refractive surgery emphasis

MinR = Primary care with rehabilitative therapy
MajR = Rehabilitative therapy emphasis
FTR = MajR
Pediatrics = Pediatric primary care