Elective Clerkships

We are pleased to offer several excellent clerkship opportunities for medical students interested in clinical exposure to the management of ocular diseases. We hope to provide ophthalmology clerkship experiences that are equally enriching for medical students interested in primary care specialties as for those pursuing a career in ophthalmology.

Our two- and four-week clerkships are offered primarily at the University of Washington’s primary teaching institutions in Seattle. Additional clerkship experiences are offered throughout the WWAMI region. Students interested in pursuing a career in ophthalmology are strongly encouraged to enroll in a clerkship at the University of Washington Eye Institute at Harborview Medical Center (OPHTH 681) or the Seattle Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Medical Center (OPHTH 685). We also have a student-run Ophthalmology Interest Group to provide information and community service activities for students interested in the field of ophthalmology.  For more information on the Ophthalmology Interest Group, please visit the website at http://www.students.washington.edu/uwoig

Thank you for your interest in the University of Washington ophthalmology clerkship elective. If you have any additional questions, or if you need assistance with the clerkship registration process, please feel free to contact me through our Education Coordinator, Joshua Nelson at joshnel@uw.edu.

We look forward to seeing you on our clerkship.

Sincerely,
Courtney Francis, M.D.

Director of Medical Education in Ophthalmology
Assistant Professor
Department of Ophthalmology
University of Washington School of Medicine

Goals/Objectives

Goals

  1. To assist students in developing confidence in specific examination techniques which are commonly used by ophthalmologists to detect abnormalities of the eyes, optic nerve, lids, lacrimal apparatus, and visual pathways;
  2. To assist students in identifying, recalling, and categorizing information about seven clinical problem areas: visual acuity, ophthalmoscopy, glaucoma, red eye, injuries, amblyopia and strabismus, and neuro-ophthalmology;
  3. To assist students in describing and communicating ocular findings with other physicians and when to refer cataract and sight threatening symptoms (e.g., eye pain, vision loss, flashes, and floaters) to an ophthalmologist;
  4. To provide a first-time experience for students to work in an ophthalmology practice setting with adult and pediatric patients, and ophthalmic nurses and technicians. This setting provides a balance of outpatient, emergency room, inpatient, and operating room experiences and is directed toward the following:
    • the application of basic science and clinical knowledge to specific eye problems,
    • gaining practical experience and insight into the communication skills, examination techniques, and treatments which are used in the practice of ophthalmology,
    • deciding whether to become an ophthalmologist;
  5. To introduce students to controversial areas of ophthalmology to stimulate reading and investigation into these topics;
  6. To allow students to observe common surgical techniques, such as cataract extraction with intraocular lens implantation. 

Objectives

There are several skill objectives, which are required for minimal performance in this course. These skill areas are described briefly below:  At the end of the clerkship, the student should be able to:

  1. Read and interpret an ophthalmologic consultation which requires knowledge of specific terminology and abbreviations,
  2. Perform an appropriate and focused history and physical examination for a new ophthalmology patient,
  3. Develop a plan for the evaluation and management of his/her specific ocular problem(s),
  4. Perform the following procedures:
    • Recording of visual acuity at near and distance,
    • Examination of the extraocular muscles (including the cover test) and intraocular muscles (accommodation and pupillary reactions),
    • Hand light and slit lamp examinations of the external structures of the eye, lids, and lacrimal apparatus,
    • Examination of the cornea, anterior chamber, iris, lens, and anterior vitreous with a slit lamp,
    • Ophthalmoscopic examinations of the media (cornea, anterior chamber, lens, and vitreous) and fundus (optic disc, macula, and vessels),
    • Confrontation examination of the peripheral visual fields,
  5. Understand and discuss the initial management of eye emergencies.

Schedule

Scheduling is based on the location of the clerkship.  In general, each student will be exposed to a variety of patients and settings.  All students (non-WWAMI sites) will participate in the Department of Ophthalmology Grand Rounds, didactic lectures, conferences and case studies at UW Eye Institute on Thursday mornings.

Conferences: Basic Clinical and Science Courses, lectures, grand rounds and case studies (Thursday mornings) 

Required texts: 

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology, Basic Ophthalmology for Medical Students and Primary Care Residents, 8th or 9th Edition, 2009 (Provided on first day)

Evaluation

By student/by faculty (Evaluation of Student Performance in the Clinical Curriculum). Students on a four-week rotation are eligible for an honors grade. Students seeking an honors grade are required to write two 4-page papers, one 8-page paper, or one eyewiki submission with a resident or faculty adviser on a topic of their choosing to be submitted no later than one week following the end of a clerkship. Students will present a brief case presentation and discussion on the second Thursday morning.

Other

Free shuttle service from UWMC, Roosevelt, and HMC sites are available.  Students at the CHRMC and GHC locations will need to arrange for their own transporation.

 

Available Clerkships 

Locations and Courses

Alaska

Montana

Idaho

Seattle

Northwest WA

Spokane

Eastern WA

Wyoming

WWAMI and Other

OPHTH 688

OPHTH 690

OPHTH 691

OPHTH 681, 683, 685, 686, 695

OPHTH 689

 

OPHTH 697, 699

 

OPHTH 681 P–Ophthalmology Clerkship – HMC/Eye Institute (4/8)
Meets the surgery selective requirement. 

Offered:

2 or 4 weeks

Prerequisite:

Third- and fourth-year medical students

Total Enrollment:

3 students per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Courtney Francis, M.D.

Clerkship Site:

Harborview Medical Center / UW Eye Institute

 

OPHTH 683 P–Pediatric Ophthalmology Clerkship – Seattle Children’s (4)
 Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

Completion of Human Biology Series. Fourth-year medical students only. Must have previously completed an ophthalmology clerkship.  Department permission only.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Erin Herlihy, M.D.

Clerkship Sites:

Seattle Children’s Hospital

 

OPHTH 685 P–Ophthalmology Clerkship – VAPSHCS (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

Third- and fourth-year medical students.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Deb Lam, M.D.

Clerkship Site:

VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS)

 

OPHTH 686 P–Ophthalmology Clerkship – Kaiser Permanente Puget Sound (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

Third- and fourth-year medical students.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Michael R Gorman, M.D. 

Clerkship Site:

Kaiser Permanente – Puget Sound: Bellevue/Federal Way

 

OPHTH 688 P- Ophthalmology Clerkship – Anchorage (8)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

4 weeks

Prerequisite:

Fourth-year medical students only.  Application should be made during third year. By special arrangement only. Department/site permission only.

Faculty Contact:

Patrick Kelley, M.D.

Clerkship Site:

Anchorage, Alaska: Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC)

 

OPHTH 689 P–Ophthalmology Clerkship – Spokane (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

Third- and fourth-year medical students. Department/site permission only.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Rory Allar, M.D.

Clerkship Site:

Spokane, Washington

 

OPHTH 690 P–Ophthalmology Clerkship – Missoula (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

Third- and fourth-year medical students. Department/site permission only.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation.

Faculty Contact:  

Todd Murdock, M.D.

Clerkship Site:

Missoula, Montana

 

OPHTH 691 P-Ophthalmology Clerkship - Nampa (4)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

Third- and fourth-year medical students. Department/site permission only.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation

Faculty Contact:

Johanna Jensen, M.D.  

Clerkship Sites:

Nampa, ID: Jensen Eye Associates, PLLC

 OPHTH 695 P- Advanced Ophthalmology Clerkship - Seattle (4)

Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2 weeks

Prerequisite:

Fourth-year medical students. Department permission only. Must have previously completed an ophthalmology clerkship.

Total Enrollment:

1 student per rotation

Faculty Contact:

Courtney Francis, M.D.

Clerkship Sites:

Harborview Medical Center, 4 West Clinic

 

 

OPHTH 697 P- Ophthalmology Special Elective (max 24)
Meets the surgery selective requirement.

Offered:

2/4/6 weeks

Prerequisite:

3rd year medical student standing, department approval and 2 month application process. 

Total Enrollment:

Unlimited.

Clerkship site:

Various outside WWAMI

By specific arrangement for qualified students; special clerkships or ‘away clerkships’ may be available at institutions other than the University of Washington.  Interested students should submit a "Credit for Away Clerkship" form available from the UWSOM Dean's Office Registrar and complete for departmental approval at least two months before advance registration.

This elective has provided clinical and laboratory experience in ophthalmology in a variety of settings.  The arrangements must be initiated by the student, but we are able to provide guidance in order to ensure that a valuable experience will be obtained.

 

Note: Departmental evaluations are required to be completed by faculty and student prior to receiving a grade.

 

OPHTH 699 P- WWAMI Ophthalmology Special Electives (max 24)

Offered:

2/4/6 weeks

Total Enrollment:

Variable.

Prerequisite:

3rd year medical student standing, department approval and 2 month application process.

Clerkship site:

Various within WWAMI

By specific arrangement for qualified students, special clerkships or ‘away clerkships’ maybe available at institutions other than the University of Washington located within the WWAMI region.  Interested students should obtain a “Credit for Away Clerkship in WWAMI” form available from the UWSOM Dean’s Office Registrar and complete for departmental approval at least two months before advance registration.

Note: Departmental evaluations are required to be completed by faculty and student prior to receiving a grade.

 

 

 

FAQ

Program Info

Program Director
Courtney Francis, MD
Assistant Professor

Education Coordinator
Joshua Nelson
joshnel@uw.edu

 

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