Mission Trips and Community Outreach

One of the extraordinary aspects of the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry is the program-wide commitment to serving populations in need.  This dedication is displayed by the students, faculty, and staff that live the mission of the program and the university.  Please take a minute to meet some of the people we have helped with the gift of sight and see who we will serve in the future.

Upcoming Mission Trips

May 18-24, 2019- Guatemala

June 15-23, 2019- Panama

July 22-26, 2019- Texas Rio Grande Valley

August 2019 TBD- Guatemala

September 2019 TBD- Oaxaca, Mexico

November 2019 TBD- Guatemala

December 2019 TBD- Texas Rio Grande Valley


Inspiring Optometry Students To Lead

Graduates are Outstanding Optometrists and Community Leaders

Besides developing clinically proficient optometrists, UIWRSO has a tradition of serving others and giving back for the greater good of the community.  We believe leadership is an invaluable quality and have woven this principle into the curriculum through community outreach programs. 

We’re developing leaders whose clinical acumen is only surpassed by their compassion for their patients.  We want leaders who are strong, understanding and will fight for the soul of the profession.

During the second year of professional study, our students embrace the opportunity to provide vision and disease screenings to area underserved populations at our various clinics.  We’ve watched the maturation process of our students as they become more confident, compassionate and independent leaders through these experiences.  We’re proud our students and faculty live and breathe this mission. 

UIWRSO: where leaders in the classroom and the community are greatly valued

Externship Career Opportunities For Optometry Students

Overview of Externship

Clinical externships take place in the fourth professional year. The Externship Program is designed to broaden and enhance the student’s diagnostic, treatment and management experience of ocular and visual conditions. Students are assigned to external training sites for two of the three semesters in the fourth professional year. One of the three semesters will be spent within the UIW clinical network including the UIW Eye Institute and Bowden Eye Care and Health Center. The UIWRSO has approved externship sites both locally and across the United States. The assignment process is completed during the third professional year in order to give students adequate time to prepare for externship.

The primary goal in the selection of externship sites is quality training. The sites must provide a high volume of quality patient encounters. The student is assigned to sites that optimize their training and clinical experience. Externship assignments are based on student preference, grade point average, and the proper mix of sites to optimize the training experience.

Clinical experiences in private practice, referral centers, ophthalmology/co-management centers, Veterans Administration hospitals, Department of Defense hospitals and other hospital-based facilities are available. Participation with Doctors of Optometry and other professionals in comprehensive patient care are emphasized. Case conferences and grand round experiences may be assigned. Case presentations, evidence-based research on clinical conditions, and ongoing enhancement of examination skill proficiency as assigned by externship faculty, constitutes an important component of this clinical experience.