OPH 7180

Externship in Ophthalmology


Lori van der Merwe
Course Coordinator

Curriculum Focus
Clinical Level
MS Year
Terms Offered



Catalog Description:  A variety of lectures (which may include diabetic retinopathy, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology, the red eye, glaucoma, and ocular trauma) and a practice session are planned during the first three days of the rotation. Attendance at these sessions is required.

The remaining two and one-half weeks will be spent at one of the three teaching hospitals. The rotation will be arranged the first morning of the externship. The students will work in the outpatient department of each hospital with staff, fellows, and senior residents in ophthalmology (affiliated hospitals). Students should list their hospital preferences based on their specialty goals: HC, VA, UM

Reading assignments (available on loan from the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Neurosciences):

-Basic Ophthalmology, Richard Harper, 2010
-Primary Care Ophthalmology, David Palay & Jay Krachmer, 2005

Special Instructions:  For students interested in a career in ophthalmology, an Ophthalmology Match Guide has been created to help students navigate the process.


View site addresses by clicking on the site name below or visiting the site codes table.

Site Code

Site Name


MF-1068 (FU)

UMMC - East Bank


HH-1001 (HC)

Hennepin County Medical Center


VA-1000 (VA)

VA Medical Center


Required session attendance:

Typical weekly schedule/Delivery Mode:  M-F, 7:00am-6:00pm

Direct patient care:  Yes

Consent Requirement: Open to student scheduling

Course Objectives:  This course exposes students to common ocular diseases that can be seen in family practice and provides an opportunity to develop the technical skills necessary for the accurate diagnosis of ophthalmic problems.

The student will:

  • Experience most types of ophthalmic practice settings (i.e., outpatient, inpatient, emergency room, operating room)
  • Obtain adequate knowledge in the areas of ophthalmology most commonly seen in family practice (i.e., red eye, glaucoma, trauma, strabismus, neuro-ophthalmology, and medical ophthalmology.
  • Obtain a relevant ocular history
  • Perform a comprehensive ocular examination including the following: measuring and recording visual acuity (distance, near, with pinhole), including preverbal and illiterate patients, evaluate confrontation visual fields, assess eyelid position, ocular motility and alignment, pupillary function, utilize color vision testing, Amsler grid testing, Schirmer tear testing, tonometry and slit lamp biomicroscopy, AND use the direct opthalmoscope to examine the optic nerve, vessels and macula
  • Recognize normal and abnormal optic nerve head appearance
  • Observe common opthalmic procedures as follows: Surgical (cataract, vitreoretinal, ophthalmic plastics, strabismus and glaucoma) and Laser ( retinal, iris, posterior capsule, glaucoma)
  • Describe the evaluation and management of a patient with a red eye
  • Summarize the initial management of a patient with ocular trauma
  • Explain the treatment of amblyopia
  • Learn the systemic side effects of common eye drops and ocular side effects of systemically administered medications.

Graded Components:

  • Written assessments by staff and residents
  • Ten-minute presentation to course director on a topic or case work-up done by the student with a resident, fellow or attending
  • Written examination

Grading Scale:  H/E/S/N


Allow repetition of course: Repetition not allowed

Limited to Student Type:  No

Course equivalency:  N/A

Related curricular experience:

Secure Exam:

Course evaluation: MedHub