Clinical Experience for Pre-Optometry students

Students can get started by shadowing their family optometrist, an optometrist-friend of the family, optometrists listed within a student’s health insurance directory, or by seeking out an optometrist in the local area via an internet search.

Students can search for optometrists in their area by using the American Optometric Association’s “Find a Doctor” search tool.

Because Salus University is the closest optometry school to UMBC they have offered to assist our students in connecting with Salus alumni who practice optometry in the greater Baltimore area. If any UMBC student is interested in requesting help from Salus, they should email the Admissions Office at The Admissions Office will provide assistance with connecting a UMBC student with a Salus alumnus who is open to mentoring future optometrists.

How to Document Clinical-related Hours
Documenting shadowing or other types of clinical-related experiences is very informal.  There is no official paperwork to complete, nor is there official paperwork to obtain from the clinic or hospital.  Students should track their clinical/shadowing hours in a personal notebook.  For each experience, it is suggested that students log the date, number of hours spent observing, the name of the professional(s) they shadowed, the name of the hospital or clinic where the experience took place, and what they learned and observed (in general, what procedures or surgeries did the student observe, what career advice was given by the professional, patient-doctor/dentist relationship observations, unusual diagnoses or patients, etc.)

Summer Opportunities for Pre-Health Students
Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)
Summer Enrichment and Pipeline Programs
National Science Foundation

The UMBC PreMedical & PreDental Advising Office does not officially promote, sponsor or recommend any company or organization.  Information is gathered for students and made available to them.

NOTE: During the COVID-19 Pandemic, clinical opportunities may be severely restricted or non-existent. We encourage students to use this time to connect with Health Professionals in their area of interest through virtual career fairs, informational interviews, or service opportunities.
Students may also wish to use this uncertain time to strengthen other areas that are critical to their Health Profession preparation. For recommended activities, read through the rest of this Holistic Preparation section as well as the Activities and Opportunties during the COVID-19 Pandemic section!