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Externship plans? Already?

Well, I’ve had two Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but it hardly feels like fall around here! Hopefully soon! I just finished my third week of fall semester and I’m really enjoying it so far. Summer semester was overwhelming, but it thankfully wrapped up nicely and easily.

One of the most exciting (also really stressful!) things to happen at the end of last semester was the finalization of our externship assignments. It is so bizarre for me to think that we only have two semesters left before fourth year, but figuring out our plans for next year definitely made it all much more real.

For those of you who don’t know, your fourth year consists of 3 rotations at different sites, each being 4 months long. One of them is required to be at The Eye Center, one has to be at a private practice, and one has to be at an institution. I will be doing SCO during the summer, a private practice in Pennsylvania (my home state) in the fall, and then the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for my spring institution site. I am so excited to have gotten these sites and am thankful that I will get to finish out my schooling in these wonderful locations.

I can’t speak for all of my classmates, but I was lucky enough to get all of my top sites in my preferred semesters, and I think a lot of others were the same way. There weren’t options in every state or area, but there were a lot of different options. The externship office was also willing to let me set up my own site in PA, which is what I eventually ended up doing. You are given preference for your home state, so I was also lucky in the fact that I don’t have anyone else in my home state to compete with for sites here. There aren’t any Colorado students from my class either, so I didn’t really have to fight anyone for the Air Force site, either. That being said, I know that some of the students that wanted the very popular sites were able to work it out between them, and I think the process ended up going smoothly. It was stressful to wait to hear about final decisions, but I think the externship office does a good job overall of making sure everything is fair.

Well, that’s a very long-winded explanation of the externship process! I hope I didn’t make it too confusing for any of you. It’s crazy for me to think that I will be done with my time in Memphis by next fall, but I’m looking forward to all of the challenges and milestones ahead. Now, I think I’ve earned myself another PSL :)