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Good morning! I wrote last month describing how our externship rotations work and how we spend our 4th year of optometry school in a clinical setting. This month I'll go into more detail on something else we do during our 4th year: Part III of our National Boards. Part III is different from Part I and Part II in that we can each sign up to take it almost any time during our 4th year rather than taking it all at once with the rest of the class. It's also unique because every 4th year optometry student in the country has to travel to Charlotte, NC to take it. That's because it's a clinical/practical style exam with standardized patients and exam rooms and the NBEO wants to keep everything as standardized as possible by having us all take it at the national testing center. The exam itself consists of performing different parts of an eye exam in different stations to show that we are clinically competent and ready to see patients on our own after graduation. Most students choose to sign up for Part III during their in-house rotation at The Eye Center because SCO has two practice exam lanes for us to use when we are preparing for the exam.
My husband and I drove to Charlotte this past weekend and took Part III on Monday morning (see photo below!). We were prepared for the exam and everything went relatively smoothly for both of us, but it's a nerve wracking process and we are happy to have it behind us now! We won't get our scores back until January, but that time will go by quickly because we'll be busy with the holidays and our next Boards exam (Part II) in 3 short weeks!
In the meantime, I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and a great start to the holiday season! Next time I write it will almost be Christmas and I will (hopefully) be finished with all three parts of our National Boards exams! Thanks for reading and feel free to email me if you have any other questions about 4th year or how Part III works.