Observership Program

Due to COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, the Observership Program is currently closed. Please check back in a couple of months for a status update. Thank you!

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center provides observership experiences of at least two weeks and no more than four weeks.

The policy listed below is designed to provide an environment that is safe for patients, office staff, students and medical staff; respect patients’ rights to privacy and confidentiality; and enhance the experience of the observers.

For admission:

  1. An observership is a voluntary experience that does not constitute medical education, graduate medical education, continuing medical education, or any training leading to licensure or board certification. Observers receive no academic credit for the observership but may receive a letter of recognition or a certificate of completion for fulfillment of an observational or shadowing requirement as necessary.
  2. Open observer spots will be filled as “first come, first served.
  3. All observers must wear a University of Nebraska (“UNMC”) photo ID at all times while on sites. The UNMC badge must be returned at the end of the rotation. There is an assessment of $25.00 for unreturned or damaged ID badges
  4. UNMC Department of Ophthalmology does not provide housing or food for observers.
  5. Observers must complete all compliance requirements prior to starting their observership; including, but not limited to: showing proof of immunizations, proof of PPD within the last 12 months, completing all computer-based learning modules provided by UNMC.
  6. Observers must be directly supervised at all times by the supervising faculty attending, physician attending, physician in training, or another representative from the Department of Ophthalmology.
  7. Observers may participate in grand rounds and other didactic activities as appropriate.
  8. Observers must not provide medical care, conduct patient interviews, take a medical history, examine a patient, provide medical advice to a patient, or assist in any procedure.
  9. Observers must not make entries into patient medical records. They must not make copies of any patient medical records or other materials identified with patient names or other patient information.
  10. Observers must not write orders for patients or make verbal orders for patients.
  11. Observers must not bill for any service.
  12. Any violation of the above policies will result in immediate termination of the observership experience.
  13. UNMC Ophthalmology reserves the right to modify any of the above guidelines.


    1. The observership fee must be paid-in-full before the preparation process begins with getting the observer scheduled for compliance requirements.    
    2. The observership fee is non-refundable. This is non-negotiable.
    3. If the observer cancels his/her observer appointment, they will forfeit their payment.
    4. The fee for completing an observership with UNMC Department of Ophthalmology is $850.00 USD. There is also a $250.00 fee to UNMC’s International Health and Medical Education Office.
    5. Payment must be made in the form of two separate check or money orders payable to UNMC and mailed to the attention of Debbie Ordway at the address at right.

     Pediatric Ophthalmology

    Requests for observership experiences in Pediatric Ophthalmology are cosponsored by UNMC and Childrens Hospital and Medical Center (CHMC).  Pediatric Ophthalmology observerships are defined by terms, durations, and fees agreed upon by UNMC and CHMC which may be different from those outlined above.

    Print the Observership policy