One who receives ophthalmology education and training is able to treat diseases of and injuries to the eye, as well as perform eye-related surgeries such as cataract, glaucoma, corneal and vitreoretinal surgeries. As with other fields of medicine, one may focus their ophthalmic training in a specialized area. Specialized areas of ophthalmology include anterior segment surgery, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, pediatric ophthalmology/strabismus and retinal surgeries.
Ophthalmic technicians assist ophthalmologists. Their duties involve gathering patient medical history, performing diagnostic tests, testing vision and ensuring that all instruments are properly maintained and sanitized, not only so the ophthalmologist has all necessary tools on hand and available to them as needed, but also for patient safety.
Hard work is essential in one’s ophthalmology education and training. For beginners, coursework includes anatomy, physiology, ocular biochemistry, pharmacology, clinical activities and current surgical techniques. To determine if a career in ophthalmology is right for you, perform the following:
1. Review ophthalmology education requirements
2. Visit ophthalmology schools
3. Participate in a mentoring program
Review ophthalmology education and training requirementsRequirements are intensive in regards to ophthalmology education and training. For beginners, you must complete medical school and secure a license to practice medicine, complete a one-year post graduate clinical internship in fields such as family practice, internal medicine or surgery, spending six months caring for patients directly and completing a three to four year ophthalmology training residency program. Upon completion of ophthalmology education and training requirements, individuals may apply to the American Board of Ophthalmology for certification.
Visit ophthalmology schools to gain insight on education and training requirementsVisit ophthalmic schools to learn about required ophthalmology courses, training and ophthalmology continuing education requirements. Another benefit of visiting ophthalmic schools is that you can get a sense of which school best meets your needs and, in turn, ensure your success in the field.
Participate in a mentoring program as part of your ophthalmic education.Mentoring programs can provide ophthalmology students invaluable guidance, research opportunities and moral support throughout their training.
New York University Medical Center School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology has a mentoring program for their first year residents to assist them personally by helping them transition into the program, provide moral support and guidance and assist them with any academic, research or fellowship questions. Medical students who have completed their first year at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine at New Orleans may participate in a mentoring program in the form of a summer research project, where they work alongside a faculty member on an active ophthalmologic research program.
- Interview a practicing ophthalmologist to get a firsthand account of their ophthalmic education and training experiences, latest research developments in the field and any advice they may have for you in regards to your own ophthalmology education and training.