Training and Education
A minimum of three years of residency (hospital-based training) in ophthalmology is required after four years of medical school and one year of internship. Ophthalmologists undergo specialized training in all aspects of eye care during their residency, including disease prevention, diagnosis, and medicinal and surgical treatment.
An ophthalmologist may spend an extra one to two years training in a specialty, or a subset of eye care (for example, glaucoma or pediatric ophthalmology.)
Many (but not all) ophthalmologists are certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. A board-certified ophthalmologist has passed the American Board of Ophthalmology’s two-part examination, which assesses his or her knowledge, experience, and capabilities.
The following are ophthalmology subspecialties:
● External Disease and Cornea: This specialty entails the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses of the cornea, sclera, conjunctiva, and eyelids, such as corneal dystrophies, microbiological infections, conjunctival and corneal malignancies, inflammatory processes, corneal abrasions, and anterior ocular symptoms of systemic disorders, among others.
● Neuro-Ophthalmology: Neuro-ophthalmology deals with local pathology affecting the optic nerve and visual pathways and the link between neurologic and ophthalmic illnesses. The visual or oculomotor pathways are involved in more than half of all cerebral injuries. Neuro-ophthalmology is primarily a nonsurgical subspecialty. However, it can be combined with eye and orbit surgery.
● Pediatric Ophthalmology: The majority of pediatric ophthalmic practice focuses on the medicinal and surgical treatment of strabismus, amblyopia, genetic and developmental abnormalities, as well as a variety of inflammatory, traumatic, and neoplastic disorders that affect children throughout their first two decades of life. The ocular symptoms of various systemic illnesses are also dealt with in this specialization.
● Glaucoma: Glaucoma and associated illnesses that induce optic nerve injury by increased intraocular pressure are treated in this area. Both pediatric and adult patients are treated medically and surgically in this field.
● Ophthalmic Pathology: Ophthalmic pathologists are trained in ophthalmology and pathology, usually in that sequence. Because of the specific combination of abilities required in this subspecialty, tissue specimens from the eye and adnexa are normally examined by an ophthalmic pathologist rather than a general pathologist.
● Vitreoretinal Diseases: Retinal and vitreoretinal diseases are treated medically and surgically in this specialization. Local, systemic, and hereditary disorders that impact the retina and vitreous are among the disorders that are addressed. Ultrasound, fluorescein angiography, and electrophysiology are all used in the diagnosis process. In addition, laser therapy, cryotherapy, retinal detachment surgery, and vitrectomy are some of the treatment options (removal of the vitreous).
● Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery: Oculofacial plastic surgery is a subspecialty of ophthalmology. This comprises the clinical practice of aesthetic plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face, orbit, eyelid, and lacrimal system, integrating orbital and periocular surgery with facial plastic surgery. Ophthalmologists do facial plastic surgery, eyelid surgery, orbital surgery, and lacrimal surgery with this unique combination of abilities.