The Requirements To Be An Ophthalmologist

Broadly speaking, an ophthalmologist or eye doctor specializes in the care of the vision system, including the eyes. To become an ophthalmologist, you must go through training and pass the relevant exams. Here is some information about this topic:

Ophthalmology versus optometry

It is important to note that ophthalmology and optometry are two different medical professions. According to the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, an expert in the field of ophthalmology can diagnose and treat all eye disorders including prescribing eyeglasses, prescribing and fitting contact lenses and performing eye surgery. On the other hand, an optometrist can only examine the eyes and prescribe corrective lenses, prescribe medications for certain eye diseases and diagnose certain eye abnormalities. It is worth noting that an optometrist can only perform certain types of eye surgery.

Eye Doctor Training Training

To become a specialist in eye care and vision therapy, you must complete four years of college, four years of medical school, one-year internship, and at least three years of hospital-based training (residency) according to the American College of Surgeons. You can also find more about this at Some of the common undergraduate programs in this medical field include pre-med and biology.

According to the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO), medical school applicants must have graduated from an osteopathic or allopathic medical program. Additionally, applicants from other countries must acquire a certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

The one-year of internship is mandatory for all students. In addition, one must complete this internship in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in the US or the relevant accrediting body in Canada. The three-year residency program is also mandatory and it must run for at least 36 months.

In the US, the residency program must be accredited by ACGME. Similarly, in Canada, students must enroll in a program accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Still, it is worth noting that the American Board of Ophthalmology may consider other reputable forms of residency or training.

The Need To Be An Ophthalmologist


Exams and certification

Students who have completed residency must take and pass written and oral examinations. The guidelines set by the ABO state that a student must have completed internship and residency programs by November 1 to be eligible to apply for the board’s written qualifying exam in the spring of the following year.

Additionally, it is important to note that students who completed training in 2012 or thereafter must take these exams within seven years of finishing residency. Students who finished residency prior to 2012 must complete these exams by December 31, 2018, according to the ABO. Candidates who pass these exams can submit certification applications. The ABO will then go through each application to verify candidates completed training.

Applicants for certification must hold a license to practice medicine either in the US, US territories or Canada. If a student is subject to a state medical licensing board action, the student should notify the ABO within 60 days. Students who pass the ABO’s two-part exam and satisfy all other training requirements earn certification.

In conclusion, to qualify to work as an ophthalmologist, you must go through years of rigorous training and pass a board-administered exam. The coursework for a typical ophthalmology program includes physiology and neurobiology. At the end of the training program, students usually take both oral and written exams administered by the ABO.



Wave Plastic Surgery Center – Upper Blepharoplasty Patient Post-Op

Upper Lid Blepharoplasty

Leave a Reply