How to Become an Eye Specialist?

5 minute read
eye specialist

People often get confused between ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Opticians. Despite all of them being associated with eyecare, their job profiles vary greatly. While Optometrist is the one who helps patients with correcting their vision by prescribing medicine and correction lenses, an optician helps people get the correct lenses as prescribed by an Optometrist. An ophthalmologist is an Eye Specialist who performs surgeries to correct issues related to vision. The job of an Opthalomogist is a demanding one as it deals with a delicate organ like an eye. A small mistake in a procedure can lead to permanent impairment to a patient. To become an Eye Specialist, years of education and rigorous training is needed. Let us have a look at the stepwise procedure to become an Ophthalmologist. 

Role of an Ophthalmologist

As an ophthalmologist, you need to treat, research, and diagnose different types of vision problems as well as eye diseases. Here are some common roles you need to fulfil as an ophthalmologist:

  • Diagnose problems associated with glaucoma and treat the issues properly
  • Conduct cataract surgery successfully
  • Perform different types of complicated eye examinations
  • Complete the reconstructive surgeries as per the patient’s condition
  • Practice the relevant eye exercises to suggest your patients
  • Study different neurological diseases that are capable of affecting vision

Keep in mind that ophthalmologists can choose any location they want for their medical practice. Some work in groups whereas, some prefer working solo.

Essential Skills to Become an Ophthalmologist

If you want to become a successful ophthalmologist, there are some specific skill sets that you need so that you can tackle every complicated situation with ease. Here’s a list of important skills you require so that you can excel in your field:

  • Scientific skills: You need to have extensive scientific skills. Make sure you develop these skills throughout your entire academic year.
  • Reflexive skills: As an ophthalmologist, you need to improve your eye-to-hand coordination. You also need to have an eye for detail while operating complicated medical procedures.
  • Technical expertise: You need to make sure you’re becoming adaptive to numerous treatment methods as well as proper equipment.
  • Compassion: Keep in mind that your patients might be suffering from tremendous mental and physical pressures. Hence, you need to showcase compassion to them.
Source: YouTube – OHSU

How Can You Become an Ophthalmologist?

This is one of the most important things you need to know if you want to pursue your higher education in the medical field and want to become a successful and established ophthalmologist. Here are the crucial steps you need to consider if you want to become an ophthalmologist:

Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine

Once you qualify for the entrance exam, you will be spending the next 5-6 years in a medical school where you will study the important aspects of the profession. Whether a Cardiologist or an Eye Specialist, MBBS forms the foundation of their profession. MBBS syllabus is spread over 9-10 semesters in which all the important concepts like Human Anatomy, Modern Medicine, Diseases, and Emergency Care are taught besides the basic overview of the subject. Last year of the degree is dedicated to an internship where a student is apprenticed to a senior doctor and learns the skills like diagnosis, treatment and performing surgeries. If your goal is to pursue MBBS in USA, then MCAT is the exam you should be aiming for. 

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Specialization Degree for Eye Specialist

An MBBS degree is followed by a specialization degree like a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Master of Surgery (MS). For both degrees, medical schools conduct entrance exams to test the aptitude of a candidate. A handful of students are selected for specialization degrees due to high competition and a limited number of seats. The specialization degrees are postgraduate programs that last for 1-2 years. To become an Eye Specialist, you need to choose Opthomology as your area of specialization. During the degree, you will be taught about advanced medical procedures, modern medicines and other aspects specific to the field of eye care. 

Qualifying Licensure Exam to Become an Eye Specialist

To become a certified Eye Specialist, passing a licensure exam is mandatory. The Medical Council of India (MCI) is the conducting body for the Indian licensure exam for medical professionals. Licensure exams vary for different countries. Exams taken in one country may not be valid in other. Besides passing an exam, years of working experience are required to become a certified medical professional. The exam is conducted twice a year and after qualifying for the exam, you need to complete a 10-month internship to get the certificate to practice.

Eligibility Criteria to Become an Ophthalmologist

Getting admission into a medical school is centra to becoming an Eye Specialist. Following a strict procedure, medical schools offer admissions through entrance exams. NEET is the standard entrance exam for admissions to medical schools in India. To be eligible for the exam: Here are the steps you need to remember:

  • You need to have completed your 12th class with Physics, Chemistry and Biology as your majors
  • The exam is conducted every year and thousands of students appear for the limited seats which makes it one of the toughest exams in India.
  • MBBS is the foundation stone for your career as an Eye Specialist for which you need to be among the top scorers in the NEET exam.
  • If you have plans of taking up your degree in Medicine from abroad, then it is pertinent to mention that NEET has been made mandatory to study abroad.
  • NEET exam score is valid for 3 years from the date it is taken on.

Career Prospects and Job Opportunities

An ophthalmologist is one of the most popular and desired aspects of the medical field. Even though your job role as an ophthalmologist might become pretty overwhelming sometimes, the pay scale of an ophthalmologist is undoubted of high-quality.

Best Jobs for an Ophthalmologist

Here are the best jobs you can get as an ophthalmologist:

  • Neuro Opteramist
  • Optimist
  • Vision Technician
  • Visual Aid Specialist
  • Research Scientist

Salary of an Ophthalmologist

Here’s the salary structure of an ophthalmologist you should know. We will also discuss the country-wise salary structure so that you can know how much you will be receiving when you complete your ophthalmologist coursed from a foreign university>

USAUSD 1,74,832 (INR 1.4 Crore)
UKGBP 46,000 (INR 46 Lakh)
AustraliaAUD 25,000 (INR 14 Lakh)
CanadaCAD 2,00,000 (INR 1.2 Crore)
IndiaINR 20 Lakh


Which diseases you can treat after becoming an ophthalmologist?

When you become an ophthalmologist, you can treat external eye diseases and cataract diseases, including blepharitis.

Which degree is highest in the field of Ophthalmology?

The Doctor of Medicine in Ophthalmology is the highest degree.

Are ophthalmologists doctors?

Yes, ophthalmologists can be called medical doctors.

If you want to get into a high-ranked university, you’ll need more than just good grades; you’ll also need flawless application because the competition is fierce. You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so that you can realise your goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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