How do I Become a Veterinary Ophthalmologist?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2019
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To become a veterinary ophthalmologist, you will typically have to commit to many years of education and training. In most jurisdictions, you will have to complete high school or earn a General Educational Development® (GED®) diploma before going on to earn a four-year college degree. Following college, you will usually have to complete four years of medical school, an internship, and a residency to become a veterinary ophthalmologist. Additionally, you will likely have to pass exams for licensing and board certification.

A college education is required when you want to become a veterinary ophthalmologist. As such, you will also need a high school education or a GED® as preparation for this career. While there aren’t any specific courses you have to take in high school to prepare for this career, you may benefit from pursuing an academic track of high school courses and taking classes in advanced sciences and math. These courses may help you prepare for college and veterinary training as well as for your career once you become a veterinary ophthalmologist.


Once you are enrolled in college, you will typically have to earn a four-year degree to prepare for veterinary training. Most veterinary schools won’t require you to choose a specific major in preparation for admission but will likely expect you to take a significant number of biology- and anatomy-related courses. To have the best chance of gaining acceptance to the college of your choice, you will likely need to maintain a high grade point average. Demonstrating that you are a well-rounded individual by participating in extracurricular activities may also help you gain admission to the school of your choice.

After college, you will typically have to complete four years of veterinary college to become a veterinary ophthalmologist. While in veterinary school, you will likely study a wide range of veterinary concepts, including the study of the eye. For example, you will likely study the parts of the eye and the eyelid and learn how the eye works. You may also study common conditions that affect the eye.

To pursue a career in veterinary ophthalmology, you will also have to complete a related internship and residency. Typically, veterinary internships last for one year, and a veterinary ophthalmology residency lasts for two or three years. This training will prepare you to care for animals in general as well as to focus on the evaluation and treatment of the eye.

Most jurisdictions will also require you to pass a licensing exam to become a veterinarian. Passing this exam will allow you to legally practice veterinary medicine in your jurisdiction. You may also have to pass an additional exam to become board certified as a veterinary ophthalmologist.



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