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How do I Become a LASIK Surgeon?

Patrick Wensink
Updated May 17, 2024
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LASIK surgery, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, has been an incredible advance in eye care and health. Using lasers to correct different eye problems is a major medical advancement, and it gives a large responsibility to the doctors who perform the surgery. If you want to become a LASIK surgeon, you should have an expertise in matters of the eye and a firm understanding of the laser technology involved. To accomplish this and become a LASIK surgeon, you will need to invest many years into schooling and residency to learn to competently repair a patient's eye problems.

Education is the foundation of your career if you want to become a LASIK surgeon. In order to specialize in laser eye surgery, you need to attend medical school for four years, specializing in ophthalmology. This will give you the classroom basis for a three- to four-year ophthalmology residency, during which you will assist surgeons and ultimately perform laser eye surgery on patients. After your residency is complete, many nations, including the United States, require a board certification test in the area where you intend to practice. After these prerequisites are met, you will be fully trained and prepared to be a laser eye surgeon.

In order to be successful when you become a LASIK surgeon, you need to sharpen many skills. Your understanding of the eye, from the cornea to the retina and everything else, must be excellent. You also must have extensive knowledge of eye disorders such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Balancing out this knowledge, you also must be good with technology, namely the delicate laser devices used to remodel the corneal tissue.

If you want to become a LASIK surgeon, you also must understand the daily needs of a doctor in this position. The outpatient eye surgery itself is secondary to initially diagnosing a patient by performing a series of tests and making observations. If the patient is a candidate for vision correction surgery, you will perform a three-step laser surgery on that eye. The steps include creating a flap of corneal tissue with a knife-like laser tool, restructuring the cornea using a more gentle laser tool and finally reattaching the flap with lasers. When surgery is complete you will often schedule a follow-up appointment with the patient to ensure that the surgery worked and that the patient is seeing well.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Patrick Wensink
By Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various genres and platforms. His work has been featured in major publications, including attention from The New Yorker. With a background in communication management, Wensink brings a unique perspective to his writing, crafting compelling narratives that resonate with audiences.
Discussion Comments
By JesusFleming — On Jan 08, 2014

I just want to add the common path to practicing as a physician requires eight years of education beyond high school and three to eight additional years of internship and residency. All states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories license physicians.

Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various...
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