An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor whose specialty is eye and vision treatment and care. Unlike an optometrist, who is limited to diagnosing vision problems or prescribing glasses, an ophthalmologist is an eye care provider who is fully trained to provide services for all eye care needs, including surgical operations, examinations, and issuing glasses or contact lenses. An ophthalmologist is also known as an eye M.D.
People seeking ophthalmology jobs should be prepared for an extensive education. Following the required four years of medical school and internship, an ophthalmologist will typically complete a three-year residency in a hospital setting. During this time, he or she will obtain training in all aspects of eye care. Following the residency, an ophthalmologist may establish a practice or further his or her education to include more specialized training.
Ophthalmology jobs are varied and can take place in a hospital, a private office, or a clinic. Some eye doctors even opt to work in a research institution. All of these options depend on what type of services the eye M.D. plans to provide. An ophthalmologist is generally able to treat diseases and perform surgery, often including laser corrective surgery.
Cornea and external disease ophthalmology jobs include diagnosing and managing exclusively diseases of the cornea, conjunctiva, sclera and eyelids, such as corneal tumors or transplant surgery. Glaucoma specialists deal with disorders that can cause optic nerve damage, such as glaucoma, and learn both pediatric and adult treatments. Ophthalmology jobs in neuro-ophthalmology involve caring for neurologic and ophthalmic diseases, as well as procedures impacting optic nerve and visual pathways.
Ophthalmic pathology specialists have training in both pathology and ophthalmology, enabling them to generally be more adept than a general ophthalmologist to examine eye and adnexa tissue. Ophthalmology jobs in plastic surgery involves oculofacial operations, which focus on the face, eyelid, orbit and lacrimal system. Pediatric ophthalmologists specialize in treating children, with an emphasis on managing genetic and developmental abnormalities. Eye care providers who specialize in vitreoretinal diseases treat retinal and vitreoretinal disorders, using ultrasound and other methods to diagnose diseases and laser therapy, cyrotherapy, and other means to treat them.
For those wanting to pursue ophthalmology jobs without as much education or specialized training, ophthalmic technician, or ophthalmic technologist, positions are also available. This position includes assisting with surgeries, measuring patients for glasses, administering diagnostic tests, chronicling patient medical histories, and preparing medical instruments.