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In-Depth Jobs


Career in Ophthalmology

Usha Albuquerque & Nidhi Prasad

When it's time to "get your eyes checked," make sure you are seeing the right eye care professional for your needs.Eyes are one of the most important sensory organs. Choosing an eye doctor is an important health care decision. After all, you are entrusting your eyes and your precious sense of sight to a professional who can help you maintain a lifetime of good vision.

Ophthalmology is a discipline of medicine which deals with the physiology, anatomy and diseases of the eye.Ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians each play an important role in providing eye care to consumers. But the levels of training and expertise are quite different for each type of provider.Whom you see may depend on the level of care you need.

An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in surgical and medical eye problems.  It’s common for ophthalmologists or optometrists to work side-by-side with opticians to serve a patient’s overall eye care and eyewear needs.

An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, performs eye surgery and prescribes and fits eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems. Ophthalmologists conduct eye surgeries including refractive surgery, now more and more being conducted through laser procedures to correct common vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia and so on.  Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research on the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders.

Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists and opticians in their levels of training and in what they can diagnose and treat. As a medical doctor who has completed college and at least eight years of additional medical training, an ophthalmologist is licensed to practice medicine and surgery.

Ophthalmologists can work in operating theatres, out- patient clinics and increasingly in community care settings. There may be extensive periods when an ophthalmologist works in low level lighting. There may be times when an ophthalmologist is required to work extra hours and be on-call although out of hours’ work is generally not as demanding as other specialties and emergency calls and night work is not typical.

An optometristexamines eyes for both vision and health problems, and corrects refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact  lens. An optometrist may perform an eye exam and write a prescription for corrective lenses.

An optician, is a technical practitioner who designs, fits and dispenses corrective lenses for the correction of a person's vision. Opticians determine the specifications of various ophthalmic appliances that will give the necessary correction to a person's eyesight.


While an MBBS is the basic requirement to be a general doctor, specialization in any field, includingOphthalmology, is achieved through Post Graduation, and MS or MD.

*Eye Surgeon: An M.S. (Ophthalmology) after MBBS is mandatory to be qualified as an Eye Surgeon. Pos PG a Residency of 3 years is must. Super specialty can be achived through various degrees and diplomas.

*Eye Specialist (Medicine): The Ophthalmologist with an MD qualification is  one who looks after non-surgical medical care of  the eyes.  For an M.D. in Ophthalmology, you require completion of 3 years residency after MBBS  to qualify.

*Optometrist & Optician : To practice as an Optometrist,  you require a Bachelor's degree in Optometry. Students who  have cleared 10+2 or equivalent examination, with a minimum of 50% marks in physics, chemistry and biology are eligible to apply for the B Sc in Optometry. The candidate has to appear for the EYECET examination which is the centralized, combined, entrance test for entry into optometry courses and is universally recognized all over the country.

*OphthalmicTechnician:  Ophth-almologists are assisted by certified ophthalmic technician (COT) in medical and surgical eye care and patient eye treatment. There are various diplomas available for the same. Minimum qualification is class 10 or 12.

Some popular courses in Ophthalmology are listed below:

*Diploma Courses:

*Diploma in Ophthalmology

*Diploma in Ophthalmic Technology

*Bachelor Courses:

*MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery)

*Master Courses:

*Master of Surgery in Ophthalmology

*Doctor of Medicine in Ophthalmology

*Master of Science in Ophthalmology

*Postgraduate Diploma in Ophthalmology

*Postgraduate Certificate programme in Clinical Ophthalmology


An ophthalmologist needs:

*Strong intelligence to demonstrate thorough knowledge of ophthalmology and the inter-relationships between medical disciplines.

*Hand-eye dexterity.

*Detail oriented and well organised.

*Team player with leadership capabilities.

*Personable and patient.            


Ophthalmology, a specialized branch of medicine, has ample career prospects. The job openings are in:

*Government and private hospitals

*Health centers

*Health departments


*Private practice

 As an ophthalmologist, one can apply for the Combined Medical Services entrance examination conducted by the U.P.S.C for the position of ophthalmologist or senior specialist of Ophthalmology. Also state health services entrance examinations are conducted by the respective state provincial services commissions. One can also join defence services - in army, air force or navy as an ophthalmologist.

Like any other medical field, Ophthalmology is an ever growing field. It provides employment to every kind of student depending upon the qualifications, academic record and experience.

Someone, who wants a career rewarding in monetary as well as service of humanity terms should opt for this career.

*Some of the Job profiles are given below.

*Private Practitioner


*Vision Consultant



*All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi -www.aiims.edu

*Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi- www.amrita.edu

*Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune- www.afmc.nic.in

*Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore- www.bmcri.org

*Christian Medical College, Vellore- www.cmch-vellore.edu

*L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad

*Guru Nanak Eye Centre in Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC)- Delhi

*Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh www.pgimer.nic.in/

*Regional Institute Ophthalmology (RIO) - Kolkata

*Advanced Eye Centre (AEC) - Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education Research (PGIMER) - Chandigarh

*Schell Eye Hospital, Christian Medical College (CMC)- Vellore

*Regional Institute Ophthalmology (RIO) - Ahmadabad

*Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry

   (The List is Indicative only)


(Usha Albuquerque is Director & Nidhi Prasad is  Senior counseling Psychologist at Careers Smart Pvt. Ltd  e-mail : careerssmartonline@gmail.com)