Eye surgery commonly referred to as ophthalmology is a field of medical expertise dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions that can lead to visual impairment or vision loss, including disease and injuries.
Ophthalmologists can prescribe medication and utilize microscopic surgery techniques to treat a range of eye problems. Becoming an eye surgeon requires a high degree of surgical skill and excellent hand-to-eye coordination.
Training to become an eye surgeon typically requires the completion of a medical degree, followed by three years of post-graduate study and an ophthalmology internship spanning a minimum of one year.
What Does an Ophthalmology Residency Cover?
Primary ophthalmology prepares eye surgeons to treat basic cases of glaucoma and cataracts. Students then branch out into other specialties, including neuro-ophthalmology, treatment of eye conditions caused by neurological disorders.
Other sections focus on retinal and vitreous disease, plus the study of advanced glaucoma treatment, corneal transplantation, and refractive eye surgery, which enables eye surgeons to correct poor vision.
Ophthalmology students also cover pediatric eye surgery, treating conditions such as strabismus otherwise known as “crossed eyes” in children. Another field of study includes training to become a LASIK eye surgeon.
For those interested in studying ophthalmology, finding the right eye surgeon college is a crucial step in ensuring your success in this field of surgical medicine. There are many excellent eye surgeon colleges in the United States, a few of which we have listed here.
Yale’s Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences department offers a three-year eye surgery program. In the first year, students will staff ophthalmology wards at the West Haven VA Medical Center and the Yale-New Haven Hospital Clinic and Consult Service, covering specialties like ophthalmic plastic surgery, pathology, and oncology, as well as neuro-ophthalmology and pediatric ophthalmology.
First-year students will also take the lead on a range of surgical procedures such as strabismus surgeries, anterior segment and glaucoma laser procedures, ophthalmic plastic surgery including temporal artery biopsy, blepharoplasty, ptosis repair, lid tumor resection, lid laceration repair, and intravitreal injections
During the second year, students focus on corneal and external disease, refractive surgery, vitreoretinal surgery, and glaucoma. In the third year, students treat cases of uveitis, as well as performing cataract, trabeculectomy, and pterygium surgeries and learning about advanced minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries.
2. University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh offers one of the most renowned ophthalmology residency programs in the United States. First-year students practice at The Eye and Ear Institute, covering aspects of emergency room procedure, microbiology, refraction, and the instruments used in surgery. In the first year, residents will also perform pediatric strabismus surgery.
During the second year of the program, students focus on subsets of ophthalmology, including glaucoma, retinal conditions, corneal surgery, and neuro-ophthalmology. Second-year residents will also begin to treat patients under direct supervision. Additionally, they will learn about microsurgery and intraocular surgery, as well as ophthalmic pathology.
Third-year residents will see patients at clinics at the University Hospital, the Veterans Administration Hospital in Albuquerque, and a 10-12-week residency at the University of New Mexico. Students act as primary surgeon in all cases that require surgical intervention, covering advanced pediatric and cataract procedures.
3. Stanford University
Stanford’s three-year ophthalmology program covers all major ocular diseases, providing students with the knowledge to diagnose, treat, and prevent them. Students typically split their time between Stanford University Hospital & Clinics, the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Palo Alto, and The Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
First-year students receive one-to-one training from advanced residents and faculty members. They will learn about basic clinical care, suturing, and how to use ophthalmic imaging equipment. They will also perform basic surgical procedures.
After a month-long refresher course, second-year students dive into the fields of uveitis, glaucoma, and pediatric ophthalmology, as well as corneal and retinal surgery. Third-year residents head to The Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University Hospital, performing countless eye surgeries as the primary surgeon.
The United States is home to dozens of fantastic ophthalmology departments where a graduate can study to become a talented eye surgeon in a nurturing and exciting educational environment. Each ophthalmology department has detailed information about its program online to help you make the right choice.