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Career as Ophthalmologist

Career as a Ophthalmologist

About Ophthalmologist

A career as an Opthalmologist deals with diagnosing and treating eyes-related deformities or diseases through surgeries or prescribing vision glasses. Ophthalmology is a branch of medical science that deals with the study of disorders and diseases related to the human eye. It handles both medicinal and surgical solution of the diseases related to the physiology and anatomy of the human eye. It is considered to be one of the most complicated and tough branches to study and practice that requires complete dedication combined with knowledge and acquired skills. There are a number of phenomenal characteristics attached to this branch of medical science. Some of its characterized sub-specialties include Cornea, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Cataract, Pediatric, Strabismus, Uveitis, Retina, Ocular Immunology and Oculoplastics.

For someone who wants to become an Ophthalmologist, it is very important that they first understand the relevance of the subject matter, acquire proper knowledge and degree, dig out the area of interest from this vast field and then gain the prescribed skills to be an expert of the field. If you think you are the one to study this subject and become a successful Ophthalmologist, then you must read the article to know all the important details that should be followed and kept in mind while pursuing your desired goal of becoming an Ophthalmologist.

Eligibility to become Ophthalmologist

If aspirants are planning for Ophthalmology as a career then they must have all the answers related to how to become an Ophthalmologist. Only then, the candidates will be ready for this medical course. A science background is a compulsion for all the Ophthalmology courses. These courses generally can be pursued at different levels including Diploma, Bachelor, Master of Surgery (MS) and Doctor of Medicine (MD). Those who are wondering "How to Become an Ophthalmologist?" must read the details given below that describe the eligibility norms and subject combination that candidates must fulfil.

Subject Combination – Science Stream in 10+2 with Physics + Chemistry + Biology and/or Mathematics

Entrance Exam– NEET-UG

Educational Qualifications

  • It is very important for candidates to have cleared 10+2 with an aggregate of more than 55% from a recognised and reputed institution.
  • Candidates are required to take up Science Stream in 10+2, with Physics, Chemistry, Biology and/or Mathematics as major subjects. 
  • Candidates applying for graduation and diploma course must have the passing certificate of the above-mentioned entrance examination with required cut-off marks as described by the concerned institution.
  • They will have to pursue either MBBS or any relevant bachelor's degree.
  • For MS and MD in Ophthalmology, candidates must produce a mark sheet of entrance exam along with the mark sheet of the last qualifying examination. 

Types of Job Roles Ophthalmologist

There are different types of roles of an Opthalmologist that she/ he deals in her/ his career. An Ophthalmologists’ job profiles can be described based on the various sub-specialties of the subject-matter. These sub-specialties include Cornea, Retina, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Pediatric, Uveitis, Strabismus, Cataract, Ocular Immunology and Oculoplastics. Apart from these defined specialties an Ophthalmologist, aspirants’ job roles will also be prescribed by the organisation they are working for. As per the need of the organisation or institution, candidates will be hired for the roles. These roles can include being a teacher, a researcher, a technician, a sales and marketing expert, a pharmaceutical expert or a doctor in general. Candidates who wish to understand the nature of the sub-specialties may read further.

Cataract Specialist or Surgeon: These are specialists who perform surgery to remove the natural lens and replace it with ab artificial lens so that the problem of opaque or blurred vision is checked and cured.

Cornea Specialist: A Cornea Specialist is the one who performs treatments and surgeries to cure any injury, infection or disease caused in the Cornea, Conjunctiva, Eyelids and Sclera of the human eye. They perform preventive measures to stop the damage any further and recover the injury affecting the eyesight of the patient.

Retina Specialist: Doctors of this specialty deal with the problems affecting the Retina of the human eye. These problems generally occur due to injury or damage caused in the retina which may be due to retinal detachment or sudden flashlight or floaters.

Neuro-Ophthalmology Specialist: A specialist of this field handles eye problems that are linked with the nervous system of the human body. Some eminent problems that require immediate attention of Neuro-Ophthalmologist include optic nerve issues affecting visibility, problem in controlling movement of the eye, double vision, etc. The study of both neurology and ophthalmology is required to master this specialty of Ophthalmology.  

Pediatric Ophthalmologist or Pediatrics: Doctors of this stream works with any ocular problem caused to the eyes of the children. Some of the substantial problems that are treated by Pediatric Ophthalmologists include Strabismus, Genetic Abnormalities, Amblyopia, Neoplastic Disorders, Conjunctivitis and Misalignment of the eyes.

Ocular Immunology Specialist: These specialists work to regulate problems affecting the immunity of the human body as a result of which many eye related problem and diseases can turn up. These problems may include corneal ulcers, uveitis, sclerosis, or any type of inflammation in the eye. Doctors of this field work in close contact with the General Physicians.

Oculoplastics Specialist: Surgeons of this specialisation work for the repairment and reconstruction of the eye. They specifically deal with the surgery done for the problems in the eyelids and problems in the area surrounding the eyeball including the orbit and lacrimal system.             

    Employment Sector/Industry for Ophthalmologist

    The responsibilities and job tasks of an Opthalmologist include:

    • Performing comprehensive examinations to determine the ocular disorder.

    • Testing vision of a patient.

    • Diagnosing and treating diseases, disorders and injuries of the eye.

    • Treating chronic disorders or diseases.

    • Developing treatment plans on the basis of a patient's history, severity and nature of disorders.

    • Evaluating the medical history of a patient.

    • Operating or performing laser surgeries on patients to remove/ alter/ replace/ reshape ocular tissue.

    • Implementing or developing procedures and plans for opthalmologic services.   

    Employment Opportunities for Ophthalmologists

    An Ophthalmologist can work for different sectors and sections of the society. Right from education department to government organisations and research centers, there is a place for  Ophthalmologist. All that an Ophthalmology aspirant must do is to choose their desired sector and prepare for it accordingly. Let’s check out the list of these open sectors and select the desired one where employment opportunities for Ophthalmologists are easily available.

    • Hospitals
    • Governmental Organisations
    • Educational Institutions
    • Research Centers
    • Private Nursing Homes
    • X-Ray and Ultrasound Centers
    • Pharmaceutical Companies

    Top Recruiting Companies for Ophthalmologists

    Candidates who want to become an Ophthalmologist must know the companies where they can be hired. These companies are generally top nursing homes, hospitals and research centers that hire an Ophthalmologist on different wages and job roles as per their qualifications, eligibility and experience. Mentioned below is a list of top recruiting companies for Ophthalmologist.

    • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
    • Eye Group
    • Sheetla Eye Hospital
    • Dr. R.P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS - New Delhi
    • L.V.Prasad eye hospital – Hyderabad
    • Sankar Netralaya – Chennai
    • Aravind Eye Hospital – Madurai
    • National Institute of Opthalmology (NIO) – Pune
    • Bombay City Eye Institute & Research Centre

    Planning to choose Ophthalmologist as your career?

    Pay Scale/Salary of Ophthalmologist

    An Ophthalmologist’s salary may vary according to the specialization they acquire and practice. An important factor is the pay scale offered by the concerned organistion or institution hiring an Ophthalmologist for a specified job role. Work exposure and educational qualification accompanied by projects and internships of the aspirants will also affect the pay scale of the Ophthalmologist.

    Job Profile

    Starting Salary per annum (INR)

    Mid Level Salary per annum (INR)

    Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)





    Note:The figures mentioned above are an approximate estimate and may vary from individual to individual.

    Books & Study Material to Become Ophthalmologist

    In order to prepare for the examination, candidates will have to take help from best books and study materials for preparation of these entrances. The books are well designed to guide the test takers through the syllabus and exam pattern that will be followed by the concerned exam conducting authority. Apart from the books focusing mainly on the entrance exams, candidates must also read subject related books to gain a basic knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. These books will not only help you through the entrance exams but will also help you through the course curriculum and during your internship tenure. Candidates can check the list given below and start preparing for the job role of Ophthalmologist.

    • New SARP Series - Ophthalmology (for NEET/ NBE/ AI-Postgraduate Medical Admission Test) by Gobind Rai Garg and Sparsh Gupta
    • Review of Ophthalmology 6th Edition by Ruchi Rai
    • Self Assessment And Review of Short Subjects Ophthalmology Otorhinolaryngology & Orthopaedics Vol -II 4ed 2016 by Arvind Arora
    • Ophthalmonics: Ophthalmology Mnemonics by Dhaval Patel
    • Kanski's Clinical Ophthalmology E-Book: A Systematic Approach by Brad Bowling
    • Basic and Clinical Science Course
    • Review of Ophthalmology by Bill Trattler, Neil J. Friedman, and Peter K. Kaiser
    • The Wills Eye Manual: Office and Emergency Room Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Disease by Wolters Kluwer
    • OphthoBook by Timothy Root
    • Parsons' Diseases of the Eye by Radhika Tandon

    Pros of becoming a Ophthalmologist

    • It is considered to be one of the most highly paid and secured job profile for medical candidates.
    • An Ophthalmologist enjoys their job profile as they get to learn new things with every new patient they attend.
    • This job can light up the lives of many people, and in return gives satisfaction, peace and happiness to the Ophthalmologists performing the action.
    • The job role also enables the professionals to work alone or in a team. This will completely reside in the hands of the Ophthalmologists to opt for private practice or join some hospital or nursing home.
    • Another important aspect of being an Ophthalmologist is that the demand for a better vision and a healthy eye will never reduce hence the demand of the professionals of this field. Therefore, the scope of employment opportunity will always be high for Ophthalmologists.
    • Unlike other professionals, an Ophthalmologist has the opportunity to choose that one specific field from the distinctive fields available which includes Cataract, Pediatric & Strabismus, Cornea, Retina, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Oculoplastics, etc.    

    Cons of becoming a Ophthalmologist

    • It is one of the most challenging job roles as it involves the life of humans.
    • With a small mistake, doctors can risk the lives of their patients as they will be handling the most sensitive part of the body ‘the eyes’.
    • For an Ophthalmologist, it is very important that they are aware of each and every detail of their patient, which many a time, can be very hectic and tiresome.
    • Only a licensed Ophthalmologist can practice their job role which is a mandatory requirement and can not be avoided.
    • Being an Ophthalmology doctor, candidates will have to face both good and bad patients coming for the treatment.

    Paths for Being Ophthalmologist

    Confused on what to choose as your career?