Ophthalmology programs include a combination of practical education, basic science training, and clinical research that prepare students to become practicing ophthalmologists. Programs typically last 3 years and include a strong foundation in clinical ophthalmology. Students have a high degree of independent responsibility and are supervised by faculty while they practice patient care. They receive training in eight different subspecialties of the field through a series of rotations. During these programs, students work closely with physicians who can serve as their role models in the future.
A major portion of the training in ophthalmology is the residency. During this time, students work in hospitals or other medical facilities under the supervision of experienced ophthalmologists. During the first year of residency, students take emergency calls, work with both inpatients and outpatients, assist with operating room procedures, and are introduced to ophthalmic surgery. During the second year, they rotate through a series of subspecialties, including ocular pathology, corneal disease, and glaucoma. The third year includes actual practice with surgical techniques.