Job Description:

Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialise in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of disorders and diseases of the eye and visual system.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

Here are the key responsibilities and activities typically associated with the role of an ophthalmologist:

  • conduct comprehensive eye examinations to assess the overall health of the eye and to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism)
  • prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct vision problems and ensure optimal visual acuity
  • diagnose and manage a wide range of eye conditions and diseases, both acute and chronic
  • perform surgical interventions when necessary
  • use laser technology for various eye conditions, including laser therapy for diabetic retinopathy, laser trabeculoplasty for glaucoma, and laser-assisted cataract surgery
  • provide immediate care for eye injuries, including foreign body removal, treatment of chemical burns, and management of traumatic eye injuries
  • develop treatment plans for managing chronic eye diseases and conditions, including regular monitoring, prescription medications, and lifestyle recommendations
  • educate patients about their eye conditions, treatment options, and steps they can take to maintain good eye health


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of medicine
  • science skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software
  • packages competently
  • medical skills

As well as:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions (leadership skills)
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an Ophthalmologist, specific qualifications are not required. However, the path to becoming an ophthalmologist is highly competitive and requires a strong academic foundation in the sciences, particularly in biology and chemistry, as well as a commitment to several years of rigorous education and training. Here are some subjects and skills that can be beneficial for aspiring Ophthalmologists:

  1. Sciences: Strong grades in biology, chemistry, and physics are essential for a solid foundation in the natural sciences, which are relevant to understanding human anatomy, physiology, and eye-related medical concepts.
  2. Mathematics: A good grasp of mathematics, including algebra and statistics, is important for medical studies and data analysis in ophthalmology research and practice.
  3. English: Excellent communication skills, including reading, writing, and spoken communication, are crucial for medical studies, patient interactions, and documentation.
  4. Additional Sciences: Subjects like human biology or applied science may be offered and can provide insights into the human body, diseases, and medical terminology.

Post School


  • Bachelor of Medicine
  • Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
  • or Equivalent

Enroll in a medical school program that leads to an MBBS or equivalent degree. Medical school typically lasts for five to six years and includes both classroom studies and clinical training.

Foundation Year Training
After medical school, you will undergo a foundation year of supervised medical practice, which provides exposure to various medical specialties.

Ophthalmology Residency
Apply for a residency program in ophthalmology, which typically lasts for four to five years. During this specialised training, you will gain expertise in diagnosing and treating eye diseases and conditions.

Licensing and Certification
To practice medicine, you will need to obtain a medical license. Ophthalmologists are expected to engage in continuing medical education to stay updated with the latest advancements in eye care and ophthalmology research.

Career Tips
Becoming an Ophthalmologist requires dedication, a strong educational background in the sciences, and a genuine commitment to preserving and improving vision in patients through diagnosis, treatment, and research.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 42 to 46 hours a week, including evenings, nights, weekends, or holidays.

You could work in a public or private hospital.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career Path & Progression:

Some ophthalmologists choose to combine clinical practice with academic and research responsibilities. This path may involve teaching medical students, residents, and fellows and conducting eye-related research.

Ophthalmologists may continue to expand their expertise and sub-specialise further throughout their careers by pursuing additional training, certifications, and research opportunities.