The medical specialty of ophthalmology is concerned with providing care to those struggling with eye and or vision issues. Most ophthalmologists address eye diseases, perform surgical procedures, or improve a patient’s sight by prescribing and fitting them for contact lenses or glasses.
Within the specialty of ophthalmology there are many different subspecialties. These include the following: pediatric ophthalmology, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, retina/uveitis, anterior segment/cornea, oculoplastics/orbit, ocular oncology, and ophthalmic and plastic reconstructive surgery. Additional training and years of residency are required for those in the field of ophthalmology to be considered a specialist in the areas aforementioned.
For general information on becoming a resident and practicing physician in this area of medicine as an IMG, continue reading below.
If you are interested in exploring clinical experiences in Ophthalmology with AMO, click here!
According to the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, between 2018 and 2019, there were 123 ophthalmology programs in the U.S, just four of which deal with the sub-specialty of ophthalmic and plastic reconstructive surgery. Approximately 1,478 residents were accepted into these programs. Roughly forty percent, or 591, of these individuals were IMGS.
For additional data on 2018-2019 residency statistics the ACGME’s website here.
Practicing as a Physician
At present there is just under 19,300 practicing ophthalmologists in the U.S. In 2018, the average income for ophthalmologists was $375,000. Foreign trained ophthalmologists made an average of $448,000 annually, while their U.S. educated counterparts only made $353,000.
For more information on the income of ophthalmologists, check out Medscape’s 2019 Opthalmology Compensation Report.
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