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.

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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.

Not sure about Ophthalmology as a specialty? AMO offers over 200 clinical experiences in 40 medical specialties and subspecialties so, there is something for everyone. Create an account today to explore these opportunities!