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Ophthalmologists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions of the eyes. Ophthalmologists are required to have medical degrees and they treat patients of all ages who have vision-threatening diseases and disorders. Ophthalmologists perform surgeries that may be used to treat conditions like glaucoma or cataracts.

Ophthalmologists examine the internal and external structures of the eye, give eyesight exams, and may use medications, corrective lenses, or eye patches to treat their patients.

Salary Range: $112,745 – $385,128

Salary Notes: Like other physicians, ophthalmologists tend to earn high salaries, usually between $112,745 -$385,128 per year or more due to the length and difficulty of their training. The median salary is $278,031. Salaries vary according to specialty, geographic region, and whether a physician works in the public or private sector.

Where you can study:
University of Vermont College of Medicine [1], Burlington, VT

Where you might work:
– Hospitals – Medical Centers – Private Practice – University Teaching Programs

Job Outlook: Ophthalmologists, like other physicians, are highly trained professionals, and as such, will always be in demand. Continuing advances in the use of surgery (instead of glasses) to correct vision problems like nearsightedness will probably create even more demand in the future.

Education, Licensing and Certification: High school course work for students aspiring to an ophthalmology career should include a strong emphasis on math and science, followed by an undergraduate career that focuses on one of the natural sciences. Excellent grades along the way are important. An ophthalmologist must complete a minimum of 12 years of higher education. This education includes four years of college, four more years of medical school, one or more years of general clinical training, and three or more years in a hospital-based eye residency program. Any specialization in the area of ophthalmology may require an additional year or more of fellowship training beyond residency.

Professional Organizations:
American Academy of Ophthalmology [2] 415-561-8500