Careers in ophthalmology
Don't be put off by memories of fumbling with an ophthalmoscope. Amar Alwitry discusses what is involved in this expanding specialty
- By: Amar Alwitry
Due to the enormous medical curriculum and the pressures on time in undergraduate training, ophthalmology teaching at medical schools tends to be quite a shortlived affair, with only about two weeks being dedicated to this vast subject. Subsequently, when medical students graduate and begin to decide on their future career, few have had a true taste of ophthalmology. The occasional clinic session spent fumbling with the ophthalmoscope, confidently saying you can see the disc margins clearly while being focused on an eyelash, may give a false and slightly offputting impression of this rewarding career.
Ophthalmology is the study of the eye and the visual system. It encompasses the skin around the eyes, the globe and orbit, and the nervous connections in the brain all the way back to the visual cortex. Pathology in this system and the management of systemic diseases that affect the eye are in the remit of