How to Become an Eye Doctor

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Becoming an eye doctor requires four years of college and four years of optometry school to become an optometrist, or four years of college, four years of medical school and several years of residency to become an ophthalmologist. Learn about sub-specialties of ophthalmology with information from an ophthalmologist in this free video on eye doctors.

Part of the Video Series: Eye Care & Vision Problems
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Video Transcript

My name's Dr. Alan Watson. I'm an ophthalmologist, in St. Joseph, Missouri, and we're here today to talk about eye problems. Well, there's different types of eye doctors. There's optometrist's which they go to four years of college, and generally, three to four years of optometry school, and they're trained in the diagnosis and treatment of refractive errors. Generally, if they complete optometry school some of the ones that are more interested in diseases of the eye will do a fellowship for an additional year or two of training. Ophthalmologists are actually MD's; they're medical doctors, and their training generally consists of four years of college; four years of medical school, and then a residency after their four years of medical school. The residency consists of one year of internship, and then three to four years of eye surgery or ophthalmology training. Some ophthalmologists will even get additional training after their ophthalmology residency; like a retinal surgeon will generally train for two more years after his ophthalmology residency, corneal surgeons; generally a one year fellowship. Glaucoma, similarly, is a one year fellowship. And those are sub-specialists within the field of ophthalmology, so for those individuals after high school they generally have fifteen years of education to finish their training, say, to be a retinal surgeon. This has been Dr. Alan Watson, Ophthalmologist, at St. Joseph, Missouri, discussing different eye problems, and the treatment of different eye problems with you.


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