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What Does It Take to Become an Ophthalmologist?

Encompassing a broad variety of responsibilities surrounding caring for vision and the eyes, ophthalmology provides treatment and prevention of medical disorders of the eye, including surgery where required. Ophthalmologists perform cataract and glaucoma surgeries, straighten crossed eyes and perform corneal transplantations, among other procedures.

Working with such a delicate area of the body, one can understand the need for business insurance for ophthalmologists. But what does it take to become an ophthalmologist?

Educational Background

At a minimum, you’ll need a doctorate degree in medicine, along with training in the subspecialty of the field of your choice. First though, you’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree. Ideally, this will be in a pre-med course of study to give you the best springboard into your graduate studies. Either way, a science-based degree will best prepare you. Biology in particular will prep you with the lab experience you’ll need to gain entry to medical school.

Medical School Admission

When you’re facing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), you’ll be glad you focused on science during your undergraduate years. The examination is designed to evaluate critical thinking skills, as well as your understanding of the basic principles of science. However, before you take the MCAT, you will have carried an undergrad GPA of 3.5 or better along with science coursework and labs. To get into medical school, you’ll also need to have extracurricular activities in which you’ve demonstrated leadership, dedication to medicine and other useful skills to be successful in a medical career.

Medical School Experience

The four years of medical school are comprised of two years of general scientific knowledge and understanding coursework, along with two years of rotations and practical training. The goal of the first two years is to ensure you understand medical practice, clinical care, medical ethics and applicable laws. After your second year, you’ll take the first part of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to determine whether you’re ready to move on to the second half’s activities. Upon completion of years three and four, you’ll take the second half of the USMLE to verify your understanding of the skills you’ll need to advance to the unsupervised caring for patients.

Internship/Residency/Special Training

The American Board of Ophthalmology requires a direct patient care internship under the rules of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Spanning 12 months, you’ll work as an intern in one of the generalized fields of medicine to prepare for your residency of at least 36 months, which must also adhere to the guidelines of the ACGME. During this period, you will experience the subspecialties of the field, as well as conduct inpatient consultations and ophthalmic pathology. These subspecialties include:

Upon completion of your residency and special training, you will be ready to begin your formal career as an ophthalmologist. There are a wide variety of settings and areas of specialty within which you can work. However, whichever one you choose, an important tool to have will be business insurance for ophthalmologists to protect your practice against lawsuits and the like.

CoverHound will help you get the best coverage for your particular needs. Try it today!

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