A Career as an Eye Doctor 

Thinking of a Career in Ophthalmology?

Download our brochure Career in Ophthalmology: a short guide from the Irish College of Ophthalmologists

Medical Careers 2022: Interested in a Career in Ophthalmology?
12 October 2022: Live Q&A Session
Watch pre-recorded information videos from this year's Careers Information session
Online Applications for
  • Basic Training in Medical Ophthalmology
  • Basic Training in Surgical Ophthalmology
commencing July 2023, will open on Tuesday 25th October 2022 and will close 4pm Thursday, 2 February 2023.


Specialist Training in Ophthalmology

The Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO) is the accredited postgraduate training body responsible for the delivery of Specialist Training in Ophthalmology. The ICO is recognised for this purpose by the Irish Medical Council (IMC) and the Health Service Executive (HSE). 

The specialty of ophthalmology in Ireland includes two career structures:

Entry to the Basic Training Programmes in Medical Ophthalmology and Surgical Ophthalmology is by annual competitive interview run by the Irish College of Ophthalmologists.

To apply for the Basic Training, the applicant must to be registered with the Medical Council of Ireland and eligible for trainee specialist registration.

Available posts are advertised via the ICO website www.eyedoctors.ie in November/December of each year.

Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and disease of the eye and visual system. Ophthalmologists diagnose, medically treat and perform surgery to preserve vision and prevent sight loss in patients.

The specialty of ophthalmology offers a unique opportunity for a range of sub-specialisations including paediatrics, neuro-ophthalmology, glaucoma, oculoplastics/orbit, vitreo-retinal, cornea & anterior segment, refraction, ocular oncology, trauma, and medical retina.

Ophthalmology is a fast-paced and exciting career choice in medicine, and a specialty which has experienced rapid advances in new treatments and technologies over the past two decades. A significant proportion of sight threatening conditions which previously had a poor prognosis for patients are now largely preventable with early diagnosis and treatment, making ophthalmology an extremely rewarding area of medicine for doctors to care for their patients in.

The advent of new therapies which are enabling greater prevention and management of eye diseases in tandem with evolving patient demographics have increased the demand for the skills and competencies of ophthalmologists.  Ophthalmic practice is an innovative specialty and frequently adapts and implements new and emerging technologies such as imaging techniques, laser, the use of intraocular lenses and stents.

Consultant ophthalmologists lead and work as part of the Integrated Eye Care team (IECT).  Other eye health professionals working as part of the IECT include ophthalmic nurses, orthoptists, optometrists and ophthalmic technicians. 

Given the frequency of ocular involvement in many systemic diseases, ophthalmologists often work in close collaboration with other specialists including diabetologists, rheumatologists, neurologists, ENT and maxillo-facial surgeons as well as paediatricians, general practitioners and geneticists. 

Ophthalmologists also work closely with public health specialists to support the early detection and prevention of avoidable slight loss through the National Screening programme for children’s vision and for diabetic retinopathy.  

There has been significant investment in the specialty in recent years and this will continue with the national roll out of the Integrated Eye Care Team and the appointment of new Consultant Medical Ophthalmologists.