A Career as an Eye Doctor 

Thinking of a Career in Ophthalmology - a short guide from the Irish College of Ophthalmologists - download brochure 

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 and prevent sight loss in patients.

Ophthalmology is a fast-paced, innovative 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 it an extremely rewarding area of medicine to work 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.

The eye is not an isolated unit and has complicated relationships with numerous other bodily systems and functions including that of the brain and nervous system.  Ophthalmologists liaise particularly with neurologists, rheumatologists, diabetologists and endocrinologists. 

Ophthalmologists work as part of a multi-disciplinary team.  Other eye health professionals including ophthalmic nurses, orthoptists, optometrists and ophthalmic technicians play an important role in the care of eye patients and teamwork is essential. 


The Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO) is the Medical Council accredited postgraduate body responsible for the delivery of Specialist Training in Ophthalmology. The specialty of ophthalmology in Ireland includes two career structures:

Medical Ophthalmology

Surgical Ophthalmology

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.