Ophthalmologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Diagnoses, treats, and helps prevent diseases and injuries of the eyes and related structures.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Performs ophthalmic surgeries such as cataract, glaucoma, refractive, corneal, vitro-retinal, eye muscle, and oculoplastic surgeries.
  • Performs comprehensive examinations of the visual system to determine the nature or extent of ocular disorders.
  • Documents or evaluates patients' medical histories.
  • Diagnoses or treats injuries, disorders, or diseases of the eye and eye structures including the cornea, sclera, conjunctiva, or eyelids.
  • Provides or directs the provision of postoperative care.
  • Performs, orders, or interprets the results of diagnostic or clinical tests.
  • Develops treatment plans based on patients' histories and goals, the nature and severity of disorders, and treatment risks and benefits.
  • Prescribes or administers topical or systemic medications to treat ophthalmic conditions and to manage pain.
  • Performs laser surgeries to alter, remove, reshape, or replace ocular tissue.
  • Provides ophthalmic consultation to other medical professionals.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon -- Takes care of people with macular diseases, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, and severe eye injuries.
  • Retina Subspecialist -- Treats conditions like retinal detachment, neovascular macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Retinal Surgeon --
  • Pediatric Ophthalmologist --