Training and development (ophthalmology)

This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school.

Training for ophthalmology is a run-through training from ST1 – ST7,  which normally takes seven years.

Recruitment at ST1 is undertaken nationally on behalf of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists by Health Education South West.

You will need 18 months’ or less experience in ophthalmology before commencement of ST1 training.

The length of training can vary, for example it is possible to train flexibly if you fulfil the criteria for Less than Full Time Training, (LTFT).

You’ll need a commitment to the specialty and this can be demonstrated by attendance at training courses relevant to ophthalmology, participation in extra-curricular activities and other relevant achievements.  

Selection panels also look for evidence of academic and research achievements, which as well as additional academic qualifications include prizes, awards, distinctions, publications and presentations. An understanding of research, audit and teaching is also important as is evidence of the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team. Good leadership and organisational skills are also important.

Detailed entry requirements and all essential and desirable criteria are listed in the NHS Person Specifications 2017 for Ophthamology ST1,and ST3.

All 2017 person specifications can be found on the NHS specialty training website. Please note that these documents are updated every year in the autumn before the recruitment round opens.

The GMC provides information on the curriculum for ophthalmology training.

Consult the NHS Specialty Training website for more information.

This information is correct at the time of writing. Full and accurate details of training pathways are available from medical royal colleges, local education and training boards (LETBs) or the GMC.

Getting in tips:

It is important to develop your practical skills and interest in ophthalmology as early as you can. This will also give you valuable experience to add to your CV.

Here are some suggestions for people at different stages of their career:

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