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Medical Field

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Own Boss & Team


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Work With


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Maths & Science

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Prepared to Study for Years


Either Alone or In a Busy Environment

Specialist Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologists are eye doctors who diagnose and treat diseases relating to the eyes.  Compared to optometrists who diagnose and treat problems related to vision but cannot perform surgery, ophthalmologists are licensed to operate on patients with eye problems.

Aside from that, some ophthalmologists also participate in scientific research in order to learn more about what cause eye diseases or vision disorders and how to cure them.1

Ophthalmologists seeking to further hone their skills go through additional training and go on to become specialist ophthalmologists. They specialise in any of several ophthalmology subspecialties including the cornea, retina, glaucoma, paediatrics, oculoplastics, and neurology.2

How to be a Specialist Opthalmologist in South Africa

Get the Required Qualifications

The required qualification to be an ophthalmologist can vary depending on the specific career path you wish to take; however, you will typically need the following to become a specialist opthalmologist in South Africa:

  1. Certificate (National Senior Certificate or NC(v) with Bachelor’s Degree Pass)
  2. Bachelor’s Degree (Bachelor of Medicine)
  3. Post-graduate Degree (Masters in Medicine in Ophthalmology)

Accumulate Years of Relevant Study and Experience

Specialist ophthalmologists in South Africa typically study and train for 10 years or more. These include:

  1. Theoretical training: 6 years
  2. Student internship: 1 year
  3. Community Service: 1 year
  4. Post Grad studies: 4 years (after completing the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree to obtain an Masters in Medicine in Ophthalmology)

In order to work in this field, you will have to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

Find Relevant Employment Opportunities

Specialist ophthalmologists in South Africa often work in the following places:

  • State hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Private practice

Find More Information from Relevant Regulatory Bodies

To find more information about opthalmologists in South Africa, contact the:

Specialist Opthalmologist Related Careers




1.Difference between an ophthalmologist, optometrist and optician. Difference between an Ophthalmologist, Optometrist and Optician – American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2022, from https://aapos.org/glossary/difference-between-an-ophthalmologist-optometrist-and-optician

2. Ophthalmology subspecialists. American Academy of Ophthalmology. (2022, March 24). Retrieved May 11, 2022, from https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/ophthalmology-subspecialists

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