OFO No: 221205





Other names for Opthalmologist:

  • Eye Surgeon
  • Medical Eye Specialist
  • Ophthalmic Optician


What is an Opthalmologist?

An Opthalmologist is a specialist ‘eye doctor’ who deals with anything to do with the eye. This may include the eyeball, eyelids, parts of the brain and anything else that is related to the eye. Some Opthalmologists perform surgery.

The difference between an Opthalmologist and an Optometrist:


  • Professional specialised doctor who may perform surgery


  • Tests for vision and prescribes glasses or contact lenses

Some Opthalmologists may specialise in:

  • Diseases of the eye
  • Plastic surgery of the eye and eye socket
  • LASIK laser surgery

What does an Opthalmologist do?

  • meets with patients
  • performs specialised tests using high tech equipment
  • advises patient on various options of treatment
  • monitors progress
  • operates when necessary
  • keeps up to date records
  • keeps up to date with modern eye medicine and surgical techniques
  • attends meetings and conferences etc

Are you . . . ?

  • intelligent? 
  • interested in medicine?
  • extremely good with your hands?
  • able to do fine and detailed work?
  • reliable and responsible?
  • caring?

How do I become an Opthalmologist?



  • Work as a qualified doctor for 2 years


Complete 4 year Master in Medicine (Opthalmology)

  • University of Cape Town
  • University of the Free State
  • University of KZN
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of the Witwatersrand


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions.


  • Designation: It’s awarded by the HPCSA. Only then can you use the title Opthalmologist behind your name.


  • HPCSA: Health Professions Council of South Africa



OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Dentist or Biomedical Engineer

Is becoming a Opthalmologist the right career choice for me?