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Career profile Ophthalmologist

Also known as Comprehensive Ophthalmologist, General Ophthalmologist, Ophthalmologist, Ophthalmologist-Retina Specialist, Physician, Retina Subspecialist, Retinal Surgeon, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon

Ophthalmologist

Also known as Comprehensive Ophthalmologist, General Ophthalmologist, Ophthalmologist

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Social
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$61,380 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Biology
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Perform ophthalmic surgeries such as cataract, glaucoma, refractive, corneal, vitro-retinal, eye muscle, or oculoplastic surgeries.
  • Perform comprehensive examinations of the visual system to determine the nature or extent of ocular disorders.
  • Diagnose or treat injuries, disorders, or diseases of the eye and eye structures including the cornea, sclera, conjunctiva, or eyelids.
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What does an Ophthalmologist do?

Ophthalmologists diagnose and perform surgery to treat and help prevent disorders and diseases of the eye.

In addition, Ophthalmologists may also provide vision services for treatment including glasses and contacts.

What kind of tasks does an Ophthalmologist perform regularly?

Ophthalmologists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Perform ophthalmic surgeries such as cataract, glaucoma, refractive, corneal, vitro-retinal, eye muscle, or oculoplastic surgeries.
  • Perform comprehensive examinations of the visual system to determine the nature or extent of ocular disorders.
  • Diagnose or treat injuries, disorders, or diseases of the eye and eye structures including the cornea, sclera, conjunctiva, or eyelids.
  • Document or evaluate patients' medical histories.
  • Provide or direct the provision of postoperative care.
  • Perform, order, or interpret the results of diagnostic or clinical tests.
  • Develop treatment plans based on patients' histories and goals, the nature and severity of disorders, and treatment risks and benefits.
  • Prescribe or administer topical or systemic medications to treat ophthalmic conditions and to manage pain.
  • Perform laser surgeries to alter, remove, reshape, or replace ocular tissue.
  • Provide ophthalmic consultation to other medical professionals.
  • Educate patients about maintenance and promotion of healthy vision.
  • Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams of health professionals to provide optimal patient care.
  • Refer patients for more specialized treatments when conditions exceed the experience, expertise, or scope of practice of practitioner.
  • Develop or implement plans and procedures for ophthalmologic services.
  • Instruct interns, residents, or others in ophthalmologic procedures and techniques.
  • Prescribe ophthalmologic treatments or therapies such as chemotherapy, cryotherapy, or low vision therapy.
  • Prescribe corrective lenses such as glasses or contact lenses.
  • Conduct clinical or laboratory-based research in ophthalmology.

The above responsibilities are specific to Ophthalmologists. More generally, Ophthalmologists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

What is an Ophthalmologist salary?

The median salary for an Ophthalmologist is over $208,000, and the average salary is $218,850. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Ophthalmologist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Ophthalmologists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Ophthalmologists earn less than $61,380 per year, 25% earn less than $126,470, 75% earn more than $208,000, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Ophthalmologists is expected to change by 4.5%, and there should be roughly 13,400 open positions for Ophthalmologists every year.

Median annual salary
Over $208,000
Typical salary range
$61,380 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
4.5%

What personality traits are common among Ophthalmologists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Ophthalmologist are usually higher in their Investigative, Social, and Realistic interests.

Ophthalmologists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Ophthalmologists typically have strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Lastly, Ophthalmologists typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Ophthalmologist tend to value Achievement, Independence, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Ophthalmologists very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Ophthalmologists very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Ophthalmologists strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Ophthalmologists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, attention to detail, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Ophthalmologists, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

What education and training do Ophthalmologists need?

Many Ophthalmologists have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Ophthalmologists may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Ophthalmologists

  • 100.0% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as medicine and dentistry, biology, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Ophthalmologists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Important Abilities needed by Ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Ophthalmologists need abilities such as oral comprehension, inductive reasoning, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Ophthalmologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Ophthalmologists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Ophthalmologists frequently use skills like critical thinking, active listening, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Ophthalmologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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