Medical Ophthalmology

The National Training Programme in Medical Ophthalmology is the route to qualification as a Medical Ophthalmologist in Ireland.

The Medical Ophthalmology Curriculum is a five-year competence-based curriculum consisting of three core years (MT1, MT2 & MT3) followed by two years (MT4, MT5) of subspecialty training in paediatrics, glaucoma and medical retina.

Core Training in Medical Ophthalmology

The purpose of the core foundation years is to provide a broad based initial training in ophthalmology with attainment of knowledge skills and professional behaviours relevant to the practice of ophthalmology in any specialist discipline.

Following successful completion MT1 –MT3 Training (requires passing the MRCSI exam) candidates can compete to enter Specialist Training in Medical Ophthalmology MT4 – MT5.

Information on Core Training application and entry process is available on the ICO website here.

Specialist Training in Medical Ophthalmology

The purpose of the Specialist Training in Ophthalmology programme is to provide in-depth training so as to equip doctors with skills they require to independently practice as ophthalmologists.  The programme has a modular approach and is framed around the three subspecialties located at the core of future independent practice – medical retina, glaucoma and paediatric ophthalmology.

In medical retina, new advances in intraocular injections and laser have revolutionised the treatment of two common sight-threatening conditions, namely age-related macular degeneration and diabetic maculopathy.  As these conditions are very responsive to the new therapies, the work is very rewarding.  Over the next 20 years Ireland will see a significant increase in both older patients and diabetics and therefore, the number of medical ophthalmologists required to treat these patients is also expected to increase.

Trainees, irrespective of preference and future career choice, need to complete all three modules to successfully complete their training. To reflect the diversity of the future career path of an ophthalmic specialist, training is located both within hospital-based training units as well as in community clinics.

Medical ophthalmologists have varying roles in health care in Ireland. Once the programme is successfully completed, specialists work in the community, the hospital or private practice.

Further information on the entry criteria for a career in medical ophthalmology is available on the ICO website here.

Training Pathway for Specialist Training in Medical Opthalmology

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
Training Level Medical School Intern Year Core Training in Medical Ophthalmology Specialist Training in Medical Opthalmology
Duration 4-5 years 1 year 3 years 2 years
Entry Process Graduate or direct entry Entry through the HSE Intern Match Entry based on competitive interview Entry based on competitive interview
Mandatory Examinations As per curriculum N/A MRCSI European Board of Ophthalmology Diploma
Application Date CAO process opens in November Application process opens in October Application process opens in November Application process open in November
Programme Operated by: Undergraduate Universities Intern Networks ICO ICO

The European Board of Ophthalmology Diploma (EBOD) Exam is the formal exit requirement for the Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST) and for doctors to be eligible to be registered on the specialist registrar of the Medical Council in the Division of Ophthalmology.

Download Specialist Training in Medical Ophthalmology Curriculum

Further information on the entry criteria for a career in medical Ophthalmology please visit the website of the Irish College of Ophthalmologists

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