Surgical Ophthamology

Specialist Training in Surgical Ophthalmology (ST 1-5)

The surgical ophthalmology curriculum is a five-year competence-based curriculum, which follows completion of the three year core training programme.

Surgical ophthalmologists perform microsurgical intraocular operations such as cataract extraction surgery or retinal detachment repair surgery. Although the eye is a very small organ there are seven sub-specialties involved in the practice of surgical ophthalmology. Surgical ophthalmologists also specialise in one of seven different surgical sub-specialties:

  1. Oculoplastic, Adnexal and Lacrimal Surgery
  2. Cornea and External Diseases
  3. Cataract & Refractive Surgery
  4. Glaucoma
  5. Retina, Vitreous and Uvea (including Ocular Oncology)
  6. Neuro-ophthalmology
  7. Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

The purpose of the Surgical Ophthalmology programme is to provide in-depth training so as to equip trainees with skills both in cataract surgery as well as in the surgical sub-specialties of anterior segment surgery (corneal transplant), glaucoma (trabeculectomy), strabismus (squint surgery), orbit (enucleations), vitro-retinal (retinal detachment repair), nasolacrimal and oculoplastic surgery.

Surgical trainees, irrespective of preference and future career choice, need to complete training in all sub-specialties to successfully complete their training. Most trainees go on to complete a Fellowship in the sub-specialty of their choice.

Training Pathway for Specialist Training in Surgical Ophthalmology

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
Training Level Medical School Intern Year Basic Ophthalmic Training Specialist Training in Surgical Ophthalmology
Duration 4-6 years 1 year 3 years 5 years
Entry Process Graduate or direct entry Entry through the HSE Intern Match Entry based on competitive interview Entry based on on-going assessment (CAPA), successful completion of the MRCS exam and Specialty Interview
Mandatory Examinations As per curriculum N/A MRCS Exam  FRCS Exam
Application Date CAO process opens in November Application process opens in October Application process opens in November  N/A
Programme Operated by: Undergraduate Universities Intern Networks ICO RCSI

The Specialist Training Programme in  Surgical Ophthalmology is administered by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

For further information about training in Medical Ophthalmology click here.

For further information, about training in Surgical Ophthalmology  please visit the website of the Irish College of Ophthalmologists

training_pathway exams How_to_apply