Becoming an Ophthalmologist: What It Takes

Below: A first-hand account of becoming an eye-surgeon.

What does it take to become an eye surgeon?


People ask this a lot, so for anyone curious–or better yet, considering it–this is for you.


First, you need an undergrad degree with all the premed requirements: things like Biology, Chemistry, Math, and a bit of Physics.

You can major in almost anything you want as long as you finish your premed requirements.

I personally loved airplanes and rockets growing up and thought I might want to work for Boeing or NASA, so I majored in Mechanical Engineering when I was at Columbia 🤓.

In retrospect, that route took me a bit more time to finish my premed, since the engineering requirements are already pretty strict, but it all worked out.

And ever since then, NYC has been in my blood.




Toward the end of undergrad, you take the dreaded MCAT 😳

It’s stressful but once that’s out of the way, and you hopefully pass and survive the subsequent partying 🥂, you apply and interview for medical school. This can be fun and nerve-wracking at the same time as you travel around and may even fly all over the country. ⠀⠀⠀



Medical school is 4 years.

Most people looking at it from the outside think it’s torture but I had an absolute blast and made some of my closest friends in life 🙌

The first 2 years is mostly lectures and labs.

This is where you dissect a human body, which is a mind-blowing experience for another post!

The second 2 yrs is clinical, where you are rotating through different specialties in the hospital and assisting in surgery and the treatment of patients under the guidance of more experienced residents and physicians.



I personally loved #airplanes and rockets growing up and thought I might want to work for Boeing or @NASA, so I majored in Mechanical #Engineering when I was at @Columbia. #medtwitter Click To Tweet



At the end of med school, you apply for residency.

The application process, otherwise known as the “match”, is a bit of a crazy system which is worth another post.

But essentially, all the applicants rank their choices of programs in order, and the programs rank their choices of applicants in order, and a computer matches everyone up.

I know what you’re thinking–yes, it’s kind of like a dating app for residency spots 😉



Ophthalmology is known as one of the tougher residencies to get into.

In fact, Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesia, and Dermatology are jokingly referred to as the “ROAD” to success because they are higher-paying specialties with an “easier” lifestyle.

As you can tell from my IG account (linked at the bottom), I definitely enjoy my free time outside of work so I always knew one of these was for me 😉


Ophthalmology is known as one of the tougher residencies to get into.


Ophthalmology residency is 4 years:

1 year of general medicine and 3 intense years where you are solely focused on learning to treat medical and surgical eye diseases.

This was, hands down, the most humbling experience of my life so far, but so worth it. And at the end of it…voila, you’re officially an #ophthalmologist 🎓

P.S. I had so much fun in the process that I did a fellowship after that, which is another 1-2 years of subspecialty training.

My training was in neuro-ophthalmology, which is a cool field that I’ll talk about at a different time.

Tweet this out

Ad from SoMeDocs.

SoMeDocs Front Page Header

Marketing physician voices uniquely!

Our Venture Amplifies Healthcare Voices.

Ad from SoMeDocs.

SoMeDocs Front Page Header

Marketing physician voices uniquely!

Our Venture Amplifies Healthcare Voices.


SoMeDocs, short for Doctors on Social Media, is a physician-created & led health media company that aims to build a beautiful catalogue of verified online healthcare voices. Our goals are to teach educated professionals tools for personal success, and to showcase them to the world, and facilitate the connections needed to grow. Join us.

Negotiation series header: David Norris

Negotiate as a Physician and Win

Catch this 8-part series, hosted by physician & business consultant David Norris, MD, MBA & produced by Dana Corriel, MD. Learn to be a stronger negotiator with these important tactics.

Conversations with Shem: Season 2

Medical literature icon Samuel Shem, author of “The House of God” returns for season 2 of conversation, in order to discuss the broken healthcare system. This time, he’s brought the guests!

Doctors on Social Media Teach Podcasting Header Image

Doctors On Social Media Teach Podcasting

Today’s health experts are sharing their expertise in audio format using podcasts. Join us as we explore how we do this and bring on the innovators who are giving it their all.

Mimi Zieman M.D.

Mimi Zieman M.D.

We all have inner voices that need to be listened to, and stories to tell. Voices speaking up for women and justice are needed now more than ever.

Edward S. Rubin, M.D.

Edward S. Rubin, M.D.

I specialize in the treatment of chronic pain of the low back and neck. At my practice I make sure to have all of my patients’ backs in their daily fight against chronic pain.

Meridith Grundei

Meridith Grundei

Perfection is highly overrated. It’s time to start getting comfortably uncomfortable and start sharing your voice with the world!

JD Gershbein

JD Gershbein

“Linkedin is like a raffle; you must be present to win.”

Ann M. Richardson, MBA

Ann M. Richardson, MBA

“The Doctor Whisperer” – Healthcare systems transformation consultant and fierce physician, care team, and patient advocate.

SoMeDocs Logo

The Healthcare Connection Hub

Disclaimer: SoMeDocs assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, claims, or content of the individual experts' profiles, contributions and courses. Details within posts cannot be verified. This site does not represent medical advice and you should always consult with your private physician before taking on anything you read online. See SoMeDocs' Terms of Use for more information.

Grow with us.

We take rolling applications for regular contributors

We had a fantastic turnout and brought a large number of physician contributors on board our 1st & 2nd rounds. If you’re interested in being considered for a future round, submit an application now and we’ll be in touch when it opens. Regularly contributing means you share your thoughts, stories, opinions, or advice on our website, and we make it pretty/circulate. It’s essentially our large effort to collectively market health experts and grow thought leaders. We also consider applications for our “Experts for Health Experts” section, depending on the pitch. Are you ready to join us? If you prefer immediate access & want to build yourself space now, consider becoming a member.

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question


“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”