About Retinal Specialists
WHAT IS A RETINAL SPECIALIST?
Your retinal specialist has followed a demanding educational process. In order to first become a medical or osteopathic doctor (MD or DO) four years of college and subsequently four years of medical school are required. This is followed by one or more years of general clinical training and then three or more years of residency training in ophthalmology.
The Retinal Specialist
Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of eye disease. Ophthalmologists are trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to performing complex eye surgery.
Following the lengthy education and training involved in becoming an ophthalmologist, some eye physicians choose to pursue additional and more specialized training. This is referred to as a fellowship. Retinal fellowship training involves additional years devoted exclusively to this subspecialty within the field of ophthalmology.
After successful completion of such a fellowship and eventual board certification, retinal specialists limit their practice to the diagnosis and management of retinal diseases. In your eye care team (see also below), the retinal specialist is analogous to a subspecialist such as a cardiologist (heart disease) or oncologist (cancer treatment). Other synonymous terms for retinal specialist include retina doctor, retinal physician, retinologist and vitreoretinal subspecialist.