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Are there any visual requirements to become an ophthalmologist?


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I am interested in pursuing a degree in the medial field, however, I have doubts whether my vision disability will hamper my interest. I was born with microphthalmia in my right eye rendering me half blind. I wear glasses to correct my vision to 20/20 as I can only see with my left eye. Therefore, I am wondering if there are visual requirements to study ophthalmology. 

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I looked at some of the programs on CaRMS, and yes it would seem they require opthalmological reports. Idk what the specific requirements are , unfortunately, so I hope someone else can help you there. I copy and pasted a few of the schools requirements below.

UoT: The ophthalmological report should include visual acuity (corrected and uncorrected), refractive error, stereo vision, colour vision, ocular muscle balance/motility, and health status of the eyes.

Queens: We require that you obtain an ocular examination with an ophthalmologist or an optometrist that indicates your best corrected visual acuity including corrective prescription documented, your stereo-acuity, your colour vision and any other relevant details from a general assessment.

Alberta: An ophthalmologist report stating the candidate's visual status, including stereopsis and color vision, is required. (Please note that the ophthalmologist's signature on your report is considered certification)


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Sorry - you need full or close to full stereopsis for most programs. When candidates are asked to submit their application most programs do require a full exam by an ophthalmologist. This includes an examination of stereoacuity (Stereo fly and random E) and best-corrected Snellen visual acuity. 

If you have an amblyopic eye you probably don't have the depth perception required to do microsurgery that is not video-assisted. Cataract and vitrectomy surgery, and even some aspects of oculoplastics all require the microscope or relatively higher powered loupes to help magnify what you are doing under stereoscopic conditions. 

However, video-assisted surgery such as laparoscopic surgery in its current state may be a hope. https://bjo.bmj.com/content/99/2/240 

You can always email the programs to ask as well. However, a lot of fine details, ex. subtly raised lesions in the retina, etc. require stereopsis so if you're not able to see out of one eye currently, it will be very hard to meet the basic requirements of the program. My apologies.

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