An ophthalmic surgeon’s guide to Laser Eye Surgery
As specialists in the medical and surgical care of the eye, many ophthalmic surgeons go on to become experts in Laser Eye Surgery.
The routes they take to get there, however, vary greatly in form and length; years of work in ophthalmology and patient care, membership and duty in professional organisations such as The British Society for Refractive Surgery (BSRS), the completion of clinical research programs and numerous specialist fellowships.
Prof. Dan Reinstein, who admits to taking a particularly long route, is one of the few surgeons to dedicate much of his training and professional practice solely to Laser Eye Surgery. After graduating from Cambridge University and studying postgraduate qualifications including an MA, MB BChir and MD, Prof. Reinstein quickly became a board-certified Ophthalmologist in the USA and Canada, gained professorships in New York and Paris, and qualified as a LASIK surgeon.
He soon became involved in a research project that would result in the development of the world’s most accurate corneal scanner — The Artemis Insight 100. This is just one of the pioneering achievements which has led to Prof. Reinstein — also the founder of London Vision Clinic — becoming known as a leading global authority in the field of Laser Eye Surgery.
Safe to say he and his team know a thing or two about what it takes to become a good laser eye surgeon. Over the years they’ve helped shape Laser Eye Surgery into what it is today — one of the most common and safest elective procedures in the world. Thus, if you are an ophthalmic surgeon looking to get expert insight into becoming a Laser Eye Surgeon, you’ve come to the right place.
So, where should I start?
As the most widely recognised and only independent assessment of a refractive eye surgeon’s competence, the Certificate of Competence from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) is a great place to begin.
Through completing their examination, which is designed to test practical skills from the curriculum for ophthalmic speciality training, surgeons gain a certificate which shows they possess the capabilities to assess patients for treatment, diagnose eye conditions, carry out surgery, and deal with basic complications.
Although technically any surgeon can operate on the eye, it’s advisable to attain accreditation from the RCOphth, build up adequate experience, and complete a minimum of 3 months specialist Laser Eye Surgery training. To work at the most prestigious Laser Eye Surgery clinics, you may have to complete additional training such as the 18-month fellowship in Laser Refractive Surgery required at London Vision Clinic.
Before this point, however, regarding building up experience, a surgeon should be performing at least 500 operations a year to be considered fully competent, up to date with current developments, and in line for highly sought after positions.
Such hands-on experience and training in agreement with guidelines from the RCOphth is the basis of a long and prosperous career as a laser eye surgeon. With many new developments on the horizon and more patients seeking Laser Eye Surgery than ever before, the future of the industry has never looked so bright for aspiring surgeons.
If you are an ophthalmic surgeon, and you would like to find out more about becoming a Laser Eye Surgeon or joining our team at London Vision Clinic, leave us a comment below or contact us.