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What Makes A Retina Specialist Special?

Since each individual specialty of medicine and surgery is increasingly complex, there are areas in each that are sufficiently sophisticated to warrant further specialization in order for doctors to provide the highest quality of care. As a result, every specialty in medicine or surgery has subspecialties in which a subset of physicians undertakes additional training in order to achieve true expertise in that field.

A Retina Specialist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of conditions affecting the retina and the vitreous gel in the back of the eye. He or she must have received a college education, followed by four years of medical school, a one-year general medical internship, a three-year residency in comprehensive Ophthalmology, and finally, one or two years of additional subspecialty fellowship training. The majority of Retina Specialists limit their practice to the ophthalmic subspecialty of "Diseases and Surgery of the Retina and Vitreous."

In terms of a basic job description, Retina Specialists do not provide any primary eye care services, such as prescribing eyeglasses, evaluating or treating problems involving the front of the eye or cataract and LASIK surgery. They typically see patients who have been referred by a comprehensive ophthalmologist or optometrist who has determined they have a potentially serious disease involving the retina and/or vitreous gel in the back of the eye. Retina Specialists evaluate and treat severe ocular injuries, and blinding diseases such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Retinal Tears & Detachment, and Retinal Vascular Occlusions.