Medical Ophthalmology in the West Midlands

Medical Ophthalmology is an emerging and exciting specialty, concerned with the medical assessment, investigation, diagnosis and treatment of patients with disorders of vision. 

Following core training in general medicine, candidates follow a four-year curriculum acquiring knowledge and skills in ophthalmology together with the complimentary medical specialties. After the first year gaining general ophthalmology competencies, training is focused on the following principle areas, with trainees rotating every 6 months:

- Inflammatory eye disease and uveitis (uveitis, cornea and anterior segment inflammation)
- Vascular disorders affecting vision (medical retina, vascular occlusions)
- Endocrine disorders and diabetes (diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, thyroid eye disease, pituitary disorders)
- Neurological disorders and neuro-ophthalmology (MS, ocular motility, optic neuropathies)
- Public health (diabetic retinopathy screening)

During each 6-month training block, training is provided in the relevant medical specialties, including rheumatology, neurology, renal medicine, genetics endocrinology and infectious diseases.

Training is also provided in ophthalmic procedures including retinal laser, intravitreal injection, and periocular injections.

Medical ophthalmology offers a diverse and challenging career choice, bringing together the multidisciplinary care of the ophthalmic patient with systemic disease. An abundance of research opportunities exists, with developments in fields such as ocular imaging, therapeutics, epidemiology and ocular immunology.

The West Midlands deanery offers training at the highest level, with several subspecialties operating at levels of national and international recognition. The Birmingham and Midlands Eye Centre is the second largest eye centre in Europe, enabling training in all subspecialties of ophthalmology, including medical ophthalmology. In addition, the Behcet National Centre of Excellence is located at City Hospital. The Academic Unit of Ophthalmology is part University of Birmingham with laboratories based at the Birmingham and Midlands Eye Centre and also at the University of Birmingham Research Laboratories at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

 For further information regarding the specialty, please refer to the following websites:
http://www.jrcptb.org.uk/specialties/medical-ophthalmology
http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/view-article.html?id=2902
http://www.medicalcareers.nhs.uk/specialty_pages/medicine/medical_ophthalmology.aspx
http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/files/2013/03/2014-ST3-medical-ophthalmology-person-specification-v3.0.pdf