What is Veterinary Ophthalmology?
…that Light shall Prevail over Darkness
— motto of the ACVO
Veterinary ophthalmology is an exciting field. Where else can a veterinarian combine a love of animals, medicine, and surgery, and count among their patients both dogs and cats, but also horses, gorillas, hawks, and other unusual animals with eye problems? Veterinary ophthalmologists actually are trained in Comparative Ophthalmology, and study the eyes of many different species.
It was not until 1964 that a full-time veterinary ophthalmology practice was established. Dr. W. G. Magrane opened The Animal Eye Clinic in Indiana, and was a true pioneer and inspiration to many veterinary ophthalmologists. Dr. Magrane was the first veterinarian in the United States to receive a graduate degree in ophthalmology.
From an initial charter membership of 23 diplomates in the ACVO in 1970, there are over 350 ACVO board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists, with over 300 actively practicing in North America. Diplomates are involved both in academic teaching and research in Veterinary Teaching Hospitals, and many others are in private referral practices.
To become a Board-Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist and a member of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, a candidate must have:
- Received a degree in veterinary medicine from a college accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (this requires a total of 8 years of college)
- Completed one or more years in advanced training in general medicine and surgery
- Completed a 3 year residency in Comparative Ophthalmology at an approved residency program, and
- Successfully completed a rigorous 3-day certifying examination that included testing of diagnostic and surgical skills