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OBJECTIVE: To compare key characteristics of ophthalmology training programs in 6 different English-speaking countries: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. PARTICIPANTS: Seven ophthalmologists with personal knowledge of all 6 systems contributed. METHODS: The main features examined were career pathway, duration of training, surgical training, governing bodies, and examination structure. Data were collected from the literature, online resources, and personal experience. RESULTS: Several differences were highlighted, including length of training (ranging from 4 to 9 years after medical school), number of surgical procedures such as cataracts (ranging from minimum 86 to approximately 600), and structure of fellowship training. CONCLUSIONS: As trainees increasingly seek international experience to enhance their knowledge and skills, the similarities and differences between training programs in different countries have become more relevant. Some of these differences may reflect differing needs of different patient populations and different healthcare delivery systems across the globe. However, these differences should also prompt educators to more carefully scrutinize their own training system and search for potential improvements.

Original publication




Journal article


Can J Ophthalmol

Publication Date





212 - 218


Career Choice, Clinical Competence, Education, Medical, Graduate, Fellowships and Scholarships, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Internship and Residency, Language, Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures, Ophthalmology, Specialty Boards