The short answer to this question is: a long long time.
First, one must become a formal, medical doctor, MD. This requires four years of college, four years of medical school, and one year of internship at a hospital. After these nine years, a three or four-year residency training program in ophthalmology is required.
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During this training, the aspiring ophthalmologist learns all about eye conditions, medications and treatments, and also learns how to perform eye surgery. At this point, the minimum requirements for performing LASIK procedures have been met. However, most LASIK surgeons seek additional training beyond this point in order to obtain greater experience before practicing in this highly specialized area.
How Did Dr. Rothman Become a LASIK Surgeon?
Dr. Rothman has gone far beyond the minimal requirements. In fact, after his internship, Dr. Rothman actually practiced as a general medical doctor and emergency physician for five years.
It was during this time that he refined his clinical skills and made the commitment to become an eye surgeon.
Even before he became an ophthalmologist and LASIK specialist, Dr. Rothman studied and performed research at Harvard, studying dry eye conditions and refractive (vision changing) eye procedures. He made a major contribution to the development of better artificial tears by inventing a machine to measure ion concentrations in tear micro-volumes.
Innovative Researcher, Physician and Surgeon
As a result of this effort, the artificial tear “Theratears” was developed over 20 years ago – and this product is still available today as one of the best artificial tears available.
Dr. Rothman also invented a device to assist in the proper placement of surgical sutures after corneal transplant surgery. The principles demonstrated in this device are still in use today in a variety of surgical instrumentation in ophthalmology.
In addition, Dr. Rothman was invited to participate in a cornea, external disease, refractive surgery, and research fellowship, again at Harvard, where he furthered his understanding of these specialized surgical procedures.
Eventually, Private Practice
Dr. Rothman began his private practice of ophthalmology after this training, and was fortunate to be one of the first eye surgeons in Northern California to perform a laser vision correction procedure after FDA approval in 1995.
Since that time, Dr. Rothman has specialized in this area and performed over 30,000 successful laser vision correction procedures and counting! Dr. Rothman is the most experienced LASIK surgeon living in Nevada today.