Sankara Nethralaya
Sankara Nethralaya
Observership Programme
For more details, please contact
Sri N Sivakumar (Academic Officer)
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Observership Programme

As part of its commitment to teaching and training, Sankara Nethralaya welcomes doctors from around the world to observe its renowned treatment of eye diseases and injuries.

Visiting ophthalmologists (Observers) cannot treat patients, but they do have the opportunity to observe Sankara Nethralaya’s consultants in action, which include:

• Participation in patient care.
• Observing various aspects of healthcare including management.
• Participation in Academic and teaching activities.
• Participation in research.

Applying to be an observer

Sankara Nethralaya’s clinical services are divided into a number of specialist services, each handling a particular sub-speciality of ophthalmology.

Observers can choose to observe in one or more of the following services for a maximum stay of two months;

  Cornea and External Disease
  Orbit, Oculoplastics, Reconstructive & Aesthetic services
  Medical Retina - including oncology, diagnostics and electrophysiology
  Strabismus and paediatrics
  Vitreo-retinal services

It is advisable to apply six to nine months in advance of the date you wish to visit. Before you make your application, please ensure you have read and understood the observer application procedures.

Please note that the hospital may provide accommodation for observers for a nominal fee based on availability. Prior request should be made for the same. In case of unavailability of hostel, information of suitable hotels / hostels / PG options will be forwarded. Further proceedings on the same should be followed by the observers.

Program Outline:

Sankara Nethralaya has a variety of departments. They range from routine Eye Outpatient Services, Outreach (camp) department, Eye Bank, Ophthalmic diagnostics, Clinical Laboratory, Radiology services (VRR scans), Surgical theatres, Optical shop and fitting lab and support services (IT dept, cafeteria, house keeping etc).

Observers would be exposed to various diagnostic and therapeutic modalities in eye care. Where available, they would be allowed to use the wet lab facilities. Present Government of India rules do not allow foreign certified doctors to operate on patients. They would be given specific projects (if applicable) which they would be required to submit for their observership certificate.

Observers would be required to send a detailed CV/resume and also indicate their area of interest. They would in addition observe the day to day functioning of the hospital and may get opportunities to attend rural eye camps. Depending on qualification and level of experience in ophthalmology and community health care, they can get involved in the day to day medical activities and get more concrete value out of it.

  Taking photographs of patients and other services in the hospital premises is strictly prohibited.
  Patient confidentiality must be maintained at all times, and patient privacy should be respected.
  Smart dress is expected. Jeans, trainers and sports gear of any sort are unacceptable at any time.
  It is requested to notify the program coordinator about the observer’s entry and exit to the hospital.
  No references whatsoever will be offered or given at the end of the observership at Sankara Nethralaya.
  The nature of the observer’s stay here is purely observational, so no member of staff will be able to make comments about their professional abilities. This includes assessment forms which require doctors to be graded or assessed in clinical skills.
  The observer is requested to arrive with necessary medication, medical insurance and currency to manage any emergency health ailments.
  It is the responsibility of the observer to handle instruments at the hospital with care. They are liable for any breakage / damage that occur during their handling.

There is a fee payable for all observerships of Rs.5000/- (Indian Nationals) / 200 USD (Foreign nationals) per week and INR 10000/- as refundable caution deposit.

Currently observership program is limited to
• Foreign nationals
• Private practitioners within the country who wish to learn the skills and incorporate in their practice.

Program fee will be waived for
• Students (duration of the program limited to 2 weeks)
• Post graduates in training (duration of the program limited to 2 weeks)
• Former fellows of Sankara Nethralaya
• Anybody else recommended by current faculty / board member / donor. (Director of Academics, Sankara Nethralaya and Registrar of The Sankara Nethralaya Academy will decide after consultation with the corresponding Head of the Department on a case by case basis.)

How to apply?

Duly filled in applications along with a copy of passport and visa / residential proof should be sent to and

At the end of the observation, the observer will receive a certificate of attendance signed by the Director of Academics and the Director of the concerned department in which observation was done. The certificate will be mailed to the observer a week after the program.

Application Form for Prospective Observers
Agreement Form for Medical Observership Periods