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A 46-year-old member asked:

what is the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatry 41 years experience
If it is just for : New glasses, you can see an optometrist. For most any other eye problem see the ophthamologist. An ophthamologist is an M.D. And can perform surgical procedures, such as for cataracts and more.
Dr. Alfred H. Rivera
Ophthalmology 40 years experience
Medical doctor: An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor first prior to specializing in the eye. He has to be educated in the entire field of medicine prior to then being trained to diagnose and treat eye problems. In this fashion, an ophthalmologist, unlike an optometrist who is not a medical doctor, can identify systemic diseases when he examines a patient's eyes and deal with it or refer the patient properly.
Dr. Sadiqa Stelzner
Ophthalmology 28 years experience
Medical doctor ophth: An ophthalmologist is a medical docotor and surgeon with the extensive medical and surgical training who unerstands the whole body issues and optics(glasses and contact lenses). An optometrist is train to do a general basic eye exam and optics. Most of the time optometrists refer more advance and complex cases to the ophthalmologist for the care.

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A 29-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between optometrist and ophthalmologist?

10 doctor answers33 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jay Pepose
Ophthalmology 39 years experience
Medical School: Ophthalmologists (eyemds) are doctors of medicine or osteopathy who complete 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, an internship, and a 3 year residency in ophthalmology. They can deliver complete medical and surgical eyecare. Optometrists are trained to diagnose and treat vision conditions, identify cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal disease, and to use some medications. They are not mds.
Dr. Thomas Patrianakos
Specializes in Ophthalmology
I agree
Nov 8, 2011
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
The public is woefully lacking in understanding the difference between an optometrist and an MD ophthalmologist. I always explain the difference as that between a lawyer and a legal assistant which somehow the average person understands.
Feb 2, 2012
A 37-year-old member asked:

Would I see an optometrist or an opthalmologist in my situation? Want to see if it's ok for me to get contacts?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Matheson Harris
Ophthalmology 16 years experience
Either: Both can help you with this. Optometrists tend to specialize more often in complex fitting of contact lenses, but some ophthalmologists also do this.
A 31-year-old member asked:

What're the differences between optometrists, ophthalmologists, and mds?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arnold Beresh
Podiatry 41 years experience
Several: Ophthalmologists attende medical school and receive an md or do degree and then do a residency in ophthalmology. Optometrist do 4 years at an optometry school and receive an od degree.
A 34-year-old member asked:

What's the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marybeth Crane
Podiatry 27 years experience
MD vs OD: An opthamologist when to medical school then specialized in eyes. An optometrist went to optometry school. An opthamologist is usually an eye surgeon where optometrist specialize in making glasses.
A 35-year-old member asked:

What are the differences between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Scartozzi
Retinal Surgery 19 years experience
See below: An ophthalmologist is an md (went to medical school) who can treat medical and surgical diseases of the eye, in addition to prescribing glasses/contacts. An optometrists is an od who can prescribe glasses/contact and treat some medical eye conditions (depending on state law), but not do surgery on the eye.

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Last updated Mar 29, 2015

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