What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

Medical school. Optometrists go to optometry school and some have "residencies" but the confusion probably comes from terms like dr and optometric physician. Ophthalmologists go to medical school, residency, and possibly fellowship and the main differences right now have to do with surgical training / experience by the time of graduation but there is a constant battle over scope of practice.
Physician or not. An ophthalmologist is a physician (M.D. Or D.O.) who specializes in treating diseases of the eye. They can do all the same basic stuff as an optometrist but can also prescribe drugs (like any doc) and perform surgery, etc. They go to med school just like family docs and pediatricians. Optometrists go to a different school to learn their craft and perform eye exams and prescribe lenses.
Eye docs. Optometrists are trained to fit lenses and have a smattering of knowledge of eye disease. They have legislative privileges to do more than their qualifications. An ophthalmologists is to an optometrist as a lawyer is to a legal assistant. Ophthalmologists are mds, take a board exam and are continually retested. Optoms have no board, no retesting, cannot do surgery, etc. Big difference.

Related Questions

What are the differences between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

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. Read more...
Surgery. Ophthalmologists can perform surgical procedures on the eye. Optometrists cannot perform any surgery in most states. Both can medically manage eye diseases and prescribe contacts/glasses. Read more...

What is the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist?

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. Read more...
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. Read more...
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. Read more...

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

MD. Hi: ophthalmologist is a md who is surgically trained. Optometrist are trained to examined and dispense glasses and contacts. Best regards: dr. Mark reed placentia-linda foot & ankle group drs. Mark and melanie reed 1275 rose drive, suite 136 placentia, ca 92870 fax: (714) 528-0739 office: (714) 528-2252 www.Footpain.Org [email protected] Read more...
See below . An opthamologist is an md who does study & surgery of the eyes .An optometrist does 4 years of optometry school in study of the eyes. Read more...

What are the differences between an optometrist, an ophthalmologist and an optician?

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. An optician (lo) can not treat any eye diseases or prescribe. They can tailor eyeglasses. Read more...
Focus and training. An optician is licensed to sell and make lenses. The optometrist examines eyes for glasses and diseases. Typically four years after college are needed. Ophthalmologists go to medical school, then do four years specialization in eye care which includes surgical training. Subspecialists do additional training after residency in ophthalmology in areas such as oculoplastics, retina, refractive, etc. Read more...

What is the difference between optometrist and ophthalmologist?

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. Read more...
Ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologist goes to medical school -- they treat diseases of the entire body-- then they receive special training on all eye disorders, eye surgery, glasses, contacts. An optometrist makes glasses and fits contact lenses-- they are not medical doctors. Read more...