In more detail, here are the differences between the two. It’s surprising
how many people don’t know the difference between an
ophthalmologist and an optometrist. These are the two main types of eye doctors, and there
are more differences between the two than most people realize. Typically,
an optometrist is whom you might see for your annual eye exam and eyeglasses
or contact lens prescription. For procedures such as
LASIK eye surgery, you will see an ophthalmologist.
Education and training - Ophthalmologists are physicians who complete four or more years of premedical
education in college before attending four years of medical school to
receive their doctorate degree. Ophthalmologists may be doctors of medicine
(MD) or doctors of osteopathy (DO). Like other medical doctors, ophthalmologists
complete a post-doctorate internship and residency program. Not only are
our doctors at Key-Whitman board-certificated in Ophthalmology by the
American Board of Ophthalmology, Dr. Whitman also requires his ophthalmologists
to receive an additional certification in LASIK and cataract surgery by
the American Board of Eye Surgeons. In order to receive this certification,
the doctors are evaluated based on their surgical technique and patient outcomes.
Optometrists, on the other hand, do not attend medical school. Instead,
after completing an undergraduate degree, optometrists complete four years
of graduate training to receive their optometry degree (OD). While some
may complete a postgraduate clinical residency for specialist certification,
it is not a requirement. At Key-Whitman, optometrists work very closely
with the ophthalmologists and often assist by seeing patients for their
patient’s pre and post surgical care.
Neither of these should be confused with an optician, which requires a
one or two-year technical degree, certificate or diploma. Opticians assist
optometrists and ophthalmologists by filling lens prescriptions, fitting
contact lenses and eyeglasses and ordering eye-related products.
In many cases, ophthalmologist and optometrists will work in the same office
and co-manage patients. Key-Whitman has both ophthalmologists and optometrists
on staff to provide comprehensive care for all of our patient’s
eye care needs from routine eye exams to LASIK eye surgery. They offer
comprehensive adult eye care including offering prescriptions for glasses
and contact lenses; treatment and options for cataracts, glaucoma, and
diabetic eye disease; reconstructive and cosmetic eyelid surgery; refractive
surgery like LASIK, PRK, Implantable Contact Lenses; and refractive lens
implants like Crystalens, ReSTOR and Tecnis.
When considering your eye care, be sure to stay up to date with the latest
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