What is an ophthalmologist and what do they do? | Plano

What is an ophthalmologist and what do they do?

What is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor in the field of vision care. He or she is an eye doctor with advanced surgical and medical training. Usually, an ophthalmologist has around 12 to 13 years of training (4 to 6 years of university and 8 years of additional medical training) and is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. Hence, an ophthalmologist can diagnose and treat more eye conditions than other types of eye health professionals. 

An ophthalmologist can treat and diagnose all types of eye problems, conduct eye surgery and although rarely done, they undergo training to prescribe contact lenses and glasses to address vision problems. Moreover, an ophthalmologist can also conduct scientific research to advance his or her knowledge in the particular eye and/or vision disorders. Another important role of an ophthalmologist would be to identify other health issues that are not necessarily linked to the eyes or vision, and refer patients to the relevant medical professionals for treatment.


They can perform surgery.

Deep expertise in specific eye conditions

A certain number of ophthalmologists, otherwise known as subspecialists, are further trained within a specific area of medical eye care. Subspecialists can focus on certain complications in certain areas of the eye and diagnose them accordingly. An eye care professional will be able to better advise you if you need to be referred to these subspecialists, depending on the requirement and severity of the eye condition.

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor, unlike an optometrist

Unlike an optometrist, an ophthalmologist is a certified medical doctor that can diagnose and treat vision problems. The former is a healthcare professional that offers primary vision care ranging from vision testing, corrective lens prescription and diagnosis correction. Both typically work together as a team to address the eye and vision problems.

What is an ophthalmologist?

They has to undergo years of medical school and training.


“What is an ophthalmologist?,” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 11-Jan-2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/what-is-ophthalmologist. [Accessed: 31-Mar-2022]. 




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