What is Ophthalmology and Why Choose an Ophthalmologist?
One out of every seventy-two. That’s how many applications are accepted from students applying for Ophthalmology Residency after completing Medical School. It’s safe to say competition for this specialized practice is fierce. That’s why an Ophthalmologist is the most qualified eye doctor to diagnose and treat eye conditions.
When you think of a typical visit to the eye doctor, you picture holding a barrier over one of your eyes and attempting to read the obscure pattern of letters. That’s part of a basic eye exam – easy to understand. But what you might not understand is the qualifications of individuals commonly referred to as "Eye Doctors." We’ll break it down for you here.
What is an Ophthalmologist?
An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) licensed to practice medicine and perform eye surgery. Ophthalmologists complete four years of undergraduate college, four years of medical school, one year of internship, at least three years of Ophthalmology residency and lastly, one to three years of Fellowship training. If a person graduates high school at age eighteen, he/she would begin practicing Ophthalmology in their early thirties!
It’s important not to confuse an Ophthalmologist (MD) with an Optometrist (OD) or Optician. An Optometrist (OD) is specifically trained primarily to fit contact lenses and eyeglasses and assist in the diagnosis of eye disorders. While they may prescribe some eye medications, they don’t go to Medical School, or have medical or surgical interventional training.
Opticians are not eye doctors – they use prescriptions written by Ophthalmologists (MD) or Optometrists (OD) to fit eyewear.
Ophthalmologist Education Explained
As mentioned above, Ophthalmology is one of the most difficult to be accepted into and complete of the 26 medical specialties. Neurosurgery and Ophthalmology require a very similar and rigorous education followed by the likes of Cardiology and Orthopedics.
On average, only about 400 Ophthalmologists graduate from residency programs in the U.S. Of the 400, 260 are qualified to preform surgical, laser or interventional procedures. Additionally, most Ophthalmologists achieve and maintain a board certification to demonstrate the highest capabilities in diagnosing and treating eye conditions.
Why it is Important to Have an Ophthalmologist Treat You?
Once you reach the age of 40, it becomes especially critical that you have an Ophthalmologist provide your eye exam. Why? So they can correctly diagnose eye conditions that may have a long-term impact on your eyesight.
By using the most advanced technology and being vigilant in detecting, diagnosing, and treating eye conditions, an Ophthalmologist is the right path to choose when dealing with delicate eye problems.
Why Choose an Ophthalmologist at the Eyesight & Surgical Institute?
At the Eyesight & Surgical Institute, our whole-body approach to treating patients takes Ophthalmology to a whole new level. We take a patient’s other medical conditions into consideration which may be affecting his or her eyesight in the long and short term.
We frequently treat patients along with other specialties such as Primary Care, Cardiology, Dermatology, Neurology, and Endocrinology.
Contact us today for your Ophthalmology needs!