Qualifications and Services
Optometrist
Ophthalmologist
Undergraduate degree
Medical school
4 years optometry school
4 years medical school
Post-medical school training
1-year residency (optional)
4–5 years internship and residency
Medical degree
O.D.
Doctor of Optometry
M.D. or D.O.
Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Performs exams
Diagnoses vision issues
Prescribes eyeglasses and contact lenses
Monitors eye health for people with certain medical conditions (diabetes, thyroid issues, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
Treats eye-related issues due to complex medical conditions (diabetes, thyroid issues, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
Provides pre- and post-surgical care
Provides vision therapy
Performs corrective procedures and surgeries
May be involved in scientific research
May sub-specialize by patient type or medical condition with additional training and education