Ophthalmologist (Eye MD)


An ophthalmologist is an eye MD, a medical or osteopathic doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. Eye MDs are specially trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to complex and delicate eye surgery. Many are also involved in scientific research into the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision problems.

Eye MDs are an essential part of the eye care team. In addition to four years of medical school and one year of internship, every physician spends a minimum of three years of residency (hospital-based training) in ophthalmology. During residency, Eye MDs receive special training in all aspects of eye care, including prevention, diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions and diseases. Often, an Eye MD spends an additional one to two years training in a subspecialty, that is, a specific area of eye care (for example, glaucoma or pediatric ophthalmology).

Source: MedlinePlus and American Academy of Ophthalmology

Note: This definition was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

American Academy of Ophthalmology
This site includes information about ophthalmologists, their certification and specialties, as well as information for the public on eye diseases and vision problems.

EyeCare America
From the American Academy of Ophthalmology, this site includes information about low-cost or free eye exams for those who are over age 65, or glaucoma exams for those who are at increased risk of glaucoma and who are uninsured.

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