I snapped this picture of “The Eye Doctor Is In!” sign at my local Sam’s Club. Who is this “eye doctor?” Are they a Dr. Nurse? Are they an optometrist? Are they a medical doctor? What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist? The sign just says “eye doctor.” Who is it? Who knows. What are their credentials? Who knows.
To practice optometry, an optometrist must graduate from an accredited four-year post graduate institution after completing at least three years of undergraduate preoptometry course requirements and then get licensed in their state of practice.
To practice ophthalmology, an ophthalmologist must graduate from an accredited four-year medical school after completing the 90+ undergraduate premedical couurse requirements, then complete a residency in ophthalmology which consists of an internship year in internal medicine or general surgery and three years or more of additional training in ophthalmology. Then they must get licensed by state authorities.
The lay public — the really lay public — has no idea what the state and federal licensing standards are for the different professional clinical training tracks. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*