Ophthalmologist Definition

When it comes to eye care, the most trained and skilled professionals in the field are ophthalmologists. An ophthalmologist is a physician, either a doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO), who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system and in the prevention of eye disease and injury.

Ophthalmologists complete four or more years of college premedical education, four or more years of medical school, one year of internship, and three or more years of specialized medical, surgical and refractive training in eye care. This education and training allows them to handle everything from simple medical exams to advanced surgical needs. Ophthalmologists can handle basic eye care situations including eye exams, providing prescriptions for eye wear and diagnosis and testing for visual disorders. They can also perform surgeries such as LASIK vision correction, cataract extraction, lens replacement, transplants and retinal detachment repair among others. Their medical knowledge of the entire body gives them additional skills in diagnosis and treatment of conditions that originate in another place, but affect vision.

Ophthalmologists will see patients of all ages and a wide range of conditions, but some will specialize in one or more areas that allow them to focus their work in certain environments. If an ophthalmologist chooses to specialize in a specific area of medical or surgical eye care, this person is called a subspecialist. A subspecialist usually completes one or two years of additional, more in-depth training called a fellowship in one of the main subspecialty areas such as glaucoma, retina, cornea, pediatrics, neurology and plastic surgery, as well as others. This added training and knowledge prepares an ophthalmologist to take care of more complex or specific conditions in certain areas of the eye or in certain groups of patients. To learn more about the training and ability of an ophthalmologist or how you can benefit from vision care by such a qualified eye doctor, contact Medical Eye Center today at 541-779-4711 or www.medicaleyecenter.com.

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