Faded Dreams V

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This is probably a dumb question, and I'm sure a lot of you are face-palming right now. lol. Sorry for that and if this topic has been created multiple times!

I've either noticed vague answers to this topic, or the opposite question asked. So, suppose an ophthalmologist, for one reason or another (e.g. last minute fear of surgery?) wanted to become an optometrist. Would he need to complete optometry school?

I would think not because, well, an ophthalmologist basically does everything an optometrist does, only more, but I'm not sure. How would this transition work?
 

taco bell

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you can be a medical ophthalmologist or you can do a fellowship in a subspeciality that doesn't operate such as ocular pathology, or neuro-ophthalmology..
 

OPPforlife

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Or uveitis or medical retina or become or non surgical ophthalmology


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JMK2005

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But, he/she would need to finish residency which was minimum surgical requirements
 

docta9

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So, suppose an ophthalmologist, for one reason or another ....wanted to become an optometrist. Would he need to complete optometry school?
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Yes, if someone were in ophthalmology residency or was an ophthalmologist and wanted to be an optometrist, they WOULD HAVE to go to optometry school. If you want to be a real optometrist, go to optometry school, no ifs, ands, or buts.

The same with optometrists. Want to be an ophthalmologist? Go to medical school, then residency and, possibly, fellowship.
 

MstaKing10

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So, suppose an ophthalmologist, for one reason or another ....wanted to become an optometrist. Would he need to complete optometry school?
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Yes, if someone were in ophthalmology residency or was an ophthalmologist and wanted to be an optometrist, they WOULD HAVE to go to optometry school. If you want to be a real optometrist, go to optometry school, no ifs, ands, or buts.

The same with optometrists. Want to be an ophthalmologist? Go to medical school, then residency and, possibly, fellowship.
I'm not sure this is the case. The MD license allows for dispensing of eyeglasses, fitting of contact lenses and routine eye exams. Why would an MD need to go to optometry school to do this? Makes no sense at all. They would not call themselves optometrist but rather a medical ophthalmologist. I've seen this many times before (ie semi-retired doc or doc who had hand injury and couldn't do surgery any more). To go to optometry school simply to call oneself an optometrist is unnecessary.
 

Dusn

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I think docta9's point may have been that an ophthalmologist who doesn't perform surgery is not an optometrist. I operate but I consider operating to be a small part of what I do. Seeing patients in clinic is still the large bulk of my practice.
 

docta9

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May 21, 2015
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Correct, Dusn. If an ophthalmologist wants to be an optometrist, he or she should go to optometry school.

If an ophthalmologist wants to do most refraction, he or she might get a job at Sears Optical and do that kind of work.

Ophthalmology residencies do a lousy job or, more accurately, any job of teaching vision therapy but optometrists do it all the time. Whether or not it's snake oil is a different topic. If you want vision therapy, see an optometrist.
 

310

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An ophthalmologist (with an active license to practice medicine) who went back to optometry school to become an optometrist is called an idiot.


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docta9

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An ophthalmologist (with an active license to practice medicine) who went back to optometry school to become an optometrist is called an idiot.


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Probably true 99.999% of the time because the areas that optometrists know more is much smaller and easier for the ophthalmologist to attain than vice versa. It is impossible for optometrists to attain the skill of an excellent ophthalmology without going to medical school and residency. Even if optometrists were given the right to go directly to ophthalmology residency and skip medical school, such training would be deficient and bad for the general public.

This is not to say that ophthalmologists are perfect. An ophthalmologist would be a lousy radiation oncologist without having the same (not just claiming "similar") training that radiation oncologists have.
 

310

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Probably true 99.999% of the time because the areas that optometrists know more is much smaller and easier for the ophthalmologist to attain than vice versa. It is impossible for optometrists to attain the skill of an excellent ophthalmology without going to medical school and residency. Even if optometrists were given the right to go directly to ophthalmology residency and skip medical school, such training would be deficient and bad for the general public.

This is not to say that ophthalmologists are perfect. An ophthalmologist would be a lousy radiation oncologist without having the same (not just claiming "similar") training that radiation oncologists have.
No, I was talking about spending 200k and four years to practice in a profession that you can already legally practice in for free, tomorrow.


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docta9

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No, I was talking about spending 200k and four years to practice in a profession that you can already legally practice in for free, tomorrow.


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That is the same logic that optometrists use. Why spend 8-10 years and more than $250k when you can lobby state legislatures to give you the right to try to do things that your training was non-existent or poor?

Ophthalmologists are not that skilled in contact lens fittings and some are not that skilled in starting an optical dispensary. They also don't tend to do orthokeratology. If they are motivated and have the right people teach them, they can learn and save 4 years and $200k. If they don't have the right people to teach them, they can go to optometry school, which is a poor use of research. I'd rather spend 3 years in law school or 5 years in architecture school and be a JD-MD or an architect/general contractor/developer/ophthalmologist.
 
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