oldman, im just curious, does your insurance cover you to see an opthamologist to get annual check-ups? Opthamologists are surgical specialists, and I didn't ever thnk that a person would go to them except to address a specific problem, usually after a referral from a primary care giver such as the family doc or optometrist.
I'm afraid that your post is going to bring trouble, but I am genuinely wondering about this.
I think it depends on where you are but chances are wherever you are there are more optometrists than ophthalmologists. I am in a city of about 200,000 for med school and optometrists are everywhere: Wal-Mart, Shopko, Target, about 5 in the mall, D.O.C., Pearle, etc.
I want to go into ophthalmology, but I go to an optometrist for my eye exams and glasses. I have never really considered going to an ophthalmologist for an exam. On that same note I recently started seeing a private optometrist instead of going to Wal-Mart and let me tell you i am never going back to a chain-store doc. I know that they are not all bad but the private guy really took his time, was much nicer, dilated me (never happened at Wal-Mart), and had a MUCH better selection of glasses. It was well worth the extra money. Plus my prescription had 'changed' in a year by quite a bit. I sure do see better with my new glasses leaving me to believe that the Wal-Mart guy screwed up. It even felt different, the private doc was like going to the dentist (professional environment, etc.) while going to Wal-Mart made me feel like I was well...in a Wal-Mart.
As far as competition for patients, yes some ophthalmologists do practice optometry and do many eye exams/glasses/contacts/primary eye care infections and the like so there is some, but the ophthalmologists that I have worked with get their most of their patients from optometrists. The fields can be similar but basically they are a world apart. Ophthalmologists are first and foremost surgeons and Optometrists are primary care providers in my own view.
I agree with LR6SO4 (but don't leave out happy CN III). In todays healthcare system ODs are the primary providers and OMDs are surgeons. You'll still find older OMDs, or even younger ones that aren't doing surgery, for whatever reason. The OMDs that are "practicing optometry" probably give us some competition, but they represent only a small portion of the ophthalmic market. I'm guessing that most new OMDs want to do only surgery and have little interest doing what we do. Our biggest competition is other ODs, but that's another issue. Healthcare is becoming more and more specialized and the two fields are unique.
I've been going to see an opthamalogist for regular eye exams since I was in 3rd grade (same guy too) so I'm not sure how the insurance stuff works. All I know is that I come home with my eyes dialated everytime. And everytime the doctor says I should get LASIK surgery.
•••quote:•••Originally posted by johnM:
•oldman, im just curious, does your insurance cover you to see an opthamologist to get annual check-ups? Opthamologists are surgical specialists, and I didn't ever thnk that a person would go to them except to address a specific problem, usually after a referral from a primary care giver such as the family doc or optometrist.
I'm afraid that your post is going to bring trouble, but I am genuinely wondering about this.•••••
You're seeing a surgeon for your eye exams... of COURSE he/she thinks you should have LASIK. <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
The whole corporate vs. private OD debate has always heated up the board. I personally would MUCH rather work privately.. but when they wave 90k in front of you when you graduate and you've got 70k in debt.. it's mighty tempting. The only difference between wal-mart OD and private OD is usually experience. (that's just my observation and not based on any sort of study or anything) A lot of people don't want to go through the hassel of starting their own place. But, then you deal with the public's perception of OD as just glasses pushers when we're employed by places such as wal-mart, target, costco, and pearle. (and generally looked down upon by older private practice OD's)