The Three O's. Definitions of Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, and Opticians

Oculomotor

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Potential professional school students have a tough choices to make regarding a career path into a doctorate level health care profession. Most people throughout their lives have visited the "eye doctor" for routine care as well as more specialized services. At times there is confusion between these professions that all begin with the letter "O". Many undergraduate students looking to pursue a career in eye health care are unaware of the differences between optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians. So this is an objective guide using several sources to help potential students determine which pathway they would like to pursue to become an "eye doctor".

Optometrists (Doctors of Optometry, Optometric Physicians)

Definition: Optometrists (Doctors of Optometry, O.D.'s) are the primary health care professional for the eye. Optometrists are primary eye doctors who diagnose and treat diseases and disorders of the visual system with medications, glasses, contact lenses, visual aids, visual therapy, rehabilitative services, and minor surgical procedures. Optometrists provide more than 70% of the primary eye care services in the United States (source: American Optometric Association, www.aoa.org ). People seeking routine eye care should consult an optometrist first for primary eye care services. If the patient has an eye-related issue or disease that the optometrist cannot treat through medical means (topical ocular or oral medications), outside the realm of primary eye care, he or she will refer the patient to an ophthalmologist for more specialized medical eye care and/or eye surgery.

Official AOA definition of an Optometrist

http://www.aoa.org/x5878.xml


Education: To become an optometrist, one must complete the Doctor of Optometry Degree (O.D.) which is a very rigorous 4-year health professional doctorate degree. Most optometry students have completed a 4 year bachelors degree with an accompanying "pre-medicine" curriculum and a are a competitive group of students. Applicants must take and perform well on the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). The average matriculation GPA for successfully admitted optometry school applicants in 2007 was 3.44 (source: www.opted.org ). Optometry School is a very intense 4 year program covering medical sciences, optometric sciences, optics, and doctorate-level clinical training. Here is a sample curriculum from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida:

http://optometry.nova.edu/admissions/study.html

Optometrists must pass 3 national board exams (NBEO's-National Board of Optometric Examiners) and a state licensing exam in the state they are practicing in. Continuing education is also required to maintain an optometric license.
Some optometrists complete a 1-year residency in a specialty area such as ocular disease, contact lenses/cornea. pediatrics, vision therapy, co-management of ocular surgery, etc.. This is a growing trend.


Ophthalmologists (Eye Physicians and Surgeons)


Definition: Ophthalmologists are the eye care specialists and eye surgeons providing primary and secondary, medical/surgical eye care. This eye doctor has completed four years of college, four years of medical school and four years of residency and internships relating to the diagnosis and treatment, including surgery, of diseases of the eye. Ophthalmologists may also perform intricate surgical procedures including cataracts removal and lens implant, corneal transplant, glaucoma surgery and various laser procedures. Ophthalmologists are the Surgeons of the Eye and the Specialists of the eye providing specialized eye health care. If you are in need of more specialized treatment of eye diseases or ophthalmic surgery, your optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist and co-manage your care throughout the process. Optometrists and Ophthalmologists are eye doctors that collaborate to provide patients with the best possible eye health and vision care.


Opticians

Definition: Opticians are not eye doctors rather they are professionals that make, verify and deliver lenses, frames and other specially fabricated optical devices and/or contact lenses upon prescription (from an optometrist or ophthalmologist) to the intended wearer. The opticians' functions include prescription analysis and interpretation; determination of the lens forms best suited to the wearers needs; the preparation and delivery of work orders for the grinding of lenses and the fabrication of eye wear, the verification of the finished ophthalmic products; and the adjustment, replacement, repair and reproduction of previously prepared ophthalmic lenses, frames and other specially fabricated ophthalmic devices. Certification by the American Board of Opticianry or the National Contact Lens Examiners is optional. Some states have regulatory agencies that license opticians.
 
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qwopty99

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Hi Oculo

I was wondering if you could define "optometry" just one more time.

I know you've done it in practically every post you've ever made, but it hasn't_quite_sunk_in_yet.

Please edify me.
 
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gochi

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Doctors of optometry (ODs) are primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye.

there ya go qwopty.

-ty google.
 

hello07

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Thank you Oculomotor for your explicit definition of all 3 O's. How many name tags do you have ready that say underneath your name optometric PHYSICIAN in BIG BOLD LETTERS?

Are we going to win the Nobel Prize in vision care/ Optometric Medicine next year? Enlighten us with your infinite wisdom of optometric medicine...............................
 

Oculomotor

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Actually Hello 07,

If you had the desire to do a little research before you carelessly typed your ridiculous response (which tends to be the norm for you), you would have seen the "Definition of the Three O's" on the Ophthalmology forum, Indiana OD's post regarding how it was spreading misinformation. Using deductive reasoning which you have none of (unless you consider "better one or two" a form of that LOL), you would have figured out why I posted this on here. I don't really care about what you think and if I choose to use whatever legal title "optometric physician, optometrist, or whatever"---that is my choice (like the hundreds of OD's that do in this state). A couple of them that are mentoring me who use the "optometric physician title" thought you were a complete !!!%$%[email protected]! when I showed them your posts deriding the use of that title. I am convinced that you are buried in self-pity being in your own perception a "lowly OD"---your posts on here a record of that. I will be a residency trained optometric physician in 2012---something I will hold in high regard.

Here is your route to happiness Hello 07

http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/

good luck and God Bless.


Qwopty99,

Edification for you:
This three O's is a response to the ridiculous one on the ophthalmology forum. I was actually very respectful to both professions in my rendition even though like you remarked in one of your earlier posts---> I am an optometric "pit bull"......and you are right about that. I may not agree with you on everything but at least you tend to have cognitive organization in your posts unlike Hello 07.
 

Oculomotor

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Can anybody else who LIKES optometry give me an objective critique of my rendition of the Three O's...



thank you
 

eyestrain

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A I am convinced that you are buried in self-pity being in your own perception a "lowly OD"---your posts on here a record of that.

Buried in self-pity? Why? Because some of us think the "optometric physician" title is stupid and screams insecurity? Because we think your little crusade against ophthalmology is ridiculous and makes you look like a child?
 

gochi

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Buried in self-pity? Why? Because some of us think the "optometric physician" title is stupid and screams insecurity? Because we think your little crusade against ophthalmology is ridiculous and makes you look like a child?

It's not like Optometrists or students are tryinig to change the title from Optometrist, OD --> Optometric Physician. It is what it is, and theres no point of saying one is insecure just because they are using a specific title which is already given to them once they graduate.

Some debates are quit funny here, but tbh, this debate of title usage has been present for a while now, and its really frustrating/depressing to know that some OD's think of other OD's as being stupid and insecure. :thumbdown:

I dont think it matters if you refer to yourself as an Optometric Physician or not, seriously. If it does matter then please tell us the reasons why.
 

gochi

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Potential professional school students have a tough choices to make regarding a career path into a doctorate level health care profession. Most people throughout their lives have visited the "eye doctor" for routine care as well as more specialized services. At times there is confusion between these professions that all begin with the letter "O". Many undergraduate students looking to pursue a career in eye health care are unaware of the differences between optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians. So this is an objective guide using several sources to help potential students determine which pathway they would like to pursue to become an "eye doctor".

Optometrists (Doctors of Optometry, Optometric Physicians)

Definition: Optometrists (Doctors of Optometry, O.D.'s) are the primary health care professional for the eye. Optometrists are primary eye doctors who diagnose and treat diseases and disorders of the visual system with medications, glasses, contact lenses, visual aids, visual therapy, rehabilitative services, and minor surgical procedures. Optometrists provide more than 70% of the primary eye care services in the United States (source: American Optometric Association, www.aoa.org ). People seeking routine eye care should consult an optometrist first for primary eye care services. If the patient has an eye-related issue or disease that the optometrist cannot treat through medical means (topical ocular or oral medications), outside the realm of primary eye care, he or she will refer the patient to an ophthalmologist for more specialized medical eye care and/or eye surgery.

Official AOA definition of an Optometrist

http://www.aoa.org/x5878.xml


Education: To become an optometrist, one must complete the Doctor of Optometry Degree (O.D.) which is a very rigorous 4-year health professional doctorate degree. Most optometry students have completed a 4 year bachelors degree with an accompanying "pre-medicine" curriculum and a are a competitive group of students. Applicants must take and perform well on the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). The average matriculation GPA for successfully admitted optometry school applicants in 2007 was 3.44 (source: www.opted.org ). Optometry School is a very intense 4 year program covering medical sciences, optometric sciences, optics, and doctorate-level clinical training. Here is a sample curriculum from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida:

http://optometry.nova.edu/admissions/study.html

Optometrists must pass 3 national board exams (NBEO's-National Board of Optometric Examiners) and a state licensing exam in the state they are practicing in. Continuing education is also required to maintain an optometric license.
Some optometrists complete a 1-year residency in a specialty area such as ocular disease, contact lenses/cornea. pediatrics, vision therapy, co-management of ocular surgery, etc.. This is a growing trend.


Ophthalmologists (Eye Physicians and Surgeons)


Definition: Ophthalmologists are the eye care specialists and eye surgeons providing primary and secondary, medical/surgical eye care. This eye doctor has completed four years of college, four years of medical school and four years of residency and internships relating to the diagnosis and treatment, including surgery, of diseases of the eye. Ophthalmologists may also perform intricate surgical procedures including cataracts removal and lens implant, corneal transplant, glaucoma surgery and various laser procedures. Ophthalmologists are the Surgeons of the Eye and the Specialists of the eye providing specialized eye health care. If you are in need of more specialized treatment of eye diseases or ophthalmic surgery, your optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist and co-manage your care throughout the process. Optometrists and Ophthalmologists are eye doctors that collaborate to provide patients with the best possible eye health and vision care.


Opticians

Definition: Opticians are not eye doctors rather they are professionals that make, verify and deliver lenses, frames and other specially fabricated optical devices and/or contact lenses upon prescription (from an optometrist or ophthalmologist) to the intended wearer. The opticians' functions include prescription analysis and interpretation; determination of the lens forms best suited to the wearers needs; the preparation and delivery of work orders for the grinding of lenses and the fabrication of eye wear, the verification of the finished ophthalmic products; and the adjustment, replacement, repair and reproduction of previously prepared ophthalmic lenses, frames and other specially fabricated ophthalmic devices. Certification by the American Board of Opticianry or the National Contact Lens Examiners is optional. Some states have regulatory agencies that license opticians.

Oculo, more colors and different fonts please. :smuggrin:
 

hello07

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Oculomotor,
When you become a resident trained optometric physician, call me. I will run circles around you in any facet of Optometry. Pathology- anterior/ posterior segment and ocular disease management. Refractions, pediatric and geriatric care and Contact lens fittings of any type.
You have some serious issues that need to be addressed by a mental healthcare professional. You're in lalaland my man but you don't REALIZE IT.

I am not "a self pity, lowly OD" as you claim.
You are the most annoying optometric student to post.
 

Oculomotor

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Hello 07 ----you got a deal! I will get a hold of you when I complete everything--I promise you I will be formidable. As to your "mental health" assessment ---you got banned last time for making a slight like that and if you do it again I will report you again!

And by the way
"I am not "a self pity, lowly OD" as you claim."--hello 07
That is your own perception---I respect OD's as much as any other physicians (MD's, DPM's, Oral Surgeons, etc....)--you are the one who has issues.---you are the one that in many of your past posts told potential OD students to "just go to medical school"---"being an MD is better"----"why not go for the best--MD".........really good things to tell OD's students like myself who are busting our a s s es to get through optometry school. REALLY cool Hello 07.

"
You are the most annoying optometric student to post."--hello O7
You are absolutely correct about this one! And I am proud of it! LMFAO



Eyestrain,

Please just quit while you are behind. Go back to refracting in your potato fields in Idaho. (Does Idaho even have health care? lol)


Again, anybody who has enough insight to give me an objective opinion about my three O's please? lol
 
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Oculomotor

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Gochi,

Like I told you in a PM a while ago.....the worst people on this forum are some of these "sour" OD's that have nothing positive to contribute to aspiring OD's. Strength, and determination, especially regarding the political battles with ophthalmology in the state of Florida have been ruthless as of late, are essential for this profession to be viable in the future. Nice post earlier Gochi!

Gotta go---have a legislative-scope of practice presentation to prepare for my school and ASOA, and 5 more finals to study for! Happy Holidays everyone!
 
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blysssful

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Again, anybody who has enough insight to give me an objective opinion about my three O's please? lol

Well, I understand you're going to give a somewhat biased definition, being an optometry advocate... but if you want to state how many exams optometrists must pass, and the extent of their education, you should do the same for OMDs also. Believe me, I strongly believe that optometrists should get credit where it is due, but OMDs work their asses off too.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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Can anybody else who LIKES optometry give me an objective critique of my rendition of the Three O's...



thank you

I think the 3 professions are described fairly in what you posted. I do have one complaint, and its not that big of a deal. The optometry part is very detailed while the other 2 are not as detailed. But, this is the optometry forum and you're naturally going to post what you know which means more on optometry than on ophthalmology and opticianry (is that the proper word?).
 

Oculomotor

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Va Hopeful,

I just wanted to give a "positive light" to both OD and OMD professions with an emphasis on optometry because this is the optometry forum.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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Va Hopeful,

I just wanted to give a "positive light" to both OD and OMD professions with an emphasis on optometry because this is the optometry forum.

I did acknowledge that, and as I said its not really a big deal. Other than that, I think its pretty well done.
 

WoodyJI

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Hello 07 ----you got a deal! I will get a hold of you when I complete everything--I promise you I will be formidable. As to your "mental health" assessment ---you got banned last time for making a slight like that and if you do it again I will report you again!
Wow, you guys need to cool it. What are you going to do—undilated peripheral fundoscopy war?

Hello 07, it's clear that you are simply trying to stir the pot. As you can tell, not very many people appreciate it. I think most of us here understand that this whole "who's a physician" battle has nothing to do with anybody's perceived insecurities. It's a matter of insurance company verbiage/loopholes/discrimination/etc. I agree with the principle of your argument—I'm proud to be an optometry student who will graduate and become an optometrist. I don't need the moniker of "physician." The OP put the word in the definition probably because some states use it.

I would hope in the future that those of us reading this will know better than to take this kind of bait from a troll.
 

gochi

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Gochi,

Like I told you in a PM a while ago.....the worst people on this forum are some of these "sour" OD's that have nothing positive to contribute to aspiring OD's. Strength, and determination, especially regarding the political battles with ophthalmology in the state of Florida have been ruthless as of late, are essential for this profession to be viable in the future. Nice post earlier Gochi!

Gotta go---have a legislative-scope of practice presentation to prepare for my school and ASOA, and 5 more finals to study for! Happy Holidays everyone!

Finals are pointless. Seriously.
 

eyestrain

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Not when they're worth 40% of your grade.

Depends how well you did on the first 60%. If you've got a 95% or something on the first 60%, you can tank the final pretty hard and still wind up with a B. That's why I never really understood people freaking out so much about finals, even when they're worth a lot. Unless you're down in the low C or D range going on, don't worry about it.
 

JMU07

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Depends how well you did on the first 60%. If you've got a 95% or something on the first 60%, you can tank the final pretty hard and still wind up with a B. That's why I never really understood people freaking out so much about finals, even when they're worth a lot. Unless you're down in the low C or D range going on, don't worry about it.


Yeah, you're right. It's hard not to freak though, even though GPA doesn't mean anything anymore. I'll be fine! :D
 
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