Therapeutic Optometrists?

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by PACtoDOC, May 1, 2004.

  1. PACtoDOC

    PACtoDOC 1K Member
    7+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Let me ask you guys about this. As a PA and now starting MS3, I have always sent my diabetic patients for routine ophthalmological exams but recently I have seen some of them coming back with notes from these therapeutic optometrists, even after I specifically make the referral to the ophtho. I am a little concernec about it. In fact, my wife being a type I for 6 years now, she just went to one of my professors who is an ophtho and she too came back home having seen the theapeutic optometrist. Has this become a standard of acceptance and should I just go with the flow, or does the ADA really want ophtho's themselves to be doing these exams? I don't really know the complexity involved in looking for diabetic retinopathy but I think this is sort of heading in one of those anesthesiology/CRNA directions. I just wonder what you future and current ophtho's think.
  2. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    Optometrists do a good job screening for diabetic retinopathy. Optometrists should refer patients to general ophthalmologists when patients develop macula edema, severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, or proliferative diabetic retinopathy. I think optometrists should consult general ophthalmologists first instead of sending patients directly to a retina specialist.
  3. Richard_Hom

    Richard_Hom Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    May 29, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Dr. Doan,

    Thanks for your post. I do believe the terminology in our profession is quite confusing and can be misleading.

    On the second issue, I actually agree with your recommendation. Except for complicated fibrous tractional issues or proliferative problems, most general ophthalmologists do a great job in PRP, focal or grid laser. However, I do "interview" the ophthalmologist before I do send them as general ophthalmologists have different comfort levels themselves. My case load consists of 30-50 diabetics / week of varying stages of diabetic eye disease for the past 2 years.


Share This Page