What is an Optometrist?

Doctors of Optometry (O.D.) are independent primary and secondary health care providers who specialize in the examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures, as well as the diagnosis of related systemic conditions. In accordance with state law, optometrists prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses, and dispense ocular medications, providing total eye health and vision care for all ages.

Doctors of Optometry complete four years of undergraduate college education and four years of post-graduate education at a nationally certified college of optometry, earning a Doctorate in Optometry.

Optometrists must be certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and licensed by the state regulatory board. A small number of doctors of optometry nationwide attain post-doctorate residency/fellowship certification in specialty areas, such as pediatrics, contact lenses, low vision or ocular disease. In addition, doctors of optometry may attain fellowship status in the American Academy of Optometry (F.A.A.O.) in primary care, pediatrics, contact lenses, low vision or ocular disease by submitting multiple cases, review of references from colleagues, and oral exam of materials by peers.

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