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Florida Society of Ophthalmology - The EyeMDs

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Florida Society of Ophthalmology


Do You Know Who is Taking Care of You?


Click Here to
Tell Your Legislator
NO
on Optometrists
Prescribing




Ophthalmologist
An ophthalmologist - Eye MD - is a medical or osteopathic doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are specially trained to provide the full spectrum of eye care, from prescribing glasses to complex and delicate eye surgery.

Ophthalmologists have extensive education and training requirements, including:

  • 4 years in medical school (after graduation from college)
  • 1 year of internship (usually in internal medicine or general surgery)
  • 3 years of ophthalmology residency training
  • Frequently followed by 1 or more years of post-graduate fellowship training
  • Extensive coursework and training in pharmacology
  • 15,000+ hours of patient contact

Optometrist
An optometrist receives a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree and is licensed to practice optometry, not medicine. The practice of optometry traditionally involves examining the eye for the purpose of prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, screening vision to detect certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing topical medication for certain eye conditions.

Optometric training typically consists of:

  • 4 years of optometry school (after graduation from college, although not all optometry schools require a college degree)
  • 2,000 hours of patient contact
  • Inconsistent pharmacology training, typically 1-3 courses
  • <10% complete a 1 year residency

Expansion of Scope
Ophthalmologists typically have 8 years of training and experience, including surgery and uses and effects of medications on the entire body. Optometrists typically have only 4 years of training focusing on vision treatment for healthy patients. Expansion of practice poses grave danger to the patients of Florida. The FSO urges you to support its effort in preventing expansion of the scope of optometry practice in order to protect the patients of Florida.

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