Details of Becoming a Eye Doctor


Roman writes:
My question for you is:
to be an eye doctor — the type where you do surgeries and more enhanced
operations — how long do you have to go to school and what type of salary
would I be starting off with and ending with?


The Career Doctor responds:
Let me first talk about careers in the eye profession in general and then
work to your question. The two main types of eye doctors are optometrists and ophthalmologists. The career that interests you in is an ophthalmologist.
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating eye disease and performing surgery on the eyes. He/she is trained to examine diagnose and treat conditions of the eyes and vision system. Ophthalmologists
recognize the signs and symptoms of eye disease and treat them with
pharmaceutical agents or surgery. Most ophthalmologists have general
practices but some may specialize. Requirements include four years of
medical school and four to five years of additional specialized training.
Ophthalmologists must be licensed in the state where they practice.
Find more information from The American
Board of Ophthalmology
.
An optometrist is a practitioner who provides most primary vision care.
Optometrists also examine diagnose and treat conditions of the eyes
and vision system and are trained in prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Most optometrists are in general practice although some
may specialize. Requirements include 4 years in optometry school after
3 or 4 years in college. Optometrists must be licensed in the state where
they practice.
Find me information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
section on optometrists and the
American Optometric Association.
The employment outlook for both types of eye doctors is good as some current
practitioners retire and as the U.S. population gets older and demand increases for
eye care. Income ranges totally depends on where (and how) these professionals
decide to practice from small solo offices to parts of much larger operations.
And as my brother an Atlanta-based optometrist states “Like most people
many ophthalmologists and optometrists complain that they don’t get paid
enough!”
Finally let me add that you should have an interest in helping people skills
and abilities in science and less of a focus on money.