What is an ophthalmologist?
An ophthalmologist is a physician who specializes in the medical and
surgical care of the eyes and visual system and in the prevention of
eye disease and injury. They provide a full spectrum of care including
routine eye exams, diagnosis and medical treatment of eye disorders
and diseases, prescriptions for eyeglasses, surgery, and management of
eye problems that are caused by systemic illnesses.
After completing 4 years of undergraduate study at a college or
university, ophthalmologists attend 4 years of medical school to
obtain an M.D. degree. After graduating from medical school, they
complete a 1-year internship and 3 years of training in ophthalmology
in a residency program approved by the Accreditation Council for
Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Following residency,
ophthalmologists may enroll in a 1- to 2-year fellowship program.