Many, but not all, Ophthalmologists are also "Board Certified" by the American Board of Ophthalmology. One year after entering clinical practice, a killer written exam is taken, and after two years of clinical practice, a terrifying oral examination is taken.
By selecting a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, you have just selected a physician with 14 years of higher education, and a minimum of 6 years of practice as a physician, with 5 of those years specializing in medical and surgical diseases of the eye. Board Certified Ophthalmologists have achieved the highest level of certification available, and they are the most qualified practitioners to trust with the health of your eyes. They are also qualified to prescribe glasses and contacts, although some choose not to do so.
Optometrists and Opticians are NOT physicians. They cannot perform surgery. Certain optometrists can use certain medications under very limited circumstances, after they have received training under an Ophthalmologist.
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