An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in the surgical and medical care of the eyes and the visual systems. A Doctor of Osteopathy also specializes in the prevention of eye injury and disease.
Lengthy medical training and experience qualify an ophthalmologist to diagnose and treat all eye problems and issues with the visual systems. An ophthalmologist can provide total eye care, including vision services, eye exams, contact lenses, medical eye care and surgical eye care. He or she must obtain a license from a state regulatory board in order to practice medicine and surgery.
To become an ophthalmologist, an individual must complete at least four years of college premed education, at least four years of medical school, a relevant 1-year internship, and three or more years of specialized training and experience in medical and surgical eye care.