Ophthalmologists are doctors that specialize in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system, and also in the prevention of eye disease and injury. They can be either doctors of medicine (MD) or doctors of osteopathy (DO). While medical doctors focus on disease-specific diagnosis and treatment, osteopaths concentrate on the loss of structure and function in different parts of the body caused by disease.
An ophthalmologist has completed four years of pre-medical undergraduate education, four years of medical school, one year of internship, and three or more years of specialized medical and surgical training in eye care. As a qualified specialist, an ophthalmologist is licensed by a state regulatory board to diagnose, treat, and manage conditions affecting the eye and visual system.
An ophthalmologist is qualified to deliver total eye care, meaning vision services, eye examinations, medical and surgical eye care, and diagnosis and treatment of disease and visual complications that are caused by other conditions, like diabetes.