What's the difference between ophthalmologists and optometrists?
What's the difference between an ophthalmologist (like Dr. Naomi Hayashi or Dr. Kichi Asoma) and an optometrist (like Dr. Teru Hayashi)?
Teru Hayashi will be an Optometrist in NYC starting in 2021. According to the Cleveland Clinic, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists are actually very similar doctors on the Eye Care Team.
"Optometrists are trained to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders that affect the eye or vision." [NIH]
"Much of the difference comes down to education: Optometrists go to optometry school for four years and often do an extra year of residency... ophthalmologists go to medical school for four years, followed by four years of residency.” ... ophthalmologists often do a one- or two-year fellowship to specialize. They may focus on such things as glaucoma or pediatrics. An ophthalmologist will have an MD (doctor of medicine) or a DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) after his or her name. Optometrists will have an OD after their names. They earn a doctor of optometry degree. Optometrists can handle nearly all the medical aspects of ophthalmology. But they do not perform surgery. Ophthalmologists are surgeons and can treat your medical needs as well. Both can prescribe medications and treat eye diseases. States may limit which conditions optometrists can treat. Ophthalmologists can treat all eye diseases." [Cleveland Clinic]
"An optometrist receives a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree and is licensed to practice optometry, not medicine. The practice of optometry traditionally involves examining the eye for the purpose of prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, and screening vision to detect certain eye abnormalities. In comparison, the scope of an ophthalmologist's practice is much broader. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in all aspects of eye care including diagnosis, management, and surgery of ocular diseases and disorders. Ophthalmologists (or "Eye M.D.s) also routinely carry out many of the same tasks as optometrists and, although there are almost twice as many practicing optometrists as Eye M.D.s, about one fourth of the nation's refractions and eye examinations are performed by Eye M.D.s." [American Academy of Ophthalmology]