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What is an Optometrist?


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Optometrists are Eye Health Specialists

It's true that optometrists are not doctors of medicine, but that doesn't make them any less of a health care professional. Instead of obtaining an M.D., optometrists have an O.D., or a doctorate of optometry, making them true eye health specialists. Read on to learn about the extensive training that they go through to become an eye health specialist.

Doctor of Optometry Schooling

An optometrist spends three to four years working on their undergraduate courses before entering into an optometry school. Once their prerequisites are complete, which usually include a range of biology and chemistry courses, they then apply to an optometry school, which is a very competitive process. Once accepted, they spend another four years in school before taking a written exam and obtaining their doctorate in optometry.

Eye Doctor Experience

As part of an eye doctor's schooling, they often shadow an experienced optometrist to gain insight into the procedures. Some optometrists spend extra years in school specializing in certain areas of eye health. In this case, specializing doctors spend time in a residency position. With the entire schooling process, a Doctor of Optometry fresh out of school has enough experience to give their patients quality eye exams.

Work Environment

Optometrists often work in an office of optometry performing eye exams and filling eyeglass prescriptions. While some doctors are employed by the eye clinic, others work independently for various clinics, often in full-time positions. My EyeLab has a doctor of optometry in or next to each of our stores. During an eye examination, an eye doctor will check for vision problems, signs of glaucoma, indications of cataracts, and other eye issues in their patients.

How are They Different?

Optometrists are different from other eye care professionals, although many of these professionals can easily be confused. Opticians can fill prescriptions for eyeglasses and fit frames. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who can perform eye surgeries, diagnose certain issues, and do research. An optometrist, however, is an eye health specialist who performs eye exams, prescribes eyeglasses, and treats some diseases.

If you're seeking a quality eye care specialists, you can find many licensed professionals across the nation. Check out one of My EyeLab's many locations to find a qualified eyecare professional to complete your next eye exam.


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