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Find an Ophthalmologist

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If you need to find an ophthalmologist, there are many ways to find the eye doctor that's right for you. An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor who specializes in eye surgery. However, they're also trained to perform regular eye exams, treat eye diseases, and diagnose eye conditions, just like an optometrist. Ophthalmologists are actually medical doctors; they have to attend a four-year medical school along with obtaining their optometry degree, so they have more medical education than optometrists do. They also have to perform a three-year residency before they can practice.

Where to Look for an Ophthalmologist

Your ophthalmologist should be board certified. That means they've passed special examinations given by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Board certification is totally voluntary, and it's a rigorous process. If your ophthalmologist has taken the time to become board certified, it shows an even greater commitment to his or her patients, and it shows they care about adding to their knowledge and skills. They have to renew certification every ten years, so make sure the doctor you choose has a current certification. You can also check with the American Academy of Ophthalmology to see if any doctors in your area have won any of their annual awards. These are prestigious awards that only go to a select group of ophthalmologists, so you can be assured your ophthalmologist is especially skilled with one of these awards.

Ask your optometrist for a referral. Professionals usually know other professionals they're comfortable recommending, and they usually know what doctors to steer clear of, as well. If your optometrist can't recommend a doctor, then ask friends and neighbors who they prefer. You can also call potential doctors and ask them for references from their patients. It's always a good idea to check with your state medical licensing board, or the local Department of Consumer Affairs to see if there are any doctors who have violations or other complaints.

Finally, there are many websites that allow you to search for ophthalmologists by city and state. Once you locate potential candidates in your area, make sure you research them using the above steps. You can also check with your local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau to see if they have any complaints or recommendations for ophthalmologists in your area, so you can find an ophthalmologist that's right for you and your family.

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