Doctor of Optometry
Doctors of Optometry are independent primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat, and manage disorders of the visual systems and diseases of the eye and associated structures. The scope of optometric care ranges from vision testing and correction to managing complex eye and vision problems and diagnosing the presence of systemic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Throughout the curriculum, the relationships between basic and clinical science, theory and practice are continually emphasized.
Optometrists are highly educated and well-trained primary eye-care providers. As important members of the health-care team, optometrists treat ocular diseases such as glaucoma, co-manage refractive procedures, fit medical devices such as contact lenses and prostheses, prescribe therapeutic medications, and treat amblyopia as well as binocular vision disorders. Additionally, optometrists are instrumental in referring patients to health-care specialists after the detection of ocular signs of systemic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
In today's market, practice opportunities for optometrists abound. Optometrists may elect to practice individually, join group practices, teach, conduct valuable research, participate in health-care administration and practice in military and public health-care settings. Optometrists are also important consultants in workplace designs, highway lighting, aviation and sports vision.
As the third largest independent healthcare profession, optometry continues to have a very promising outlook. The demand for optometric services is expected to rise, according to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Optometry Association (AOA).
Optometry has a tremendous amount of flexibility and personal satisfaction. Self employment, favorable working conditions, and direct patient care are just a few reasons for the high career satisfaction reported by optometrists.