The Idaho Society of Ophthalmology (ISO) is the only state society representing Idaho’s ophthalmologists and their patients. As an affiliate of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), ISO is dedicated to educating the public about eye health care issues, advocating for ophthalmologists before the Idaho State Legislature and other regulatory bodies, and providing ophthalmologists and their staff with high quality continuing medical education programs.
An ophthalmologist is a physician (M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eye and visual system. Ophthalmologists have typically completed 4 years of college-level premedical education, 4 years of medical school, and 4 years of residency training. Some ophthalmologists also complete 1-2 additional years of fellowship training to focus on a specific subspecialty. Ophthalmologists are licensed by a state regulatory board to practice medicine and surgery.
“Ophthalmologist” is sometimes confused with the professional titles “optometrist” and “optician”. Optometrists (O.D.) are eye care providers who have completed 4 years of training at an accredited optometric college to provide primary eye care services, including vision testing as well as the diagnosis and medical treatment of some eye problems. Optometrists are licensed by a separate state regulatory board. An optometrist is not a medical doctor.
Opticians are technicians who are trained to dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other vision aids, using prescriptions provided by ophthalmologists or optometrists. Opticians do not perform eye exams or write prescriptions. Opticians are not permitted to diagnose or treat eye diseases.
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