Choosing an ophthalmologist requires just as much attention as choosing a primary care physician. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that specializes in vision care. These professionals provide preventative care services and early treatment for a wide range of eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.
With such an important job to perform, how do you know which eye doctor is right for you? Below are a few of the most important factors to look for when making a selection.
Credentials and Certification
First and foremost, ophthalmologists must have the appropriate training and certification to treat conditions of the eye. This includes a college degree and a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from an accredited college. Verify your physician on the American Board of Ophthalmology website or use state websites to check qualifications.
Experience and Background
It’s common for eye doctors to specialize in specific areas such as conditions of the cornea or retina. To improve their abilities in these area, eye doctors attend a fellowship (two-year program of study), become a member in a certain organization, or become board certified. If you are at risk for certain eye disorders or you have already been diagnosed with one, specialized experience is a key factor to pay attention to.
Communicating with your eye care specialist is essential to healthy vision. The choices you make today can impact your future tomorrow. When you schedule a consultation with the ophthalmologist, take note of his or her communication style. Did you feel rushed or at ease? Did the doctor explain everything to you or were you left feeling unsure?
Good Relationships with Patients
Today’s patients are fortunate enough to have access to online reviews. Use these surveys and ratings to your advantage. What do other patients think of your eye doctor? Do they trust him or her? Aside from the doctor, online reviews address other parts of the experience such as cleanliness of the office, ease of scheduling appointments, and wait times.
Taking the time to carefully select your ophthalmologist will only benefit you in the long run. The eyes are a sensitive part of the body and you should only entrust them to the best!
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