Ophthalmologist or Optometrist – Who does what?

There are two main types of eye doctors: optometrists and ophthalmologists. Confused about who does what?

Here’s a look at how they’re different.

An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Our optometrists at Gailey Eye Clinic examine eyes for both vision and health problems and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. They also participate in pre- and post-operative care if you have eye surgery performed by an ophthalmologist.

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in eye and vision care. They are trained to perform eye exams, diagnose and treat disease, prescribe medications and perform eye surgery. Ophthalmologists generally complete four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of internship, and a hospital-based residency in ophthalmology. Many ophthalmologists have specialties in certain areas. Gailey Eye Clinic’s physician specialties include cataract, cornea, glaucoma, retina, iLASIK, and certain oculoplastic procedures.

One type of doctor isn’t better than the other. It just depends on your needs. Their jobs may overlap, and they most definitely will collaborate to take care of your vision. Learn more about the doctor specialties and read all of our doctors’ bios at https://gaileyeyeclinic.com/about/doctors-staff/.


AAOPOS. 2011. Aapos.org

Patient Forms
PHONE 800.325.7706

Bloomington/Normal: (309) 829-5311
Bloomington/Retina: (309) 829-5311
Danville: (217) 446-3937
Decatur: (217) 875-0300
Forsyth: (217) 872-7404
Galesburg: (309) 343-6000

Gibson City: (800) 325-7706
Ottawa: (815) 434-4200
Peoria: (309) 692-8460
Peru / Lasalle: (815) 224-1100
Springfield: (217) 529-3937