Terminology and Definitions

oph·thal·mol·o·gy - The branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, functions, pathology, and treatment of the eye. The scientific study of the eye, its diseases, and their treatment.

An ophthalmologist is a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery , who specializes in all aspects of ophthalmic care. This specialists' education includes four years of college, four years of medical school, one or more years of general medical experience, and four or more years studying the normal eye and diseases and surgery of the eye in a hospital-based residency program


[An ophthalmologist is sometimes misspelled as opthalmogist or ophthamologist or any variation of the alphabets in this word and the branch ophthalmology is misspelled as opthalmogy or ophthamology]

Ophthalmologist, Optometrist and Optician - what's the difference

According to AAO "The distinction between ophthalmology and optometry is a frequent source of confusion. In addition to the fact that both are concerned with eye care, several other factors contribute to this misunderstanding. One is the fact that optometrists are often referred to as "eye doctors" although, unlike ophthalmologists, they do not have medical degrees." 

An Optometrist receives a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree, he or she is licensed to practice optometry, not medicine. The practice of optometry traditionally involves examining the eye for the prescription and dispensing of corrective lenses and detection and non-surgical management of certain limited eye diseases. There are considerable state-by-state differences in optometric scope of practice, with some states permitting use of more pharmaceutical agents than others. 

In comparison, the scope of an ophthalmologist's practice is much broader.

An Ophthalmologist is a Medical Doctor (M.D.) who specializes in all aspects of eye care including diagnosis, management and surgery of ocular diseases and disorders. The difference between the training of an optometrist and that of an ophthalmologist is considerable. An optometrist may have only seven years of training after high school, consisting of three to four years of college and four years in an optometric college. An ophthalmologist receives a minimum of 12 years of education beyond high school, which typically includes four years of college, four years of medical school, one or more years of general medical or surgical training, and three or more years in a hospital-based eye residency program. This is often followed by one or more years of subspecialty fellowship.

Beyond the study of correction of refractive errors, optometrists have limited exposure in training for patients with eye disorders or disease. In contrast, ophthalmologists have a full medical education, followed by extensive clinical and surgical training in ophthalmology, with thousands of hours devoted to care and treatment of a much larger volume of sick patients. 

An Optician adjusts and fits optical products such as glasses. Some employers hire individuals with no background in opticianry. Training may be informal, on-the-job or formal apprenticeship. Others seek people with college level training in opticianry.

Formal opticianry training is offered in community colleges and a few colleges and universities. In 1993, there were about 40 programs. Of these, 23 were accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and awarded 2-year associate degrees in ophthalmic dispensing or optometric technology. There are also shorter programs, including some less than 1 year. Some states that license dispensing opticians allow graduates to take the licensure exam immediately upon graduation; others require a few months to a year of experience.

Board Certified - what does that mean?

Board certification is voluntary. A Board certified physician, after completing residency training in their specialty, has passed an exam and met all the requirements established by their Board. This information is verified with the American Board of Medical Specialties or the American Osteopathic Association when the physician first joins the network and at least every three years thereafter. You can verify the physician´s current Board status by visiting www.abms.org

Some of the procedures performed under Ophthalmology are as follows:

25-gauge Vitrectomy Surgery
AK (Astigmatic Keratotomy)
Amniotic Membrane Transplantation (AMT)
Anterior Segment Reconstruction
Aphakic IOL
Artisan® Lens Implant
Automated Lamellar Therapeutic Keratectomy
Bausch & Lomb ZyoptixTM Wavefront
Cataract Surgery
CK - Conductive Keratoplasty
Clear Lens Extraction
Complete Eye Examinations
Conjunctivochalasis Repair
Corneal Tattooing
Corneal Transplant Surgery
Corneal Wedge Resection
CRT - Cornea Refractive Therapy
Custom Wavefront LASIK
CustomCornea® LASIK
CustomVuetm Visx LASIK
Diabetic Eye Care
Diabetic Retinopathy
Digital Fluorescein Angiography
Digital Indocyanine Green (ICG) Angiography
Digital Photography
Digital Ultrasound
Dry Eye Therapy
Excimer LASEK
Excimer Laser PTK
Excimer LASIK
Glaucoma Treatment
Hexagonal Keratotomy
Holmium Laser
Hyperopic Implantable Contact Lens
Implantable Contact Lens
Intra-incisional Relaxing Incision
Intracorneal Inlays (FDA Study)
Intracorneal Lens Ring
IntraLASIK (Intralase)
Intraoperative Miniature Telescope for Age Related Macular Degeneration
Intrastromal Photo Disruption
Keratoconus INTACS
Keratomileusis In Situ
Lamellar Keratoplasty
LASIK Eye Surgery
Limbal Relaxing Incision
Limbal Stem Cell Transplant
LTK - Laser Thermal Keratoplasty
Lyme Disease Treatment
Macular Degeneration Treatment (age related, dry, wet)
Macular Hole Treatment
Macular Pucker Treatment
Multifocal IOL
Ocular Disease
Pediatric Ocular abnormalities
Pediatric Ophthalmology
Penetrating Keratoplasty
Phakic IOL Intraocular Lens
Phakic IOLS (FDA Study)
Photo-Astigmatic Refractive Keratectomy
Presbyopia Surgery
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
Pterygium Surgery
Radial Keratotomy
Refractive Cataract Surgery
Refractive Lensectomy
Retinal Cryoplexy
Retinal Detachment Treatment
Retinal Laser treatment
Retinal Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
Routine Eye Exams
SLT Surgery
Toric Contact Lens
Toric Contact Lens Implants
Uveitis Treatment (anterior, posterior)
Verisysetm IOL
Vitreoretinal Surgery
Wavefront Treatment for Irregular Astigmatism
Yag Laser Capsulotomy Post Cataract Surgery

Other Ophthalmologists in the area

(most of them are part of larger groups based in Boston and only visit Framingham periodically, others are in Natick)

  • Baker, Brad J., MD
  • Baum, Jules L., MD
  • Belmonte, Stephen J.,MD
  • Bhatia, Sumit, MD
  • Blocker, Richard J.,MD
  • Judge, Jody K., MD
  • Haney-Tilton, Jo-Ann E, MD
  • Miller, Edward V., MD
  • Rostler, Stephen H.,MD
  • Tang, William M., MD
  • Parminder, Amy H, MD
  • Hu, Daniel MD
  • Cleary, Tina S MD
  • Hsu, Tom C MD
  • Wiegand, Torsten W, MD
  • Chen, Vicki M, MD
  • Rudloe, Isaac J, MD
  • Strominger, Mitchell B, MD
  • Weber, Roger A, MD
  • Gillers, Bruce J, MD
  • Eliassi-Rad, Babak, MD
  • Feinberg, Edward B, MD
  • Ginsberg, Neal E, MD
  • Leibowitz, Howard M, MD
  • Pineda II, Roberto, MD
  • Pira, Tony N, MD
  • Ramsey, Jean E, MD
  • Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston (OCB)
  • New England Eye Center (NEEC) Boston