An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists are trained to perform eye exams, diagnose and treat disease, prescribe medications and perform eye surgery. They also write prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. Ophthalmologists generally complete four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of internship, and a minimum of three years of hospital-based residency in ophthalmology. So (to extend the analogy with dentistry), whereas the education of an optometrist is similar to that of a general dentist, the education and training of an ophthalmologist are more similar to that of an oral surgeon.
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