What is an Ophthalmologist?

An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who has undertaken a minimum 12 years of university and training to become a medical specialist in the diagnosis and management of disorders of the eye and visual system.

This additional training equips an Ophthalmology eye specialist to provide the full spectrum of eye care, medical treatment and complex microsurgery.

Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research into causes and cures for eye diseases and vision problems.

What is the difference between an Ophthalmologist, Optometrist and Orthoptist?


Optometrists examine eyes, give advice on visual problems, and prescribe and fit glasses or contact lenses. An optometrist will refer patients to an ophthalmologist if an eye disease is detected.

Ophthalmologists and Optometrists work collaboratively in the care of patients, especially those with chronic eye disease.


Orthoptists are university trained, allied health professionals, who are trained to diagnose and manage disorders of eye movements and associated vision problems. They are also trained to perform investigative testing of eye diseases.