Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, and Ocularists, Oh My!

In the field of Ophthalmology, there’s four main terms that sound alike but are entirely different. The only common thread is, of course, the human eye.

  • Ophthalmologists
  • Optometrists
  • Opticians
  • Ocularists and ophthalmic technicians who work closely with these specialists

This specialized group is the life of the ophthalmic clinical trials industry. Let’s briefly explore what each group means, and what they do.



Ophthalmologists are physicians, either a doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathy (DO), who have graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree and then completed four years of medical school, at least one year of internship, and three or more years of residency training specializing in medical and surgical care of eye diseases.



Optometrists are eye-care providers who have attended college and completed four years of training at an optometry school, but have not attended a medical school.



Opticians are trained in filling prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. They may have received significant formal classroom instruction, but many receive on-the-job training. Depending on a particular state’s regulations, opticians may or may not be licensed.



An ocularist is an eye-care provider who specializes in the fabrication and fitting of ocular prostheses for people who have lost an eye or eyes due to trauma or illness. As members of the allied health professions, ophthalmic technicians are ophthalmic medical personnel (OMP) trained as a part of a professional team of eye-care providers.

This time of the year goes hand in hand with the notion of thankfulness and the spirit of giving. We are honored  to operate in a space that gives so much to the world.