When it comes to someone performing surgery on my eye, I would trust an opthamologist before trusting an optometrist. This may be one of the rare areas where I actually agree with Rand Paul. Look at their medical training. An opthamologist actually goes to medical school--following which, they perform their respective residency.
Take a look at the requirements put forth by the American Board of Opthamology for one to be a certified opthamologist:
•Medical School: All applicants must have graduated from an allopathic or osteopathic medical school. Applicants who are graduates of International Medical Schools are also required to have a certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).Let's compare that to optometrists. The American Optometric Association is one of two boards that certify optometrists in the United States. What do optometrists have to do to get their Doctor of Optometry?
•One (1) year of internship: All applicants, both graduates of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, entering ophthalmology training programs must complete a post-graduate clinical year (PGY-1) in a program in the United States accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or a program in Canada approved by the appropriate accrediting body in Canada.
The PGY-1 must be comprised of training in which the resident is primarily responsible for patient care in fields such as internal medicine, neurology, pediatrics, surgery, family practice, or emergency medicine. As a minimum, six months of this year must consist of a broad experience in direct patient care.
•Three to four years in a residency program: In addition to a PGY-1, all applicants must satisfactorily complete an entire formal graduated residency training program in ophthalmology of at least 36 months duration (PGY-4 or higher) in either the United States accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, or in Canada accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Doctors of optometry are trained to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders that affect the eye or vision.After reading that, I'd say the Commonwealth of Kentucky royally screwed up.
•After attending a university or college for their undergraduate education, optometry students concentrate specifically on the structure, function and disorders of the eye for 4 additional years during their graduate education to earn their doctoral degree.
•While concentrating on the eye and visual system, optometrists also study general health in courses such as human anatomy, biochemistry and physiology.
•In addition to their formal, doctoral-level training, all optometrists participate in ongoing continuing education courses to stay current on the latest standards of care and to maintain their licenses to practice. Optometry is one of the only doctoral-level health care professions to require continuing education in every state for license renewal.