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Optometry and Ophthalmology: Collaborating For Your Eye Care

By: Dr. Leslie Emmert-Buck


At ophthalmology practice Capstone Vision in Auburn Hills, Michigan, everything centers around extraordinary patient care. Oftentimes, our effort to achieve that high level of benefit to our patients means that we collaborate with other providers, such as optometrists.

Dr. Leslie Emmert-Buck believes that patients receive the best and most complete care when practitioners work together. This is great news for you, the patient, because it means that as a patient at Capstone Vision, you are encouraged to continue to see your preferred optometrist even as Dr. Emmert-Buck provides you with vision correction solutions.

What Is The Difference Between An Optometrist And An Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor and surgeon that has graduated from an accredited medical school, completed an internship usually in internal medicine, completed three years of ophthalmology residency that consists of learning about a vast variety of medical and surgical eye problems. Sometimes, they have completed an additional year of fellowship with enhanced concentration in an ocular subspecialty. Then they go out to practice their trade. Ophthalmologists are allowed to write prescriptions for glasses and all medicines.

An optometrist completes optometry school usually after a four-year degree at a university. Unless they complete an optional residency, they go into practice. They are trained to see patients for general eye care and are experts in prescribing glasses and contact lenses. They can also manage some medical eye care problems and often sell glasses and contact lenses. Optometrists are also allowed to write prescriptions for glasses and some medicines.

You have the option to see an optometrist OR an ophthalmologist for comprehensive care or any eye problem at any time.

A New Push For Eye Care Collaboration

Ophthalmology and optometry have a history of being a bit territorial when it comes to patients, but the two major players of the eye care industry have seen the benefits to everyone involved when they work together. This is why there has recently been an increased push for collaboration.

This spring, Rosenberg School of Optometry at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, made news when it began to require all fourth-year students to participate in a rotation of surgical care. It’s believed to be the first program like this.

According to an article in OptometryTimes.com, “The goal is to expose 100 percent of optometric interns to the clinical and business concerns involved in co-managing surgical care.

“At minimum, a primary-care optometrist should be able to advise patients on their options and make a referral to a good surgeon. It is even better if the optometrist can actively participate in their patients’ perioperative care.”

This kind of education gives optometry students real-life exposure to ocular surgeries, and the latest procedures and technology that ophthalmologists use. It also gives them the opportunity to hear from patients and see firsthand what motivates them to seek surgical procedures and how it impacts their life afterward.

Training like this is exciting because, while it helps new optometrists understand ophthalmologists and their patients, we can all collaborate better and provide higher levels of care for patients.

How Michigan Opthalmologist Capstone Vision Works With Optometrists

Dr. Emmert-Buck has been out and about meeting the local optometrists in the region and has found that there are excellent options for optometric care in Oakland County. There are a variety of ways that surgeons and optometrists work together to give patients the best vision care possible. At Capstone Vision, Dr. Emmert-Buck highly values coordinated care with optometrists and works with them in the following ways:

She provides care to patients with ocular medical problems that are beyond an optometrist’s scope of practice or comfort level.

She works with optometrists to address any refractive surgical solutions that you may need. This means she wants to help you get rid of your glasses and contact lenses. There are 7 procedures now to help you get rid of your glasses, including LASIK (SBK), refractive lens exchange, or refractive cataract surgery. The procedure that is right for you depends on where you are on your eye health timeline (how old you are), your lifestyle, hobbies, and occupation. You will get a customized treatment plan at Capstone Vision.

If you come to Dr. Emmert-Buck for surgery, you have the option to see her or your optometrist for your post surgical care if your optometrist is comfortable with this, if it is more convenient for you, and if you choose this option. Dr. Emmert-Buck will have a clear discussion about the options with you before surgery so everyone is on the same page.

She is available to offer a second opinion you may need regarding surgical plans or outcomes.

She will refer you to an optometrist if you need contact lens fitting, whether it’s a straightforward or complicated fit.

She will refer you to an optometrist if you need your glasses prescription filled, as we don’t have an optical shop.

To learn more about how Dr. Emmert-Buck can work with you and your optometrist to provide you with the best vision possible, contact Capstone Vision today or schedule an appointment online.

The post Optometry and Ophthalmology: Collaborating For Your Eye Care appeared first on Capstone Vision LASIK Surgeon.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.