Marketing Your Veterinarian Practice

Different Types of Veterinarians

It might have been a beloved childhood dog or cat that first sparked your interest in veterinary medicine. Or maybe you were fascinated by something smaller. Even if it wasn’t a domestic animal that first drew your interest, you might have a tendency to picture your future self as a veterinarian caring for pets.

While there are certainly many vet school grads who pursue a career working with companion animals, there are other types of veterinarians out there. Some are involved in teaching and research. Others work to keep our food system safe.

You can easily spend hours scouring the web to learn more about different career options for veterinarians, so we’re here to lighten your workload. We’ve highlighted some of the major types of veterinary positions you should know about.

Familiarize yourself with each of these opportunities to start gaining a better understanding of which veterinary career could be right for you.


This is not an exhaustive list of career options, but it should give you a good idea of some potential paths you could take as a veterinarian. Unless otherwise noted, all salary information is from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But keep in mind that factors like experience level, geographic location, and work setting can all affect earning potential.


While they’re just one segment of the veterinarian population, those who work with companion animals are the largest group. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports about 75 percent of all veterinarians in private practice work mostly or exclusively with companion animals.

Veterinarians who work with pets are sort of like primary care physicians who work with humans. Their day-to-day tasks can vary significantly depending on the patient. A companion-animal veterinarian may treat wounds, diagnose illnesses, perform surgery, administer vaccines, and prescribe medications. They also euthanize animals nearing the end of their lives.

Small-animal practitioners can even work with pets in need of homes at animal shelters, which is a relatively new branch of medicine. While the most recent median salary estimate for veterinarians is $90,420, companion-animal practitioners have historically exceeded this figure.


Just like doctors who work with people, veterinary physicians can pursue countless specialties. Some career options are anesthesiology, dentistry, pathology, and surgery. Veterinarians can also opt to specialize in a particular species or group of animals like cats, dogs, poultry, or wildlife.

Veterinarians refer their patients to specialists when a particular type of equipment or expertise is required. Because each role calls for different skill sets, daily duties will vary substantially across specialties. A veterinary pathologist, for example, may examine tissue samples, perform biopsies, and assist with drug development.

Salaries for different specialties can vary just as much as the duties performed. Specialists go through additional training to gain the knowledge and skills that set them apart, so they typically fall on the higher end of the salary spectrum.


Most people who purchase a package of ground beef from the grocery store don’t spend much time thinking about whether the meat is safe to eat or what type of life the animal led. Food animal veterinarians, on the other hand, address these issues every day by working with animals raised for human consumption.

These types of vets diagnose and treat illnesses, provide preventive care, maintain sanitary conditions, and more. Food-animal veterinarians primarily work on ranches and farms. They typically spend a fair amount of time traveling.

Though the BLS does not feature specific salary information for food-animal veterinarians, the AVMA has compiled data in past reports. In 2011, the median income for these types of veterinarians was $100,000.

Food safety and inspection veterinarians

While both food-animal veterinarians and food-safety veterinarians play a role in keeping edible products safe, they’re not necessarily the same. The latter often work for the US Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health, or the US Food and Drug Administration to help enforce regulations.

These types of veterinarians may inspect livestock and animal products like eggs, dairy, and meat to ensure they meet sanitation standards. In some cases, they might need to quarantine infected animals to prevent illness from spreading to other animals and humans. Still others are involved in testing the safety of medications and additives. As you can see, these veterinarians do a lot to improve public health.

You can gain an understanding of a typical salary for food safety and inspection veterinarians by examining wage estimates for veterinarians who are employed by the government. The median salary for veterinarians who work for the government is $89,010.

Research veterinarians

While every veterinarian needs to have strong scientific knowledge, it’s even more important for those devoted to research. Veterinarians who conduct research may find themselves working for government organizations, biomedical research firms, or universities. Vets who work at education institutions are often faculty members who teach veterinary students.

Veterinarians employed by schools and government agencies may review past findings and techniques to work toward better methods for diagnosing, treating, and preventing health conditions. Those who work with biomedical or pharmaceutical firms develop and test drugs and other biomedical products.

Research positions can be among the most lucrative veterinary roles since they often require specialized education beyond a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree. Like the specialists we mentioned above, research veterinarians can expect their income to be higher on the salary spectrum.

Types of veterinary careers

1. Veterinary assistant

National Average Salary: $12.92 per hour

Primary Duties: A veterinary assistant is responsible for helping veterinarians administer medications and immunizations to animals. They are also responsible for cleaning cages and feeding animals in long-term or overnight care and can monitor animals’ vital signs before and after a surgical procedure.

2. Veterinary receptionist

National Average Salary: $13.14 per hour

Primary Duties: A veterinary receptionist is responsible for greeting clients, answering phone calls, updating a veterinarian’s schedule and communicating with clients about appointment dates and times available.

3. Veterinary technician

National Average Salary: $15.83 per hour

Primary Duties: A veterinary technician is responsible for taking blood samples from animals, monitoring vitals and overseeing the administration of anesthesia and medications to animals before or after surgery. In some cases, they can also diagnose animals and prescribe medication.

4. Zoo veterinarian

National Average Salary: $79,181 per year

Primary Duties: A zoo veterinarian is a specialized veterinarian who is responsible for performing health assessments on a variety of exotic animals. They can administer medication to help improve an animal’s health or monitor injuries to prevent infection. They can also tranquilize zoo animals prior to them being transported to a different location.

5. Veterinarian

National Average Salary: $96,935 per year

Primary Duties: A veterinarian undertakes general practices associated with veterinary medicine. They are responsible for assessing and diagnosing injuries or illnesses in animals and coming up with solutions to rehabilitate an animal. They also conduct routine health assessments on pets and other animals, depending on their work environment.

Veterinary specialties

Anesthesia and analgesia: veterinary specialists who are experts at assessment and mitigation of anesthetic risks, delivery of anesthetic and analgesic drugs, maintaining and monitoring physiologic well-being of the anesthetized patient, and providing the highest levels of perioperative patient care including pain management.

Animal welfare: veterinary specialists with advanced training and experience in animal welfare.

Behavior: veterinary specialists with advanced knowledge of animal behavior and behavior modification.

Dentistry: veterinarians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of dental, oral, and maxillofacial diseases.

Dermatology: veterinary specialists with advanced training and expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of allergy and diseases affecting the skin, ears, nails and/or hooves of animals.

Emergency and critical care: veterinary specialists who work exclusively in both emergency rooms and intensive care units to care for animals that are often the “sickest of the sick”.

Internal medicine, which includes specialties of:

  • Cardiology: veterinary specialists who diagnose and treat conditions of the heart and circulatory system.
  • Internal Medicine: veterinary specialists trained to manage complex medical problems or disease conditions affecting multiple body systems.
  • Neurology: veterinary specialists who diagnose and treat diseases of the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the nervous system.
  • Oncology: veterinary specialists who diagnose and treat cancer.

Who Should See A Dermatologist

When Do I Need to See My Dermatologist During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Is this skin growth dangerous?  How can I get refills of my medications?  Is this rash a sign of something more serious?  What should I do about my recently diagnosed skin cancer?

As the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues its march across the globe, and the number of COVID-19 cases surges throughout the United States, healthcare workers and patients alike are making daily judgements of what constitutes “essential” medical care.  It has many of us asking “Should I keep my doctor’s appointment?” Because the pandemic status is changing on a daily basis this is a question with which we will grapple for many weeks and months to come.  Dermatology is no exception.

When to See a Dermatologist

There are still many reasons to see a dermatologist during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for this reason most Dermatology offices are remaining open on a limited basis. Some conditions will require an office visit while others can be handled via teledermatology (see below). Dermatology is a visual specialty that is perfect for telemedicine consultation and dermatologists have been performing this type of care for decades. By visiting your dermatologist via teledermatology we can help divert care away from overburdened urgent and emergency care facilities.

What Should I Expect When Visiting U.S. Dermatology Partners?

At U.S. Dermatology Partners, we are doing our utmost to provide a safe treatment environment for every patient who visits us. This includes taking extra precautions to keep the office clean, promote social distancing, and protect the health and wellness of our patients. When you schedule an in-office visit, your dermatology team will be in touch with you to discuss specific steps being taken in the office location. Some of the precautions we’re taking to protect patient health include:

  • Screening employees and patients for COVID-19 symptoms before they enter our facilities
  • Creating space between seating in common areas and/or implementing an alternative waiting room protocol where patients are asked to wait in their vehicles until the dermatologist is ready for them
  • Frequently cleaning and sanitizing common areas, including waiting rooms, restrooms, and patient treatment rooms
  • Wearing face masks and gloves when interacting with others
  • Limiting the number of employees, patients, and caregivers in the office at a time
  • Providing education for our team members about the latest information, safety recommendations, and restrictions from federal, state, and local authorities

If I Have Risk Factors for a Specific Condition, How Often Should I See My Dermatologist?

When should I visit my dermatologistOnce a year is the minimum when it comes to how often each individual should make an appointment with their dermatologist. At-risk adults may need to see a dermatologist more frequently.

When it comes down to it, your dermatologist is the best person to advise you on the frequency of your check-ups. Because of this, we recommend you start with an initial exam and spend time going through your personal and family history with your doctor. Be sure to mention if any of the following circumstances apply to you:

  • You, or a close relative, have been diagnosed with or treated for skin cancer.
  • If you have in the past, or currently, spend significant amounts of time in the sun.
  • You had x-ray treatments for acne when you were younger.
  • You have a mole with suspicious characteristics.
  • You have a skin condition, such as acne, psoriasis, or eczema.

After you have visited with your doctor, he or she can create a personalized plan to address your concerns about your health, which may include more frequent check-ups, a referral to another doctor, or specialized treatment. It’s not uncommon for a dermatologist to advise a patient with certain risk factors to have a check-up two to three times per year.

Reasons to See a Dermatologist

1. A mole or patch of skin that’s changed—If a mole or patch of your skin has changed in color, size, shape, or symptom you better see a dermatologist. Such changes like those are often signs of skin cancer, and when it comes to cancer you want treatment sooner rather than later. Your dermatologist can also help you learn how to do regular skin checkups or screenings.

2. Stubborn acne—You’ve tried over-the-counter products, fad diets, and cleanses, but your acne is still front and center. There is no shame is seeing a dermatologist to help you deal with this skin condition. Get some recommendations on how to put your best face forward.

3. Itchy hives or rashes that won’t go away—Are you having an allergic reaction? Do you have an infection in your skin? See a dermatologist and get some answers. They may prescribe medications or recommend another form of treatment to smooth things over.

4. Scars from acne, blemishes, or cuts and scrapes—If your scar is looking less than desirable, a dermatologist could help you. Medical techniques like laser treatment therapy, microdermabrasion, and others can reduce scarring. With the treatment options available today, there is no need to feel self-conscious.

5. Persistent skin irritation—You have itchy, red, flaky skin and over-the-counter creams and lotions just aren’t working. You may think that the cause of your dry skin is the weather, sensitivity to skincare products, or even genetics. But in reality, you could have a chronic skin condition.

6. Nail disorders, ingrown nails, fungus, or others—Whether you are getting treatment for an ingrown nail, a fungal infection, wart, or something else, having a dermatologist look over your nails is a good thing. Nails can show signs of other body disorders like liver disease, heart conditions, anemia, or diabetes.

7. Hair loss—Noticed more hair than usual on your pillow in the morning? You may have a scalp disorder or want to start some preventive therapies before your hair loss makes a bigger impact on your life. Your dermatologist can recommend laser therapies or other treatments to keep you looking your best.

Schedule a less-urgent virtual appointment for: all elective procedures, nonurgent medical dermatology and annual skin checks

All experts agree that any elective cosmetic procedures should wait until stay-at-home orders are completely lifted for the safety of all involved. Even if doctors’ offices are starting to open, I do not recommend putting yourself in a high-risk environment for voluntary procedures.

That all elective procedures should be postponed to a later date. Such voluntary procedures include things like Botox, fillers, elective mole removals, laser treatments and noninvasive fat removal.

Nonurgent medical dermatology conditions such as acne, rosacea, hair loss and actinic keratoses are routinely being deferred, as are chronic conditions like eczema and psoriasis. In-person evaluation of limited rashes and stable skin lesions can similarly be delayed. “Teledermatology visits can be scheduled for these concerns. And regular skin checks for patients without a history of melanoma or other aggressive skin cancer are also being deferred.”

Motivations For Plastic Surgery Are Deeply Personal

Top five plastic surgery myths

Many myths surround the seemingly glamorous world of plastic surgery. But in fact, plastic surgery is a lot like every other medical specialty with highly-trained physicians providing everything from reconstructive hand surgery to burn scar revisions. Here are my top five plastic surgery myths.

#5 Plastic Surgery is All About Beauty and Vanity

Although breast augmentations, Botox and facelifts get all the press, plastic surgery encompasses everything from correcting birth defects such as cleft palates to post-cancer breast reconstruction and work-related hand injuries.

Plastic surgeons care about the functional and overall results after surgery, not just the aesthetics (although we are specifically trained to optimize those, as well). When a patient does choose to have surgery for cosmetic reasons, it is often to correct areas which are not amenable to diet, weight loss or nonsurgical procedures.

#4 Plastic Surgery Patients are the Rich and Famous

If plastic surgeons only operated on the 1%, we wouldn’t have a thriving plastic surgery industry.

Most aesthetic patients are not the rich and famous, but are average people who simply wish to restore confidence, enhance their overall appearance and improve their lives.

#3 Only Women Get Plastic Surgery

Although women have been the traditional customers of plastic surgery, men are turning to plastic surgery in increasing numbers.

Less invasive procedures such as Botox, laser treatments and dermal fillers can give men a rejuvenated and naturally youthful appearance without any downtime and at relatively low costs. These, along with liposuction, are the most popular cosmetic surgery treatments for men, with many men reporting a need for a competitive edge in the workforce as the reason they have pursued cosmetic treatments.

#2 Plastic Surgery Leaves No Scars and Lasts Forever

Plastic surgeons are great at making scars look better, more refined and smaller, but all types of plastic surgery will generally cause some type of scar formation. We can often recommend the best way to minimize scarring, and give advice and treatments on how to make your scar look as great as possible after surgery.

And while many plastic surgery procedures are long lasting and can give you years, if not decades of personal satisfaction, many factors determine how long the results will last. Plastic surgery can turn back the hands of time – but the clock keeps on ticking. Great skin care, less-invasive office procedures, surgical touch-ups, and your overall health are all important to maintain your natural good looks.

#1 Plastic Surgery is the Same as Cosmetic Surgery

All plastic surgeons do not have the same training. Many doctors trained in, and board certified in, other specialties such as gynecology or family medicine have ventured into plastic surgery, causing what is known as “white coat confusion”. Yes, they are board certified – but not in plastic surgery.

Most Common Types of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic plastic surgery may also be used for medical purposes, such as for people who have had accidents, to restore the function of a body part, or to repair scars from surgery.

There are many procedures available, so here is a look at the eight most common types of cosmetic plastic surgery:

1. Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation refers to procedures which increase the size or change the shape of the breasts. When the size of the breast is increased, the procedure may also be called ‘breast implant surgery’. Breast augmentation is not the same as breast lifts or breast reduction, which are actually different types of procedures.

2. Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion uses a specialized tool that gently ‘sands’ down the top layer of skin. Once the top layer of skin has been removed, the area heals and new skin replaces the old. The end result is smoother-looking skin.

Dermabrasion is usually used for:

  • Acne scars
  • Age spots
  • Crow’s feet
  • Growths or lesions on the skin
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Wrinkles

3. Facelift

Facelifts repair sagging, loose, drooping, or wrinkled skin on the face. During this procedure, facial tissues are lifted, excess skin removed, and skin replaced over repositioned contours. Neck lifts are commonly done in conjunction with facelifts.

Other procedures commonly done along with facelifts include nose reshaping, forehead lifts, or eyelid surgery.

4. Hair transplantation

Hair transplantation surgery, also known as hair restoration, is performed to improve the appearance of baldness. In this procedure, hair is moved from an area of thick growth to a bald area.

In a single session, more than a thousand hairs may be moved. Some people may require more than one session. The hairs which are moved are permanent, which means that no long-term care is necessary. Most hair transplants result in successful hair growth after the procedure.

Preparing for Surgery

The type of preparation that will be necessary prior to your surgery will depend on what surgery will be performed and the type of anesthesia that will be administered.

Reconstructive plastic surgery may require multiple procedures done in several stages.

The following are considerations for you to discuss with your physician/surgeon prior to your procedure:

  • Ask the surgeon to explain the benefits, risks, and expectations of the procedure.
  • Discuss what type of anesthesia will be administered and what recovery time is expected.
  • Inform your physician of any medications (over-the-counter or prescription) you are currently taking, as well as any prior procedures, history of chronic illnesses, and/or allergies you may have.
  • Be sure to stop drinking and eating for the recommended time period before and/or after surgery.
  • Be sure to follow any specific pre-operative bathing, shaving, or cleaning instructions.
  • Be sure to discuss any post-operative instructions that need to be followed (i.e., changing dressings, post-op medications, follow-up appointments).
  • Do not wear makeup the day of surgery, including nail polish.
  • Do not wear eye contacts the day of surgery.

Unhappy patients keep plastic surgeons up at night

With so many wonderful patients singing our praises, we should be walking on cloud nine. But the reality is, the small few that are not happy (and may never be) weighs on us far more than all the positive outcomes combined.

During a consultation, we sometimes come across patients who we feel cannot be satisfied and we do our best to identify this group, choosing not to take them as a patient in the first place (and saving ourselves a headache).

But it’s not a reliable system and people slip through the cracks. Despite all our efforts before surgery to make sure a patient’s expectations are realistic and doing what we can to achieve their desired results, we can’t make everyone happy all the time.

Some surgeons aren’t affected by it and seem just to brush it off; others are outright mean and divert the blame on the patient. That’s not how things are handled in my or my partners’ practices. We take it to heart, probably too much, and it can be crushing.

How Much Plastic Surgery Really Hurts

No pain, no gain? Nah. New cosmetic surgery techniques are making going under the knife less uncomfortable. Here, doctors rate the ouch-factor of five popular cosmetic procedures.

Breast Augmentation

Pain Rating: 3 to 5/10

Unlike a breast lift, breast implants are inserted into the body either over or under the chest muscle. Dr. Buford, and many other cosmetic surgeons, tend to place them underneath the muscle for a more natural look—and this technique hurts more. The main discomfort that patients feel is related to stretching of the pectoralis major muscle and the resulting spasm. To reduce pain from the procedure, I perform an Intercostal Nerve Block (an injection) right before the patient wakes up from surgery, which lasts six to eight hours. Once this wears off, the pain fibers are reset and most patients report being able to discontinue prescription pain medication as early as 24 to 48 hours after surgery. And while you’ll probably feel well enough to go back to work after a few days, some mild soreness may linger for a few weeks as your body adjusts to the new implants.


Pain Rating: 3 to 6/10

Like any surgery, liposuction can hurt because it involves tissue injury. But that being said, liposuction is not really a painful procedure. However, having lipo on multiple body parts at one time will leave you more sore than having surgery on just one area (which is why the pain rating here could potentially reach a six).

Eyelid Surgery

Pain rating: 1 to 2/10

Since a blepharoplasty involves tightening up the muscles and skin above the eyes, it will leave you with some swelling and bruising for about a week. But patients are always surprised at how little pain they feel. If you go for a lower lid surgery too, that can increase the pain rating up to a three or four. Often those involve fat grafting to fill in lost volume under the eyes, according to Dr. Bloom. In other words, the doctor will suck fat out of your stomach or thigh and place about a teaspoon of that fat under each eye.

Eye Care Essentials For Computer Users

Things To Look For When Choosing a Good Eye Doctor

How to Choose a Good Eye Doctor?

Choosing an eye doctor is just as important as selecting a general health physician. Your eyes are not only a window to the world, but they also serve as a window to your overall health. Because your eyes are an essential part of everyday life, your choice of a good eye doctor is not one that should be taken lightly. Here are five key things to look for when choosing an eye doctor.

Two Types of Eye Doctors

First off – lets help by giving you a little background on the types of Eye Doctors. Generally speaking eye doctors can be categorized into two different groups; Optometrists and Ophthalmologists.

Which Is Right For You?

It’s a good idea to consider the type of care you need when selecting an eye doctor. For a general eye exam either an ophthalmologist or optometrist will suit your purpose, however if you have a specific eye disease – you may want to consider an ophthalmologist for ongoing care (depending on the issue). In terms of fitting contact lenses and educating you on all the options with regard to glasses, spectacle lenses and contact lenses – Optometrists are typically thought of as the go to professional.

Eye Doctor Availability

When it comes to optometrists – does the practice offer evening and weekend hours of availability? Does the practice have openings within the week of your desired well vision exam?

When it comes to Disease management and Ophthalmology care – it is rare to find a medical doctor with evening and weekend appointments. Here, it is important if you need immediate care to find out if you can be seen fast. Most quality practices will triage your issues and if you are looking for immediate assistance, will work you into their schedule.  Most high quality medical doctors / Ophthalmologists get booked up 2 to 3 weeks in advance but –will make every effort to have you seen ASAP based on your symptoms.

Factors To Look For When Choosing The Right Optometrist

Generally, one would think that with aging, eyesight will begin to deteriorate. But with the advent of smartphones, people are becoming victims of poor vision no matter what their age is. The stress on the eyes and nerves has made it difficult to keep perfect eyesight. There is no point in ignoring any eye problem. Sooner or later, you would have to visit an optometrist. Then why delay the much-needed appointment? The important thing is choosing the right optometrist.

Unwavering Reputation Throughout

What do you do when you look for a new service or product? Read its reviews online, right? This helps you know what is best for you based on other’s opinions. Same goes for choosing the right optometrist for you. Search for optometrist near you and go through the Google reviews.

Go The Referral Route

Before knowing how to choose an optometrist, one should know the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologists. An optometrist would conduct an eye exam and prescribe you glasses and detect eye issues if any. An ophthalmologist, on the other hand, would treat your diseases. Before going for an eye exam, you should be clear on their differences.

Qualifications Matter A Ton

If you have looked through a list of optometrists and are confused as to which one to choose, check for credentials of the optometrists. The qualifications ensure that the optometrist is the right doctor to consult. The doctor should have an eye specialty degree to start with.

Affordability That Adds Convenience

Eye checkups are an important eye exam you should not skip. One needs to check in advance as to what an optometrist charges. It is better than paying through the nose later on.

How to choose an eye doctor

Choosing an eye care provider is an important health care decision. After all, you will be trusting your eye doctor to safeguard your precious sense of sight and help you maintain a lifetime of good vision.

What is an optometrist?

An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists examine eyes for both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some optometrists also provide low vision care and vision therapy.

Optometrists in the United States also are licensed to prescribe medications to treat certain eye problems and diseases. The scope of medical care that can be provided by optometrists is determined by state law. (For details about the scope of practice of optometrists where you live, visit the website of your state’s board of optometry.)

What is an ophthalmologist?

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.

What is an optician?

An optician is not an eye doctor, but opticians are an important part of your eye care team. Opticians use prescriptions written by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist to fit and sell eyeglasses and other eyewear.

Tips for Choosing an Optometrist

Get Referrals

Optometrists give eye exams, prescribe vision-correcting eyeglasses and contact lenses, and diagnose and treat eye diseases and conditions. For more complex conditions or when surgery is necessary, optometrists refer patients to ophthalmologists (medical doctors who treat eyes). If you need a new optometrist, ask your family, friends, and perhaps your primary care doctor for recommendations. Take the time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience on You can also search the American Board of Optometry’s website.

Research the Optometrist’s Credentials

Education tells you an optometrist has the necessary training and skills to treat a variety of vision and eye problems. Optometrists must complete four-year Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degrees, in addition to four years of undergraduate college. Also confirm the optometrist has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You can find the eye doctor’s optometry school, training, certifications, and malpractice and disciplinary history on and state websites.

Consider the Optometrist’s Experience

Experience matters when you’re facing eye problems or conditions that could affect your vision. The more experience an optometrist has with a condition or procedure, the better your results are likely to be. Ask how many patients with your specific condition, such as glaucoma, the optometrist has treated. A few states allow optometrists to perform certain types of eye surgery, such as LASIK. If you need a specific procedure, ask how many of the procedures the optometrist has performed. Ask the eye doctor about complication rates—complications the optometrist has encountered, as well as your own risk of complications.

Evaluate Communication Style

Choose an optometrist with whom you are comfortable talking and who supports your information needs. When you first meet the optometrist, ask a question and notice how he or she responds. Does he or she welcome your questions and answer them in ways you understand? Find an optometrist who shows an interest in getting to know you, who will consider your treatment preferences, and who will respect your decision-making process.

Review Patient Satisfaction Surveys

Reading what other people have to say about an optometrist can provide insight into how a provider practices eye healthcare, as well as how his or her optometry practice is operated. Patient satisfaction surveys typically ask people about their experience with scheduling appointments, wait times, office environment, and office staff friendliness. You can learn about how well patients trust the eye doctor, how much time he or she spends with their patients, and how well he or she answers questions.

How to Choose the Right Eye Doctor

Having regular eye exams is important for keeping your eyes healthy. The first thing you need for an eye test is an eye doctor. With so many of them to choose from, the process can feel a bit overwhelming. Let’s take a look at how you can choose the right eye doctor for you

Optometrist vs. Ophthalmologist

The first step in choosing the right specialist is to understand the different types of eye doctors. An optometrist specializes in diagnosing and treating vision problem and some eye conditions. They are able to prescribe eyeglasses and contacts, vision therapy, low vision aids, and can provide eye care before and after eye surgery. Some optometrists are also able to perform some types of laser surgery.

An ophthalmologist specializes in providing treatments for eye injuries and diseases. They can perform eye surgeries including cataract removal, repairing retinal detachments, and performing lens implants and LASIK surgeries. They also have the ability to prescribe medications. A lot of ophthalmologists also perform eye exams and prescribe eyeglasses and contacts.

Check with Your Insurance Plan

You can contact your insurance company and get a list of eye doctors that are covered under your plan. There will probably be a long list to choose from, so you still need to narrow down your choices further.

Get Recommendations

Talk with your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to see which eye doctors they’ve used and liked. Since most eye doctors accept a wide range of insurance plans, someone is likely to recommend a few that accept your insurance.