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The B.C. Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons is the non-profit professional association that represents the ophthalmologists of BC, who make up the Section of Ophthalmology within the B.C. Medical Association.

Know your O's

Ophthalmologists are medical doctors (physicians) who, after completing medical school (4 years in general), then complete an internship, followed by 4 to 6 years of residency and fellowship training in ophthalmology.  They train 12 months per year, and during their training provide thousands of hours of on-call services. They are specifically trained in general medical care, as well as all aspects of diagnosing and treating ophthalmic disease medically, surgically, and with lasers.  In order to be licensed in British Columbia, they must pass Medical Council of Canada exams, undergo five years of residency training at an accredited university program and pass the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada specialty exams.  

Optometrists complete a four-year university program in optometry that involves examining eyes, recognizing diseases of the eye, dispensing glasses and contact lenses.  Some of the newer graduates spend time studying some pharmacology and doing some work in clinical settings.  Optometrists are not medical doctors. 

Opticians design and dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision aids and prosthetic ocular devices. Automated refracting opticians receive extra training to provide automated refraction services which calculate how well your eyes focus. Opticians are not medical doctors.

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