We recommend that rather than searching for “best”, or any other broad generic term, you search for an eye doctor based on your specific need. In other words, if you are a contact lens wearer have you considered using Google to search for specialty contact lenses? Even if you do not currently wear specialty contact lenses, it is fair to assume that an eye doctor who has experience with, and regularly fits, specialty contact lenses is likely to be the “best “ at fitting contact lenses. This is an important consideration if you are a contact lens wearer. Why go to any eye doctor who is not the best at what they do?
Google search algorithms can quickly identify eye doctors with advanced training, which is a more accurate search than “best eye doctor”. When using Google, search for residency trained eye doctors. Residency training is one of the most reliable search filters available. Doctors accepted into residency programs much complete a rigorous application and interview process before acceptance into a residency program. Few optometrists complete residency training. Those who have not completed residency training lack the concentrated, advanced training to care for pediatrics patients, individuals with more complex vision problems, binocular vision dysfunction, or specialty contact lens care.
If you are looking for a new eye doctor, we encourage you to do your research. It is important that you base your search criteria on your specific needs. Be specific, target your search. Avoid using generic or broad based terms on Google. Google is most effective when using well thought out, targeted searches for specific words or terms.
However, do not rely on Google searches alone. Once you've completed your Google search, make a phone call to the doctor's office. Ask specific questions about the doctor's training following graduation. What type of training has the doctor completed? Is the doctor residency trained? Where did the doctor complete this training? What type of certification did the doctor receive? Is the doctor a Fellow of any professional organization? Who will be taking your medical history, the eye doctor or a technician? Who will be doing your visual acuity testing, the eye doctor or a technician? Who will be doing your refraction for the glasses prescription, the eye doctor or a technician? Who will be doing your contact lens fitting, the eye doctor or a technician?
Remember, you are paying for the eye examination and ultimately your time with the doctor. It is important that you have a clear understanding, before visiting the office, about what type of vision care you can expect to receive. If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. An office with qualified eye doctors and a well trained staff can answer any questions you may have.
Check out Part 1 for more information on optometrists and ophthalmologists.
Check out Part 2 where we discussed the specific factors that should influence the type of eye doctor that you see.