When you refer to an “eye doctor” you might be thinking about an Optometrist but could be referring to an Ophthalmologist. An Ophthalmologist is a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.). Ophthalmologists are licensed to practice medicine, perform surgery, and perform all tasks Optometrists do including diagnosing and treating eye diseases, giving eye exams, and writing eyeglasses or contact prescriptions.
Becoming an Ophthalmologist requires graduation from an accredited medical school and a license. After completing medical school, graduates enter internship or residency that may last several years depending on the specialty chosen.