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Optometrists provide public health services in vision care. They examine eyes to diagnose vision problems and ocular disease (pertaining to the eye). They prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses and recommend treatment such as exercises to correct vision problems or ocular disorders.
Optometrists should not be confused with Ophthalmologists or dispensing opticians. Ophthalmologists are physicians who diagnose eye disease and injuries and treat problems with surgery or drugs. Like an Optometrist, they also examine eyes and can prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. Dispensing Opticians fit and adjust eyeglasses and may fit contact lenses according to prescriptions written by an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.
Basic Educational Requirement
Holders of a degree in Doctor of Optometry and passers of the licensesure exam for Optometrist conducted by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) can qualify for the job of Optometrist.
Skills and Competency Requirements
Physical Attributes and Characteristics
A licensed Optometrist working in the government service has a salary grade of 11(P10,535) and 15 (P13,250) (Optometrist 1 and 2, respectively), while those in private practice can earn as much as P25,000 to P 40,000 depending on their qualification and experience.
Prospects for Career Advancement
To become an Ophthalmologist is the next level for an Optometrist's career advancement. This requires further study and specialization on eye surgery.
Industry sources suggest that the demand for optometric services is likely to continue into the foreseeable future primarily in response to an aging population. Most optometrists work in healthcare and social assistance, others have their own clinics.
Cost of Education *
Completion of a degree in Optometry may cost approximately P450,000.
* Based on tuition fee rates for school year 2007-2008
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