Finding an Eye Care Professional
By the National Eye Institute
Eye Diseases and Disorders Series - LPR Staff Project - February 7, 2005
(This article is for information purposes only. Always consult your doctor for medical advice.)
The following is an abridgement of an article that was provided courtesy of the National Eye Institute. A complete, printed copy of this article, as well as a other free publications offered by the NEI, can be ordered via their NEI Publications Catalog.
Finding an Eye Care Professional
By the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health
The National Eye Institute does not provide referrals or recommend specific eye care professionals. However, you may wish to consider the following ways of finding a professional to provide your eye care.
- Ask family members and friends about eye care professionals they use.
- Ask your family doctor for the name of a local eye care specialist.
- Call the department of ophthalmology or optometry at a nearby hospital or university medical center.
- Contact a state or county association of ophthalmologists or optometrists. These groups, usually called academies or societies, may have lists of eye care professionals with specific information on specialty and experience.
- Contact your insurance company or health plan to learn whether it has a list of eye care professionals that are covered under your plan.
At a bookstore or library, check on available journals and books about choosing a physician and medical treatment. A library reference specialist can help you identify books on finding health care professionals. Here are some examples:
For More Information
- Most large libraries have the reference set The ABMS Compendium of Certified Medical Professionals, which lists board-certified ophthalmologists, each with a small amount of biographical information.
- Each year usually in August the magazine U.S. News and World Report features an article that rates hospitals in the United States.
- The Consumer's Guide to Top Doctors provides a state-by-state listing of medical specialists most frequently mentioned in a survey of doctors.
- The American Academy of Ophthalmology coordinates FIND AN OPHTHALMOLOGIST an on-line listing of member ophthalmologists practicing in the United States and abroad. This service is designed to help the general public locate ophthalmologists within a specific region. Website: http://www.aao.org/eyemd_disclaimer.cfm.
- The American Optometric Association offers Dr. Locator, an online listing of member optometrists. This service is designed to help the general public locate optometrists within a specific region. Website: http://www.aoa.org.
- The International Society of Refractive Surgery maintains comprehensive directory of surgeons around the world who are currently performing refractive surgery. Telephone: (415) 561-8581. Website: http://www.locateanisrsdoctor.com/.
- The Blue Book of Optometrists and The Red Book of Ophthalmologists, now available online, can be used to find doctors in U.S. Puerto Rico, and Canada. This resource is helpful when you know the doctor's name, but need contact information. Website: http://www.eyefind.com/.
- Administrators in Medicine and the Association of State Medical Board Executive Directors have launched DocFinder, an online database that helps consumers learn whether any malpractice actions have been taken against a particular doctor. The site provides links to the licensing boards in the participating states. Website: http://www.docboard.org/.
- The American Association of Eye and Ear Hospitals (AAEEH) is comprised of the premier centers for specialized eye and ear procedures in the world. Association members are major referral centers that offer some of the most innovative teaching programs, and routinely treat the most severely ill eye and ear patients. Telephone: (703-243-8848). A list of member facilities is available online at http://www.aaeeh.org/locations.html.
- The American Medical Association's Physician Select provides basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States and its territories. You can limit your search to include only ophthalmologists. Website: http://dbapps.ama-assn.org/aps/amahg.htm.
- WebMD Health-Find a Doctor allows the public to search a national database of over 500,000 physicians for the purpose of finding a doctor who meets specific needs. Website: http://my.webmd.com/member_services/find_a_physician/find_a_doctor/default.htm.
The National Eye Institute (NEI) conducts and supports research that leads to sight-saving treatments and plays a key role in reducing visual impairment and blindness. The NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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