Your eyes are the window to your soul and for you to see the beauty of the world. The eyes also help doctors gauge the overall health of a person, wherein the signs can reflect systemic disease, including high blood pressure or hypertension, liver disease, and diabetes.
However, when there’s something wrong with your vision, you need an expert ophthalmologist to help you.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, an ophthalmologist refers to a medically trained physician or osteopathic doctor specializing in eye care and improvement of vision.
An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats eye conditions and prescribes eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as dispenses medications and performs eye surgery. But how do you find a good ophthalmologist?
In this post, we’ll share some helpful tips to help you find the best ophthalmologist in Bonita Springs, FL. Let’s get started!
1- Research the Credentials
Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists. Optometrists undergo 7 to 8 years of education and training and are licensed to conduct eye exams and vision tests, they are usually a consultant on an eyeglasses website and are seen in glasses and contacts sale centers. Here are the educational background and training to become an ophthalmologist:
- The education and training requirement is 12 to 15 years
- It includes an undergraduate study and medical school, which is followed by a 1-year internship, 3 to 4 years of residency training, and 1 to 2 years of fellowship training.
- M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) designation added after the name
When choosing a trusted and reputable ophthalmologist, consider checking the board certification of the doctor. It shows that the ophthalmologist has the necessary training and experience to provide the best ophthalmic care for you.
You can confirm that your prospective ophthalmologist has no history of disciplinary actions or malpractice claims on state websites.
2- Consider the Experience
Because your vision is at stake, it’s crucial to choose an ophthalmologist who is experienced to perform the treatment you need, most especially eye surgery. Experience matters a lot when you are facing an eye condition that can affect your vision.
The better the results are if you let an experienced ophthalmologist handle the procedure. Here are some tips when considering the experience of an ophthalmologist:
- Ask the number of patients the ophthalmologist has treated with the same condition as yours
- Ask the number of procedures the ophthalmologist has performed
- Find out about the success and complication rates the ophthalmologist has encountered
- Ask about your risk of complications
3- Research the Clinic or Hospital Quality
Your doctor’s clinic or hospital is also your hospital. That’s why it’s important to consider the quality of facility and service at the clinic, ambulatory surgery center, or hospital where the ophthalmologist treats patients. Here are some of the benefits of researching the quality of the treatment facility:
- Fewer complications because of the sterility of the operating room and the cleanliness of the environment are maintained
- Better patient survival rates because of state-of-the-art equipment and facilities
4- Review Patient Testimonials and Satisfaction Surveys
Get an insight into how an ophthalmologist practices medicine by reading what previous patients say about the doctor. Check review sites and patient satisfaction surveys to find out their experience with the following areas:
– Clinic location and branches. It’s best to choose an ophthalmologist from your local area in Bonita Springs, FL, so you can easily visit the clinic or hospital as needed.
– Appointment scheduling. Find out if the ophthalmologist utilizes an app to schedule patients, via phone call, email, and other methods that are suitable and convenient for you.
– Wait times. Knowing the demand for the doctor’s services, peak hours when patients flock from the clinic, and the doctor’s schedule will avoid long wait times.
– Office staff friendliness. It pertains to the manner in which the receptionist or other staff treat patients, showing value to their time and effort.
– Professional fees. Get a rough idea of the professional fee and treatment charges of the ophthalmologist.
5- Get Referrals
You can get a referral list from a primary doctor or your optometrist. Also, you can ask family and friends, as well as healthcare providers for good recommendations. Take note that there are many subspecialties or specializations of ophthalmologists such as the treatment of glaucoma, corneal disease, or retinal disease treatment.
Once you’re able to research for your prospective ophthalmologist, you can make the final decision and entrust your vision to an eye expert. By doing so, you have peace of mind that the procedure will be successful, with fewer or no complications and proper continuity of eye care.