Italian Language/medical terms

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Question
Dear Maria,

Would you please tell me if the following is correct or not:  

oculista  =  ophthalmologist        

(In USA - an "ophthalmologist" is a medical doctor who can deliver total eye care including eye exams, prescribes glasses, treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgery)   

optometrista  =   optometrist        

(In USA - an "optometrist" a doctor of optometry  (not a medical doctor)  who performs eye exams, prescribes glasses, and may treat eye diseases, but cannot perform eye surgery)



ottico  =  optician         

(In USA  - An "optician" is a person who sells glasses and trained to make sure they fit    correctly but cannot examine eyes)   


I was also wondering how to refer to an optometrist’s office.  

I understand that “studio oculistico” refers to the office of an “oculista” (ophthalmologist), but how does one refer to the office of an “optometrista” (optometrist)?

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

In Italy  the “oculista”  is just the ophthalmologist, i.e.  a medical doctor who can deliver total eye care including eye exams, prescribe glasses, treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgery, as you say,  while  the “optometrista” (optometrist)  is a doctor of optometry  (not a medical doctor) who performs eye exams, prescribes glasses, but cannot treat eye diseases nor perform eye surgery. Finally, the  “ottico” (optician) is a person whose job is fitting and selling glasses and contact lenses to correct sight problems, but cannot examine people's eyes.

So, in a kind of scale of values the person of highest rank  is the “oculista” which is a specialist, i.e.  a doctor who has special training in and knowledge of a particular area of medicine.  The” optometrista”, who is not a medical doctor, comes second and lastly there is the “ottico” who is a technician, i.e. a worker trained with special skills in fitting and selling glasses and contact lenses.

Moreover I have to specify that in Italy the “oculista” must have an advanced university degree in medicine (laurea in medicina, 5-6 years) and a postgraduate certificate in ophthalmology (3 years), whereas the “optometrista” has only a first university degree in optometry (diploma di laurea triennale in optometria) and the “ottico” has no university degree, but only  a high school diploma.

As for an optometrist’s office, in Italy we say “studio optometrico” which sometimes can be associated with a “studio oculistico”.

Best regards,

Maria

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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