What’s the Difference Between an Ophthalmologist and an Optometrist?

Ophthalmologists and optometrists each play an important role in providing eyecare.

What Is an Ophthalmologist?

lance kugler md performing lasik surgery

An ophthalmologist is a doctor of medicine who specializes in the eye, vision care, and eye surgeries. Our ophthalmologist, Lance Kugler, MD, specializes in refractive surgery.

An ophthalmologist:

  • is a doctor of medicine
  • has completed undergraduate college, medical school, a residency program, and often subspecialty training
  • performs eye surgery

Our Ophthalmologist, Lance Kugler, trained across four states:

  • undergraduate degree in Greencastle, IN
  • doctor of medicine in Cleveland, OH
  • residency training in ophthalmology in Omaha, NE
  • refractive surgery fellowship in Nashville, TN

At Kugler Vision in Omaha, Lance Kugler, MD serves as our refractive surgeon. He says:

“Refractive surgery is much more than a job to me – it’s a passion. It is a tremendous privilege to spend my days combining skills, expertise, and incredible technology in order to make lives better for people. At Kugler Vision, we believe that a life without the barriers of glasses or contact lenses is a better life, and we are dedicated to helping our patients reach their maximum potential.”

What Is an Optometrist?

doctor hiatt giving an eye exam

An optometrist is a doctor of optometry specializing in eye and vision care. Our optometrist, Mollie Hiatt, provides comprehensive eye care, along with pre- and post-operative care.    

An optometrist:

  • Is a doctor of optometry
  • has completed undergraduate college and optometry school
  • does not do surgery

Our Optometrist, Mollie Hiatt, trained across two states:

  • undergraduate degree in Omaha, NE
  • doctor of optometry in Bloomington, IN

Dr. Hiatt says:

“Refractive surgery changes our patients’ lives for the better. I appreciate our patients and having the opportunity to provide quality care for them before and after they go  through a life-changing experience.”

If you have additional questions, please call 402.558.2211.

kugler vision doctor lance kugler

Lance Kugler, MD is the Founder and Physician CEO of Kugler Vision in Omaha, Nebraska. Following a year of specialty training, during which he performed over 1300 refractive surgical procedures, Dr. Kugler returned to Omaha to bring the latest state-of-the-art LASIK and cataract surgery technology to Nebraska. Dr. Kugler serves as Director of Refractive Surgery for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he is in charge of resident education and research programs to advance the field of refractive surgery.

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One Comment

Chris Winters

I had no idea that ophthalmologists were doctors of medicine. I have noticed that my vision has sharply declined these past couple of months. I better find an ophthalmologist to see if there are any treatment options.


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