Finding an Eye Care Professional

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.

You can:

  • 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:

  • 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.

For More Information

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology coordinates “Find an Eye MD” an online 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. This service is available via website:
  • The American Board of Ophthalmology offers referrals to certified ophthalmologists and provides physician verification of certification to the public free-of-charge by phone. For information call the Board office at 610-664-1175.
  • The American Board of Optometry provides an online “Find a Board-Certified Optometrist” database of optometrists who have demonstrated professional commitment through the Board’s rigorous examination and Maintenance of Certification processes. The service allows searches by optometrist name, office address, and state. It is available at
  • The American Optometric Association offers “Find an Optometrist”, an online listing of member optometrists. This service is designed to help the general public locate optometrists within a specific region. This service is available via website:
  • The International Society of Refractive Surgery maintains comprehensive directory of surgeons around the world who are currently performing refractive surgery. Offers “Find a Refractive Surgeon” service on their website:
  • Administrators in Medicine 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. This service is available via website: .
  • The American Medical Association 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. This service is available via website:
  • WebMD Physician Directory allows the public to search a national database for the purpose of finding a doctor who meets specific needs. Website:
    Last Reviewed: 
    March 2015