What is the difference between an Ophthalmologist and an Optometrist?

The difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist is not common knowledge but choosing an eye care provider is an important healthcare decision.


An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor specializing in eye and vision care who receives twelve or more years of training and education. Ophthalmologists are licensed to practice medicine and surgery and this advanced training gives them the ability to diagnose and treat a wider degree of conditions than optometrists. Since ophthalmologists are medical doctors, they often can be the first one to recognize signs of hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid disease, tumors, autoimmune disease, and more.

“In the eyes, you actually have an unobstructed view of microcirculation when you’re looking at the blood vessels in the retina.  There is nowhere else in the body that you have this direct view, other than surgically, so it’s important for individuals with issues of circulation, like hypertension and diabetes, to have their eyes examined.  This gives the physician a unique window into the disease process,” said TPMG Ophthalmologist Anthony DeRosa, MD.


Alternatively, an optometrist is not a medical doctor and is not trained in systemic diseases. An optometrist receives a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree and provides vision care ranging from vision testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. Optometrists in the United States are licensed to prescribe medications to treat certain eye problems and diseases, and the scope of care is determined by state law.

Other key distinguishing differences include medical versus surgical. An ophthalmologist specializes in comprehensive medical and surgical care of the eyes and vision. An optometrist on the other hand, cannot perform surgery, but can prescribe medications and treat certain eye diseases. States may limit which conditions an optometrist can treat. Additionally, an ophthalmologist may receive fellowship training in a sub-specialty of ophthalmology such as glaucoma, corneal disease, or uveitis.

If you are concerned about your eye health or have been diagnosed with hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid disease, tumors, or an auto-immune disease, make an appointment for an eye exam with an ophthalmologist.


Anthony J. DeRosa, MD

Dr. Anthony DeRosa; Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Ophthalmologist


About Dr. Anthony DeRosa 

Dr. Anthony DeRosa is a board certified ophthalmologist at TPMG – Ophthalmology with over 20 years of experience in the treatment and care of conditions of the eye. He is fellowship-trained in Cornea, External Disease, Uveitis and Refractive Surgery and offers treatment for dry eye syndrome and corneal disease, diagnosis of macular degeneration, and diabetic eye exams.

For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. DeRosa at a TPMG Ophthalmology office in Newport News or Williamsburg, call (757) 223-5321.

Sun Protection is More than Just Simple SPF  

We all think an hour or two in the sun won’t hurt us, a little vitamin D is good for you, right? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, at least 5 million cases of skin cancer happen each year. In fact, it’s the most common cancer in the U.S. with 1 in 5 Americans developing skin cancer in their lifetime.   

How to protect your skin  

Protecting your skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays plays an important role in reducing your risk of developing skin cancer. Preventative measures include using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, avoiding prolonged sun exposure between peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., wearing a broad-brimmed hat, wearing protective clothing, and reapplying sunscreen.  

Wear sunscreen every day regardless of if it’s sunny or not; remember the sun’s out every single day and the UV rays do penetrate through the clouds, says TPMG board certified dermatologist Valerie Harvey, MD, MPH, FAAD. 

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Ear infections in children

What Parents Should Know About Ear Infections in Children

Many parents know how concerning it is when their child starts to complain about an earache. Ear infections are one of the most common reasons for a children’s doctors visit. An ear infection is medically known as Otitis Media (OM), which is inflammation of the middle ear and can occur as a result of a cold, sore throat, or other upper respiratory infection. Typically caused by bacteria, this condition affects 80% of children, who have at least one episode by age 3.

What causes ear infections in children?

The high prevalence of ear infections among children is due to several reasons. Eustachian tubes in children are smaller than adults, which can make it difficult to drain fluid out of the ear. Additionally, children’s immune systems are weaker making it harder to fight infection.

Ear infections in children

What are the factors associated with a higher risk of childhood ear infections?

Factors that may increase your child’s risk of developing ear infections include second-hand smoke exposure, family history of ear infections, sub-optimal immune system, daycare attendance, absence of breastfeeding, frequent colds, bottle feeding at night or while the child is on his or her back. Read more

May Is Women's Eye Health Month

Eye Health for Women – Risk Factors and Common Eye Diseases

Why Eye Care Should Be a Top Priority for Women

With so many daily concerns, eye health may fall straight to the bottom of your list. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 61 million U.S. adults are at high risk for vision loss, and only half have visited an eye doctor in the past twelve months.

While it is normal to notice changes in your vision and buy a pair of “readers” to get you through, don’t forget your ophthalmologist when making your doctors’ appointments this year.

Early detection is the best way to help preserve and prevent the development of common eye disease. The American Academy of Ophthalmology urges everyone to make eye health a top priority, but especially women who tend to have a higher risk of eye disease than men.

“Of all patients with macular degeneration (AMD), roughly 65 percent are women, but that’s largely because macular degeneration becomes more common as we age and women live longer than men,” said TPMG board-certified ophthalmologist Anthony DeRosa, MD.

May Is Women's Eye Health Month

May is Women’s Eye Health Month. On average women are at a higher risk for developing eye diseases than men.

Common Risks in Women

On average women are living longer than men and experience certain eye problems with age. There is also a clear gender difference in dry eye disease: women are much more likely to develop it than men because it’s often hormonally influenced. Women are also more prone to develop auto-immune diseases, which can affect your eyes as well.

Pregnancy can also affect vision as pregnant women tend to retain fluid and their corneas can change in shape, creating blurry vision. There’s also a risk of preeclampsia (1 in 20 pregnancies) and elevated blood pressure, which can cause damage to women’s retinas.

Additionally, women with diabetes are 50 times more at risk of developing eye disease than those without diabetes. Eye disease conditions associated with diabetes include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. Read more

New Imaging Technology Brings Better Diagnosis to Patients

TPMG Tidewater Medical Center at New Town in Williamsburg, Virginia has recently acquired a new piece of imaging equipment, the OEC 9800 C-arm. This advanced technology allows TPMG physicians to perform a variety of imaging tests including arthrograms, a radiological test used in conjunction with an MRI to better diagnose patients with joint conditions.

What is an Arthrogram?

An arthrogram is a type of medical imaging test that looks at joints using a specialized contrast dye, which is injected into the patient’s joint and then seeps into tears making them visible. This dye allows for enhanced imaging of ligaments and cartilage in the affected joint area. Once the contrast dye is inserted, the image is captured and then sent to an orthopedic surgeon for review. At a follow-up appointment diagnosis and treatment options are discussed.


At TPMG this procedure is done at the Williamsburg Procedure Suite, conveniently located in the New Town area of Williamsburg, and is a low-cost alternative to local hospitals and surgery centers. Prior to having this technology on-site in Williamsburg, this procedure could lead to a visit at a nearby hospital lasting anywhere from four to six hours. Read more

Local Area Pediatrician Joins TPMG James River Pediatrics in Newport News

Newport News, VA, March 11, 2019 – TPMG is proud to announce the expansion of their pediatric office, James River Pediatrics, with the addition of local area pediatrician, Dr. Carol M. Steiner. The practice is accepting new patients.

Carol Steiner, MD

Carol M. Steiner, MD, FAAP

“As the practice continues to grow, we’re excited to welcome Dr. Steiner to our care team to meet the growing needs of the community,” said Dr. Joseph Baust, Jr., founding physician and managing partner of TPMG James River Pediatrics.

Steiner earned her medical degree from Georgetown University and completed internship and residency training through David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California. Steiner is board certified in pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

After returning from international appointments as a staff pediatrician with the United States Air Force, Steiner practiced at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton for 10 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force Reserve. Prior to joining TPMG, she worked at pediatric offices throughout Hampton Roads.

“I’m very excited to join TPMG and Dr. Baust at James River Pediatrics. We share the same vision, passion, and joy for doing all we can for our patients,” said Steiner. Read more

2019 Physician Lecture Series Begins in Newport News, VA

Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group (TPMG), a local medical group of more than 220 providers and 70 locations throughout Hampton Roads, is proud to present their 2019 Physician Lecture Series. The series features physicians across a variety of medical specialties speaking on topics ranging from skin cancer to treatments for back pain. 

Dr. Jason Browder

Jason Browder, DO

The first lecture will be held at the TPMG Omni Campus, conveniently located adjacent to City Center in Newport News on March 6 at 5:30 p.m. The speaker, Jason Browder, DO, board certified internal medicine physician, will be discussing natural treatments for back pain utilizing osteopathic medicine therapies such as Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM) and prolotherapy
Upcoming lectures will focus on the following topics: “Skin Cancer 101” by Valerie Harvey, MD, MPH, board certified dermatologist, “Rezum Therapy – Minimally Invasive Treatment for BPH” from board certified urologist, David M. Hartke, MD, and fellowship trained interventional pain treatment specialist, Christopher A. Dawson, MD, speaking on “Advanced Treatment of Spine Pain”.
Lectures will be given monthly through December and held in the Education and Training Room of the TPMG Omni Campus located at 11761 Rock Landing Boulevard. A complete schedule of the 2019 Physician Lecture Series topics and speakers can be found at MyTPMG.com/LectureSeries. Registration for all lectures is now open. Read more

Newport News and Williamsburg Mammogram Appointments Available Saturday, March 9

Newport News, VA, February 1, 2019 – TPMG Imaging and Breast Centers in Newport News and Williamsburg will offer mammogram appointments on Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We understand how difficult it can be to fit a preventative screening appointment into an already busy schedule.” said Janae Johnson, MD, board-certified and fellowship-trained breast imaging radiologist. “We hope offering extended mammogram appointments will not only encourage this life-saving testing, but ease some of the burden in receiving this important service.”

According to BreastCancer.org, about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. “Currently, there is no way to prevent breast cancer, so we strive to find it early when it is most treatable. Screening mammograms are the gold standard, the best first tool in the fight against breast cancer.” Read more

Meet the Trainer – Eric Clark

Eric Clark is a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist at TPMG Strive Fitness and Performance in Williamsburg. He specializes in weight loss, conditioning, sport-specific training/athletic development and more. We recently caught up with Eric to learn more about his approach to fitness and training.

Eric Clark

Eric Clark, Certified Personal Trainer

How or why did you get started in the fitness/wellness industry?

I’ve always been involved with fitness because of my love for sports.  I’ve played sports for as long as I can remember and the more I advanced, the more I became interested in the body and how to make it stronger in order to compete at a higher level; while also making it functional for comfortable everyday living.
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Meet the Trainer – Samantha Douglas

Samantha Douglas is a fitness specialist at TPMG Strive Fitness and Performance in Williamsburg, VA. Learn more about Samantha, her approach to fitness, and what she enjoys most about personal training.

Williamsburg Fitness Specialists, Samantha Douglas

Samantha Douglas, Fitness Specialist

How or why did you get started in the fitness/wellness industry?

I started gaining an interest in the Fitness and Wellness industry when I was 16 years old. I had been a competitive dancer for 5 years and was going through knee, wrist, and hip pain. I was also studying nursing in high school at the time, and so learning about human anatomy and health while going through physical therapy and being in tune with my body as a dancer, I knew I wanted to pursue something in the health and wellness field. I also love taking care of people and helping them in that aspect. Read more