Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, and Occupational Therapists

Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, and Occupational Therapists

Do you need to schedule an eye appointment, but feel confused about which type of provider to see? In this blog we will explain what these eye care professionals do, help you find the best provider for your needs, and introduce you to the amazing staff at Mountain View Eye Center!


An Optometrist is an eye doctor who went to college, then to optometry school, where they obtained a 4 year degree as a Doctor of Optometry. 

Optometrists are primarily responsible for routine eye care, such as eye exams and vision tests. They treat conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and presbyopia, and they diagnose and manage diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes. Optometrists do prescribe medications, but do not perform surgical procedures. If you need a routine eye exam, or you have an eye infection or injury, you would most likely need to see an Optometrist. These eye doctors can diagnose and treat many conditions, but may refer you to an Ophthalmologist if further care is necessary.


An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who went to college, then to medical school. Additionally, an ophthalmologist spent 3 years in residency, and 1 year in internship. 

Ophthalmologists manage eye disease and perform surgery. They treat such conditions as Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, Diabetes and more. Ophthalmologists prescribe medication, perform injections, and perform surgery. You may need to see an Ophthalmologist if you have a medical eye disease, require surgery, or have an eye injury. You may also be referred to an Ophthalmologist by an Optometrist. 


Opticians are responsible for fitting and dispensing eyewear. They may be certified through the American Board of Opticians, and Licensed if required by state. Some opticians attend school to obtain a diploma, others receive training on the job. 

Opticians interpret a doctor’s written prescription to fit and dispense glasses or contact lenses. They are responsible for selecting frames and lenses, taking measurements, edging lenses to insert into frames, and fitting and repairing eyewear. These eye care professionals are not doctors. 

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.

In an eye care setting, an occupational therapist assists people living with visual impairment participate in activities of daily life and become more independent. 

Our Providers


Katherine Johnson M.D. F.A.C.S 

A certified Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology, Dr. Katherine Johnson began her education by graduating with honors from Harvard University. She received her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and completed her specialty training in Ophthalmology at the renowned Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida—an institution which continues to be ranked the #1 eye hospital and #1 residency training program in the nation by US News and World Report and Ophthalmology Times. Dr. Johnson has established herself as a highly motivated and caring physician, dedicating six months to treating patients in rural Mexico, and additionally working with the Seva Foundation to perform cataract surgery in rural Nepal. In 2013, Dr. Johnson co-founded the Prevention of Global Blindness Fellowship and the international non-profit Gift of Sight, a platform designed to further assist the cause of treating preventable blindness across the globe. Dr. Johnson has been accepted as a Fellow into the American College of Surgeons, and has received the Visionary Award for her tireless dedication to the cause of treating and curing preventable blindness around the world. She has also been named one of Alaska’s Top Forty Under Forty.


Eric Noll O.D. FAAO

Dr. Eric Noll graduated from Pennsylvania State University with his bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and followed it with Optometry school at Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Immediately after school he was honored to spend six years as an active duty Air Force optometrist and was exposed to many different aspects of eye care including contact lens, sports vision training, and medical pathology. During this time he also completed his Fellowship from the American Academy of Optometry and is completing an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. While his active duty time is up, he still serves in the Air Force Reserve in Anchorage. Outside of work, Dr. Noll spends as much time traveling in the mountains or with his dogs as possible.


Emily Osenga, ABOC

Emily Osenga is a certified optician with more than eighteen years of experience. She started her career in the Rocky Mountains in 1996 as an optometry technician. She soon began working under a Master Optician. In 2005 she obtained her ABOC. It was then that she discovered her personal love of high-end fashion frames and she dedicated herself to finding eyewear tailored both to her patients’ lifestyle and visual needs. Emily relocated to Alaska in 2014 when she joined the team at Mountain View Optical Shoppe. She now brings her years of experience and enthusiasm for high-quality eye care to benefit our patients. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cross-country skiing, cooking, and traveling.

Jeanette Robinson, ABOC

Jeanette Robinson is a certified optician that joined our optical shop with 14 years of experience. She started her career here in Fairbanks working and learning under master optician, Jim Rothmeyer. Jeanette earned her certification through the American Board of Opticianry in 2009. With a passion for frame styling and helping her patients, Jeanette was a natural choice to become our new optical manager. In her spare time, she enjoys staying active, reading, and spending time with family.


Samantha Anderson, ABOC

Samantha Anderson is an Alaska State Licensed Optician and is ABO certified with more than eleven years of experience. She began her career in a fast-paced Ophthalmic clinic in Fairbanks in 2009. She quickly learned that her passion was working with children and helping her patients with their eye care needs. Sammi says seeing their faces light up from new glasses never gets old. She is always looking for a challenge to acquire more knowledge. She now brings her years of experience to benefit our patients. In her spare time she loves fly fishing, painting, and spending quality time with her son and spouse.

Occupational Therapist

Susan Guritz, OTR/L, SCLV

Susan graduated with honors from the University of Alaska, earning undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education and Psychology and later completing her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Colorado State University. Susan especially enjoys working with older adults and has occupational therapy experience in hospital, skilled nursing and home health settings; through this experience she learned what an impact low vision can have on a person’s daily life. When she learned that Dr. Katherine Johnson was looking for an occupational therapist to address this need in our community, Susan was excited for the opportunity. Susan has earned a graduate certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation from the University of Alabama and has achieved Specialty Certification in Low Vision through the American Occupational Therapy Association. In her spare time, Susan enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, hiking and spending time with family.


We hope this blog helps to clear up the differences between Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, and Occupational Therapists. If you need an eye exam, would like to order glasses, or are interested in occupational therapy, please call or text (907) 328-2920. Our friendly and helpful staff will schedule you with the appropriate provider for your needs. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog, and we hope you will read all of the entries on our website at www.mountainvieweyes.com/blog.

Posted in: Alaska Ophthalmology, Eye Doctor in Alaska, Eye Health Guide, Uncategorized

Request Appointment

(907) 328-2920

Get Directions

Fairbanks, AK

Blog Posts

VUITY™ Eye Drops for Presbyopia

VUITY™ Eye Drops for Presbyopia You may have heard the news about a new eye care drop called VUITY™. This prescription medication was recently approved to treat age-related Blurry Near Vision (presbyopia) in adults, and it is the only medication ...Read More »

Request an

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Mountain View Eye Center
2555 Phillips Field Rd – Fairbanks, AK 99709
Fax: 907-456-2914

Connect with us:

Clinic Hours

Mon-Fri: 8am – 5pm
Sat / Sun: Closed

Optical Hours

Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30
Sat / Sun: Closed