Senate Bill 1406 Would Allow Optometrists to Perform
And to Treat All Medical Eye Disease
WITHOUT EVER GOING TO MEDICAL SCHOOL!
TAKE ACTION to OPPOSE SB 1406
A bill that SERIOUSLY THREATENS PATIENT SAFETY, sponsored in the state senate by organized optometry.
Aside from eliminating ALL current restrictions on medications an optometrist can prescribe and eliminating ALL referral requirements to an ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) currently in place to protect patients, SB 1406 would allow optometrists to treat ALL disorders of the visual system and do "minor" surgery "not requiring general anesthesia" as authorized by the Board of Optometry. As written, the legislation could (and would) permit NEARLY ALL ophthalmic surgical procedures, including:
LASIK, CATARACT & GLAUCOMA SURGERY, EYELID & RETINAL/VITREOUS SURGERY, DELICATE LASER PROCEDURES
Optometrists are NOT medical doctors (M.D.s) and have NOT gone through medical school or surgical residency training.
Ophthalmologists are physicians and surgeons (MDs) who attend medical school and undergo, on average, TWICE the number of years of professional training as optometrists (ODs, who attend schools of optometry). Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in all aspects of eye health and the eye's unique connections to human physiology and disease. Ophthalmologists coordinate care with primary care physicians, endocrinologists, rheumatologists, cardiologists, oncologists, neurologists, pediatricians, emergency physicians, anesthesiologists, and other medical professionals. They provide primary eye care services including eye exams and prescribe medications and perform surgical procedures, such as laser surgery and lens replacement.
Optometrists provide routine, primary vision care. They examine eyes to detect vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, and diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma. They also test patients' depth and color perception, as well as their ability to focus and coordinate eye function. (Both the law and moral ethics require optometrist to refer patients to ophthalmologists when certian medical and surgical conditions are detected.) They prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, and in some states administer and prescribe medications to help diagnose vision problems and treat certain eye disease.
Ophthalmologist Optometrist Professional Education Medical School Optometry School (4 years, M.D. degree) (4 years, O.D. degree) Internship YES (1 year) NO Residency YES (3 years) NO (Rarely, up to 1 year) Fellowship (Subspecialty) Available (1-2 years, Common) NO Total Length of Training 8-10 YEARS 4 YEARS (Rarely, up to 5 Years)
Help stand up for patient safety by OPPOSING this bill.