Statement by Dr. Sarah Wellik, President of the Florida Society of Ophthalmology:
“On behalf of the Florida Society of Ophthalmology (FSO), I would like to thank members of the Florida House and Senate that worked very hard this session to protect the citizens of Florida by ensuring that dangerous optometric surgery legislation did not pass.
House Bill 631 and its companion, Senate Bill 876, would have allowed optometrists— who are neither medical doctors nor trained surgeons— to perform dangerous and invasive surgeries without ever going to medical school. Furthermore, it would have provided the Florida Board of Optometry— a regulatory board lacking any medical doctors or surgeons— complete autonomous authority to determine any and all surgeries optometrists could perform with negligible training consisting of as little as a 32-hour weekend course.
The FSO will continue to stand firm that surgery and injections in, on and around the eye should only be performed by an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor and eye surgeon, who has the extensive education, training, and clinical experience to safely treat and perform surgery.
We thank the many medical doctors and medical associations who stood with us this legislative session and who helped us put the needs of patients first.”
Visit SafeSurgeryFL.com to more information.
About the Florida Society of Ophthalmology
The Florida Society of Ophthalmology (FSO) has a rich history of serving patients since its founding in 1939 as the Florida Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology. Today, the organization represents more than 500 physician members throughout the state and is focused on advancing patient care and protecting the medical specialty of ophthalmology. For more information, please visit the FSO website at www.mdeye.org.