Surgery Belongs in the Hands of Surgeons

Surgery Belongs in the Hands of Surgeons

HB36 is a piece of legislation that is currently under study in North Carolina. This bill would open the door for non-surgeons to begin performing surgery in North Carolina. Allowing optometrists, who lack medical school and surgical training, to perform eye surgeries, puts your health in jeopardy.

Stop HB36

What is the difference between an Ophthalmologist and an Optometrist?

An Ophthalmologist is a trained medical doctor who has earned a medical degree and is certified to perform surgeries. Ophthalmologists undergo the rigor of surgical training and are qualified to perform surgery.

An Optometrist is a licensed professional who is qualified to provide prescriptions for corrective lenses. Optometrists are not required to go to medical school and are not considered medical doctors.


  • Required to undergo 17,000+ hours of training
  • 4 years of college
  • 4 years of medical school
  • 1 year of a hospital internship
  • 3 years of surgical residency


  • At least 3 years of college
  • 4 years of optometry school

Surgeries performed by Optometrists are 2.5 times more likely to be repeated than surgeries performed by Ophthalmologists.

According to a recent study in Oklahoma, patients who had surgeries performed by Optometrists were 2.5 times more likely to have their surgery repeated.

As a matter of patient safety, surgeries should only be handled by medical professionals who are trained surgeons and have a medical degree from an accredited medical school.

HB36 opens the door for surgeries to be performed by practitioners who do not have the experience necessary to ensure your safety and health.