Letter: Optometrists Aren't Surgeons - Safe Surgery NC

Letter: Optometrists Aren’t Surgeons

This article was written by George L. Cooper, MD, FACS, for The Fayetteville Observer. 


Thank you for your recent editorial urging the N.C. General Assembly not to pass two pending bills that would let non-surgeons perform delicate eye surgery. This is a crucial public-policy issue for our state’s lawmakers, and patient safety must come first. Legislators don’t need another study to determine that.

A recent peer-reviewed study in Oklahoma found that optometrists, who are not medical doctors, were 2.4 times as likely to have to re-do eye procedures compared to ophthalmologists, who are trained MDs. That raises concerns not only of the quality of patient surgical care, but also its cost to all of us taxpayers and health care consumers.

Publication: The Fayetteville Observer

Date Published: April 6, 2017

HB36 is a dangerous bill before the North Carolina General Assembly. If passed, HB36 will enable Optometrists, who did not attend medical school, the ability to perform eye surgery within our state.