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California Optometrist Lobbies for Bill That Would Expand Scope of Duties to Primary Care

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This legislation will help alleviate the doctor shortage, he says.

In an op-ed published in The Sacramento Bee, California optometrist Rob Omoto voiced his support for a state bill that would expand the scope of practice for the state’s optometrists, allowing them to administer vaccines and perform other primary care functions. Citing the state’s shortage of primary care doctors, he says that the state’s doctors of optometry are “one of the biggest untapped resources” and that it’s “time we trust these professionals to perform procedures and treat patients in areas where they are specifically trained.”

He elaborates: “We do more than ask our patients ‘1 or 2’ and hand out glasses and contacts. … Optometrists can also identify signs of serious diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cancer, and are highly involved in preventive care of their patients. Often we will see a patient for a routine eye exam and discover a bigger medical problem, yet we cannot diagnose or treat it under current state law. Since many optometry students will practice in other states that have a broader scope of practice, California optometry schools already train and educate them to perform to a higher standard.”

Read Omoto’s full opinion piece at the Sacramento Bee

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