Urgent Request for ALL Optometrists

Contact Governor DeSantis and request a

VETO to SB 230

Have you heard of the "not-a-doctor" bill? Florida Senate Bill 230 now sits on the Governor's desk and optometry's voice needs to be heard.

Senate Bill 230 was passed without the inclusion of optometry. If this bill becomes law, it will have far reaching negative effects on the profession of optometry but optometry needs to make its voice heard.

Not just Florida licensed members but all ODs NEED to get involved! 

We need you to email the Governor DeSantis one time through his website at https://www.flgov.com/email-the-governor/ with a subject of VETO SB 230

Please keep all comments respectful. Below are some talking points to consider when writing your message:

  • I respectfully request for you to VETO SB 230
  • SB 230 discriminates against and clearly disparages the profession of optometry in the state of Florida
  • This is a punitive bill against optometrists who provide 85% of the primary eye care to the citizens or Florida and will create more confusion for the patients we care for every day
  • Negative impact this will have on small business/optometric practices 
  • Optometrists have received recognition as “physicians” in the Federal Register, from CMS and Florida Medicaid but with this bill optometrists will be charged with a felony if they use the term optometric physician
  • Extensive investment of time and money to earn a 4 year doctoral level degree, Doctor of Optometry, but will not be able to use the term optometric physician like the chiropractic physicians, podiatric physicians, and dentists that also earn their degrees in 4 years or less.
  • Undue expense of reprinting all letterhead, business cards, brochures, door signage, clinic coats, etc. and scrubbing websites and other platforms of doctor and optometric physician

Sample letter below for reference.


Call every day, Monday through Friday, between 8am-5pm at 850-488-7146 or 850-717-9337 (both go to the same queue).

Only call one time per day since additional calls will not be counted. If the voicemail box is full, Press 1 to hold for a staff member. It will keep you on hold before sending you to the full voicemail, so you will have to hang up and call again.


Please state:

• I am respectfully requesting for Governor DeSantis to VETO SB 230

• My name is DR XXX

• I am currently a practicing optometrist in the state of Florida


• I currently HOLD a state of Florida optometry license but practice elsewhere due to my commitment to the federal government. I will NOT return to practice in Florida if this bill passes.


• I am a practicing optometrist but not in the state Florida. However, I did receive my Doctor of Optometry degree at Nova Southeastern University and proud of the doctoral level education I received in your state.


• I am a practicing optometrist but not in the state Florida. However, I want to support my optometrist colleagues in the state of Florida. I want my colleagues to be able to continue practicing and deliver eye health care to the community like I am able to provide in my home state. 

Other comments from above can be used in your message, as well.

This is NOT just a Florida problem but will impact the well-being of the entire profession. There are 7 current states with similar "not-a-doctor" bills proposed.

AOA and state affiliates rally to decry and defeat discriminatory 'not-a-doctor' bills

Doctors of optometry have long been recognized by federal agencies as physicians. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid did so in 1986. They also are referred to as physicians under Federal Employees Workers Compensation, as they are at rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers.

Read More

Sample Letter

My name is Dr. xxx. SB 230 attempts to disparage my profession and my education by not allowing optometrists to call themselves a doctor or physician. Upon graduating a 4-year accredited school of optometry with a degree of "doctor of optometry", this bill unnecessarily impacts my profession, my ability to care for my patients, and can severely impact access to care for patients in my community.

I respectfully request that you do not sign this bill or any other unnecessary and antagonistic bills into law.

Sincerely, Dr. ________

Call to action - your voice can make a difference!