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VETO Senate Bill 230 Banning use of
Optometric Physician/Doctor Title

  • The Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representatives voted on 05/04/2023 that Optometrists can NOT and shall NOT call themselves Doctor or Optometric Physician via SB 230. 

  • Governor DeSantis holds veto power against the bill - he has until June 30 to exercise a veto, otherwise the bill becomes law on July 1, 2023.  The governor must VETO, if he does NOT sign, it will still pass.

  •  The FOA PAC is working to get more information against the bill in Governor DeSantis's hands and organize momentum against the bill. 

What Are The Implications of SB 230 if it Passes?

  •  Optometrists CAN NO LONGER call themselves "Optometric Physicians"

  • If "Optometric Physician" wordage is used in any context, signage or marketing; and will be classified as a class 3 felony if done so.  All current signage must be changed.

  • Insurance carriers may LOWER our reimbursement on payouts, and possibly prevent ODs from getting on certain medical insurance panels in future 

  • ODs are allowed to refer to themselves as Dr. ___ to previous patients, however to new patients, after they introduce themselves as Dr. ___ they must then clarify that they are a doctor of optometry or certified optometrist.  Additionally, ODs can still call themselves Dr. ___ as long as they have a clear name tag identifying themselves as a Doctor of Optometry.

  • If SB 230 passes, a "Phase 2" bill will come out in the next 1-2 years that will further target FL optometrists and their scope of practice. 

This is NOT JUST a Florida problem, but will impact the financial well-being of our entire profession. 


Other states with current “not a doctor” bills proposed:

  • California: AB 765 introduced Feb.13 

  • Connecticut: SB 899 introduced Jan 25 

  • Massachusetts: HD 1314 (H.3606) introduced March 9 

  • Texas: HB 2324 introduced March 9 

  • Wisconsin: SB 143 introduced March 23 

  • North Carolina: HB 576 filed April 5

So what can we do? Make Our Voices Heard!


  1. Call Governor DeSantis's office: if it’s busy they offer a call back: 850-488-7146 or 850-717-9337.  

  2. Email Governor. DeSantis's office

    • See template below

  3. Ask friends, families, patients to email/call Governor DeSantis's office to show their support for ODs!

    • See template below

  4. Support the Florida Optometric Association PAC by donating.

Thank you ODs on Finance for these templates!

Email/Phone Template (DOCTOR)

Subject: Please VETO SB230/HB583

My name is Dr.____. SB 230 or HB583 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 practice and small business, 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.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely, Dr. ________

Email/Phone Template (Non-DOCTOR)

Subject: Please VETO SB230/HB583

My name is ________ and I live in ______, FL and I am requesting that you VETO SB230 as it will negatively impact patients in Florida. My Dr._____ is an Optometric Physician and this bill will hinder their ability to diagnose, manage and treat their patients. It is bad for small business and bad for patient’s access to care in Florida.

Please VETO SB230 in order to support patients across Florida.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. Thank you!  

Sincerely, ________

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