Summit Medical Center - Surgical Treatment Center Oklahoma City OK


Summit Medical Center Blog


Monday, August 18, 2014

New Louisiana Bill Shows Disturbing Trend in the Medical Industry

It seems like there's always something new going on in the world of medicine and healthcare. Almost every day there are headlines about new innovations and developments in the medical field. Recently, there has been an upsetting trend of patients getting medical treatments and surgeries from people that aren't properly trained. At Summit Med Center, we've heard stories about people going to Botox parties to get cheap treatments, and even tales of some people getting breast implants and other surgical procedures from dermatologists. This disturbing trend has recently been examined in the world of plastic surgery, but unfortunately cosmetic surgeries aren't the only ones that are being performed by unlicensed professionals.

If you're interested in getting surgery to improve your vision or the look of your eyes, you'd probably want it to be performed by a licensed surgeon that specializes in ophthalmology. However, our Oklahoma ophthalmologists have noticed a disturbing trend happening in other states. For instance, in the state of Louisiana, a new law allows people to get laser surgical procedures and lid surgeries from an optometrist. To the un-trained ear, that may sound perfectly fine. After all, you see an optometrist whenever you get your glasses or your contact lenses, so it's natural to assume that they know how to perform surgical procedures.

Despite what most people think, an optometrist is someone who just specializes in vision problems, and is not a medical doctor. Your optometrist may be qualified to spot certain diseases of the eye, and may even be able to recommend certain lenses and eye drops, but they primarily trained to only prescribe glasses and contacts. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that has been through medical school and has additional years of training in medical and surgical problems that can occur in the eye. Up until now, it was legal for only ophthalmologists to perform procedures like laser eye surgery. Now, thanks to a recent bill passed by the state senate, Louisiana is now the third state to allow optometrists to perform surgery that used to only be reserved for doctors.

Some claim that allowing optometrists to perform eye surgeries will be a good thing, since now more people will be able to have access to certain care. There may be more people allowed to perform certain procedures, but that doesn't mean that the people receiving them are getting high quality care. Currently in Louisiana, optometrists are only required to undergo a 32 hour training period to be able to legally perform certain laser eye surgeries. When you compare that to the years ophthalmologists have spent training and learning how to properly perform surgery, it seems ludicrous to think that someone could learn how to do the same in a few days. 

It's important to only go to licensed medical professionals for procedures but, thanks to some state laws, patients will have to start doing more research before they choose a doctor or practitioner. When you need any type of eye surgery in Oklahoma City, take a look at our credentials. All of our ophthalmologists at Summit Med Center are qualified by to perform surgery by their extensive experience and education – expertise you can trust! Contact us today to schedule a consultation.



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