Opinion: Lawmakers can't take a shortcut to better eye health

Dr. Robert Bentley

As a physician and practicing ophthalmological eye surgeon with more than 33 years of clinical experience, I'll be among the first to tell you how important a different profession, that of optometry, is for overall eye health care. Optometrists perform valuable services, including routine eye exams and prescriptions for eyeglasses and contacts.

But optometrists are not medical doctors; they are not physicians. They do not have years of medical school education and post-med school residency or surgical training. Nor do optometrists have the direct clinical experience that helps ophthalmologists like me manage and avoid difficult, or even life-threatening, patient safety situations.