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How is unprofessional conduct different for optometrists?

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | Health & Health Care Law |

Those who hold a professional license need to meet various qualifications to get and keep their credentials. Requirements generally apply for those practicing in medical professions like physicians, nurses, chiropractors, dentists, and specialties like optometrists. These requirements include educational criteria as well as a long list of additional conditions. A failure to abide by these conditions can mean the professional loses their license and the ability to continue working in their chosen profession.

Although there are many conditions, one of the vaguer is that of unprofessional conduct.

What is “unprofessional conduct” for the purposes of professional licensure?

The term “unprofessional conduct” is one that does not have a simple definition. Each state will have its nuances.

The New York Office of the Professions states that unprofessional conduct includes any willful or grossly negligent failure to abide by federal, state, and local laws as well as rules and regulations that apply to the profession. It also covers some expected basics like the need to maintain and provide accurate records for patients, conduct oneself with good moral character, and work to maintain the patient’s privacy.

What is unique for optometrists?

In New York, state law notes that in addition to the basics, an optometrist must be careful in how they put together advertisements for goods like eyeglasses and contact lenses. Although the details of the requirements seem overly specific, state officials explain that the intention is not to prevent the sale of eyeglasses but to ensure such sales are not deceiving.

The state also requires optometrists to wear an identifying badge.

What happens if I violate these conditions?

As noted above, the state could revoke your professional license. The licensing board is required to go through a process before it can move forward with these types of penalties. It is important to note that you have options, and rights, when going through this process. It is wise to seek legal counsel experienced in this niche area of healthcare law to help guide you through the process.

Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication.

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