The Florida Senate
Prepared By: The Professional Staff of the Committee on Health Policy
INTRODUCER: Rules Committee; Health Policy Committee; and Senator Harrell
SUBJECT: Health Care Practitioner Titles and Designations
DATE: May 3, 2023
I. Amendments Contained in Message:
House Amendment 1 — 699797 (body)
II. Summary of Amendments Contained in Message:
House amendment 699797 creates an additional exception to the bill’s restrictions on titles and
designations that health care practitioners may use to describe themselves and their practice. The
amendment provides that a licensed optometrist may use the terms “doctor of optometry” and
“optometric physician,” in addition to other titles or abbreviations authorized under his or her
practice act, which is found in ch. 463, F.S.
Optometrists are already authorized by their practice act to use “doctor of optometry,”1 and the
bill does not restrict the use of the term “doctor,” which makes that portion of the House
amendment unnecessary.
Regarding “optometric physician,” the House amendment seeks to introduce into the bill
authority for a health care practitioner to use the term “physician” or a variation thereof that does
not already exist in current law. That is, the optometry practice act does not authorize an
optometrist to use the term “physician” or “optometric physician.” 2, 3
The bill’s other exceptions for use of the term “physician” or a variation thereof apply only to
practitioners already authorized under current law to use such terminology, namely chiropractic
physicians4 and podiatric physicians.5 The bill, as passed by the Senate, does not contain an
exception for optometrists because there is no such authorization in the optometry practice act.
Section 463.015(2)(a), F.S.
The term “optometric physician” does not appear in the optometry practice act. All references to individual physicians in
the optometry practice act are specific to allopathic physicians licensed under ch. 458, F.S., or osteopathic physicians
licensed ch. 459, F.S., either directly or by implication. See ch. 463, F.S.
On March 10, 2023, the Board of Optometry published a notice in the Florida Administrative Register of its intent to amend
Rule 64B13-3.009 to require licensed optometrists, when promulgating an advertisement, to use at least one “acceptable
term, title, or abbreviation” from a list of such terms being added to the rule. The board’s amended rule would include the
title “optometric physician” in the rule’s list, despite the lack of legislative authority within the optometry practice act. See: (last visited May 3, 2023).
Section 460.403(5), F.S.
Section 461.003(4), F.S.

Statutes affected:
S 230 c1: 456.072
S 230 c2: 456.072
S 230 er: 456.072