Maryland recently became the 50th state to allow optometrists to prescribe steroids for patients.
Optometrist Robert Stutman, legislative chair of the Maryland Optometric Association, says this legislation is beneficial for both patients and Maryland optometrists. Patients will benefit from the legislation because their optometrists can now provide them with more comprehensive care. And, optometrists can now do what they were trained to do, he says.
Dr. Stutman also stated that because of this legislation, Maryland optometrists no longer need to refer their patients to physicians permitted to prescribe steroids. Therefore, the O.D.s will not lose patients due to a legal inability to comprehensively care for their patients.
This legislation is also very significant for the field of optometry because now all 50 states can prescribe topical steroids, Dr. Stutman says. Maryland optometrists have finally caught up to optometrists in the rest of the country.