Safe Surgery Washington!

WAEPS Response to the Optometric Scope of Practice Expansion

The Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons supports safe, accessible, expert eye care and surgery performed by eye surgeons, or ophthalmologists. Optometrists are not surgeons, and are not trained to the rigorous standards necessary to operate safely on the citizens of Washington State, yet they want to legislate the ability to do surgery with no live patient encounters and training only over a weekend seminar. Ophthalmologists train for 3-5 years, with 12-15,000 patient encounters and hundreds of surgeries performed to be able to be competent surgeons. Please write your legislators today to support surgery being done by medical doctors trained to be surgeons (ophthalmologists), and to oppose optometrists who want to be surgeons without the necessary training. You can find your legislators here.

If you’d like to help us fight to keep surgery in the hands of surgeons in Washington State, please donate to our the Safe Surgery Fund today. 

Safe Surgery Fund Donation


Join the Safe Surgery Grassroots Legislative Committee. Please email us today to join your colleagues in the fight to keep WA patient safe. WAEPS would really like additional representation on our committee from our ophthalmologist friends practicing in rural areas of Washington or in Eastern Washington. 

Hear from your WAEPS Leadership!

2021 WAEPS President, Dr. Hubert Pham reaches out to ophthalmologists in Washington State to update them on the urgency of the scope expansion and to ask for their ongoing support. Please read his full letter here. 

WAEPS Legislative Chair, Dr. Aaron Weingeist contacts WAEPS membership to share concerns about the scope expansion bill and the needed support from members for our multi layer approach to defeating this bill. Please read his full letter here

Good News in the Northwest:  In 2021, The Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology launched a robust grassroots effort, stepping up to educate the state legislators as well as informing patients of the dire consequences of the bill. Capping off this well coordinated advocacy grassroot efforts, the state society members gave persuasive and insightful testimony during House committee bill hearings. The Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology thwarted a determined effort in the Oregon House of Representatives to move a dangerous bill that would have authorized optometrists to perform laser surgery and place surgical standards and patient safety at risk. To learn more about Oregon's successful outcome click here.


WAEPS answers your questions about the OPW's dangerous Scope of Practice Bill. If you still have questions or concerns regarding this OPW legislation, please contact WAEPS at [email protected]. We are here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions about the OPW Scope of Practice