The Board of Examiners in Optometry was created in 1914. It is composed of five optometrist members and two consumer members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Board is mandated to regulate the practice of optometry in Maryland and to ensure the delivery of vision services by qualified optometrists. It is the responsibility of the Board to:
- Credential and approve applicants for licensure
- Participate in administration of national licensing examination
- Certify optometrists to use diagnostic pharmaceutical agents and therapeutic pharmaceutical agents in practice of optometry
- Promulgate and adopt regulations to govern the practice of optometry in Maryland
- Monitor continuing education programs
- Investigate complaints against licensees concerning alleged violations of the law and conduct hearings concerning these violations
- Discipline licensees found to be in violation of the law
Optometrists provide primary eye care to the majority of Maryland’s citizens. The Board serves the citizens of Maryland by ensuring that this vision care is provided by qualified practitioners. The Board cooperates with the Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division, the State’s Attorney throughout the State and other DHMH fiscal and data processing divisions in carrying out its responsibilities. The Consumer Protection Division handles complaints concerning opticians, optical companies and fee disputes because these are not within the Board’s jurisdiction. The State’s Attorney’s offices for various counties assist with the prosecution of unlicensed practitioners. The Board is a 100% special funded entity. Revenue collected from licensing fees covers the operation costs of the Board.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Board is to protect the citizens of Maryland and to promote quality health care in the field of optometry by:
Receiving and resolving complaints from the public, courts, employers, insurance companies, and other licensees regarding optometrists who may have violated the optometry law (Annotated Code of Maryland, Health Occupations Article, Title 11) and its regulations (Code of Maryland Regulations 10.28; and
Setting standards for the practice of optometry that reflect new and emergent developments in the practice of optometry through legislation and regulations.