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April 14, 2024 Clouds | 45°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 68: Registration of optometrists; examinations; fees; certificate; exemption from written examination; participation in medical assistance program

Section 68. No person, except as otherwise provided in this section, shall practice optometry until he shall have passed an examination conducted by the board in theoretic, practical and physiological optics, in theoretic and practical optometry and in the anatomy and physiology of the eye, and shall have demonstrated his ability to properly use the ophthalmoscope, the retinoscope, the perimeter and other scientific instruments and methods used in the practice of optometry, and shall have been registered and shall have received a certificate of registration which shall have conspicuously printed on its face the definition of optometry set forth in section sixty-six. Every applicant for examination shall present satisfactory evidence, in the form of affidavits properly sworn to, that he is eighteen years of age or older and of good moral character, that he has graduated from a high school having a course of study of four years and approved by the board or has had a preliminary education equivalent to at least four years in public high school, and that he has graduated from a school or college of optometry, approved by the board, maintaining a course of study of not less than two years with a minimum requirement of fifteen hundred attendance hours or in the case of a person applying for a first examination after January first, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, maintaining a course of study of not less than three separate academic years, each academic year consisting of thirty-six weeks of classroom work with thirty hours of instruction each week and this course of study shall include ninety-five hours of study in the following areas:

(A) general pharmacology: four hours in biochemistry; eight hours in general physiology, two of which shall be in pediatric physiology; eight hours in pharmacology, three of which shall be in pediatric pharmacology; and ten hours in indications and ocular effects of commonly prescribed drugs, two of which shall be in indications of effects in pediatric situations;

(B) ocular pharmacology: eight hours in ocular pharmacology and eight hours in the study of particular topically applied agents, including but not limited to, anesthetics, dyes, mydriatics, cycloplegics, and contact lens solutions;

(C) interpretation and patient management: six hours each in the study of anterior and posterior segment; two hours in pediatric eye diseases; two hours in glaucoma; and one hour in ocular emergency;

(D) cardiopulmonary resuscitation, including treatment of anaphylaxis: four hours; and

(E) supervised clinical practice, including six hours in pediatric practice: thirty hours. If an applicant is unable to prove graduation from, or four years actual attendance at a high school, the board shall determine his preliminary education qualifications by a proper and separate examination. The fee for such examination and for the examination for registration shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven, and those passing the examination shall receive the certificate of registration without additional charge. Any applicant who fails to pass a satisfactory examination for registration shall be entitled at any subsequent regular examination held by the board to additional examinations, and for each subsequent examination a fee determined under the aforementioned provision shall be paid.

Any person who shall present to the board a certified copy or certificate of registration or license which was issued to him after examination by a board of registration in optometry in any other state, where the requirements for registration are in the opinion of the board equivalent to those of this commonwealth, may be registered and given a certificate of registration in this commonwealth without a written examination; provided, that such state accords a like privilege to holders of certificates of registration issued in this commonwealth, and that the applicant has not previously failed to pass the examination required in this commonwealth, and that he has been engaged in the reputable practice of optometry continuously for not less than three years immediately preceding his application, and that he intends to reside and practice optometry in this commonwealth. The fee for such registration shall be determined under the aforementioned chapter seven provision.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the board shall require as a condition of granting or renewing an optometrist's certificate of registration, that the optometrist apply to participate in the medical assistance program administered by the secretary of health and human services in accordance with chapter 118E and Title XIX of the Social Security Act and any federal demonstration or waiver relating to such medical assistance program for the limited purposes of ordering and referring services covered under such program, provided that regulations governing such limited participation are promulgated under said chapter 118E. An optometrist who chooses to participate in such medical assistance program as a provider of services shall be deemed to have fulfilled this requirement.

Any person certified under this section who observes a patient's adverse reaction to a diagnostic pharmaceutical agent, shall report said observance and any comment thereon to the board of registration in optometry.