Buffalo, NY – As Buffalo’s newest doctor, you may want to wear your glasses and use your smartphone to take notes.
Buffalo is one of the few states in the country to allow its medical professionals to opt out of mandatory eye tests that are mandatory for residents of the state.
The new rule comes after Governor Steve Bullock’s administration decided to let medical professionals opt out by the end of the year.
However, it’s still unclear how long the opt-out will last.
“This is a good start, but it’s not going to last,” said Dr. Kevin Stoddart, a physician who oversees the Buffalo ophthalmic center.
Stoddart is part of a group that wants to make opt-outs a mandatory practice for all doctors in the state, and the new rule should allow physicians to opt-in, as long as they also opt out for the rest of their medical practice.
The opt-ins were set to begin on Monday.
Dr. Mark McVay, the Buffalo doctor who was the first in the US to opt in to mandatory eye exams, said that since he was the only one in his practice to do so, his practice is now the only place in the whole state to opt to opt them out.
“There’s so much more to our medical practice, it is so much better to be able to opt,” McVays son said.
McVays doctors are also the only doctors in Buffalo to do opt-offs, but only for the most routine eye exams.
Dr. Scott Stansfield said that doctors in his family practice opt-off for routine eye checks, like checking the eyes of babies, but that they also do opt for the more advanced tests.
The opt out process will be easier for his son, who’s now in middle school, Dr. Joe Stansfields said.
The Stansfords have opted out of eye exams for nearly 30 years, but Dr. Stansfeld said that this time, he was not going away.
“I’m going to continue doing the eye tests, and I think that’s going to be good for my son,” he said.
Buffonians are still being urged to take care of their eyes and to get regular eye checks to be sure their eyes are healthy.
“I would advise that everyone get the eyewear that they need to protect their eyes, and get the medication that they are going to need, and that’s it,” said one resident, who requested anonymity because he did not want to be singled out.
Buffonia residents are being encouraged to keep checking their eyes to make sure they are not getting a bad one.
The opt in process will continue to be done at the Buffalo Eye and Ear Clinic, where Dr. Eric Kagan is a resident.