It Shall be the Ideal, the Resolve, and the Duty of the Members of The American Optometric Association:

TO KEEP               the visual welfare of the patient uppermost at all times;

TO PROMOTE     in every possible way, in collaboration with this Association, better care of the visual needs of mankind;

TO ENHANCE     continuously their educational and technical proficiency to the end that their patients shall receive the benefits of all                                           acknowledged improvements in visual care;

TO SEE THAT      no person shall lack for visual care, regardless of his financial status;

TO ADVISE          the patient whenever consultation with an optometric colleague or reference for other professional care seems advisable;

TO HOLD            in professional confidence all information concerning a patient and to use such data only for the benefit of the patient;

TO CONDUCT    themselves as exemplary citizens;

TO MAINTAIN    their offices and their practices in keeping with professional standards;


TO PROMOTE    and maintain cordial and unselfish relationships with members of their own profession and of other professions for the                                    exchange of information to the advantage of mankind.



Courtesy of the American Optometric Association            





I.  Basic Responsibilities of an Optometrist


            Section A.  The Welfare of Humanity


A health profession has as its prime objective the service it can render to humanity; monetary considerations should be a subordinate factor.  In choosing the profession of optometry an individual assumes an obligation for personal conduct in accordance with professional ideals.


            Section B.  Continuing Competence


An optometrist should strive to keep current with every modern development in the profession, to enhance both knowledge and proficiency by the adoption of modern methods and scientific concepts of proven worth and to contribute personally to the general knowledge and advancement of the profession.  All these things should be done with that freedom of action and thought that provides first for the welfare of the public.



II.  Relationships With the Patient


            Section A.  Presence of a Pathological Condition


An optometrist should give to the patient or the patient’s family a timely notice of manifestations of disease or abnormality.


            Section B.  Emergency Optometric Care


A request for optometric care in an emergency should receive immediate response.  Once having undertaken an emergency case, an optometrist shall neither abandon nor neglect the patient.


            Section C.  Professional Fees


Professional fees charged the patient for examination, diagnosis and treatment shall be determined by the individual optometrist.


            Section D.  Charges for Materials


                  Charges for materials should be clearly separated from professional fees.



III.  Responsibilities to the Public


            Section A.  Informing the Public


An optometrist should honor the applicable provisions of valid State and Federal laws and rules regulating the advertising of ophthalmic materials and the disseminating of information regarding professional services.


            Section B.  Patent


It is unprofessional for an optometrist to exploit a patent for lenses, appliances, or instruments used in the practice of optometry in such a way as to deprive the public of its benefits, either through refusal to grant licenses to competent manufacturers who can assure adequate production and unimpeachable quality, or through exorbitant demands in the form of royalty; or for similar forms of monopolistic control in which the interests of the public are exploited.


            Section C.  Rebates


It is unprofessional and unethical to accept rebates on prescriptions, lenses or optical appliances used in the practice of optometry.



IV.  Relationships With Other Optometrists


            Section A.  Intraprofessional Referral and Consultations


Intraprofessional referral and consultations are encouraged when the best interest of the patient indicates additional opinion.  Protocol on the relationship and responsibilities between the referring and attending optometrist that customarily is followed by health professions shall prevail.


            Section B. 


Professional responsibility demands that the optometrist actively participate in public health activities with other health professionals to the end that every step be taken to safeguard the health and welfare of the public.



            Courtesy of the American Optometric Association


36 S. Last Chance Gulch, Suite A

Helena, MT  59601

Phone:  (406) 443-1160

Fax:  (406) 443-4614