Members of the Florida House of Representatives voted May 4 to pass a bill that would prevent healthcare providers who are not medical doctors or osteopathic physicians from referring to themselves as "physicians" in interactions with patients and advertisements.
SB 230 first passed in the House with a 111-13 vote May 3 but bounced back to the Senate after the addition of an amendment that would have allowed optometrists to continue to use the term physician. However, the Senate refused to concur on the amendment, and the House ultimately passed it with a 79-34 vote.
Under the bill, dentists, podiatrists and chiropractors will continue to be allowed to call themselves physicians because their underlying governing statute describes them as such. However, optometrists will not be able to.