How to Report a Concern About Your Ophthalmologist
Members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology must comply with its Code of Ethics. If you believe that your ophthalmologist may have acted unethically, the Academy Ethics Committee can investigate your concerns only if your ophthalmologist is a member of the Academy.
- The Academy has no authority over non-member ophthalmologists.
- An Ethics Committee investigation does not affect an ophthalmologist’s license to practice medicine.
- Federal regulations prohibit the investigation of fee disputes.
What to Know Before You Report
- Cost to file a complaint: None.
- What we can review: The Ethics Committee can investigate matters related to the rules of the Code of Ethics and involving members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. We cannot investigate fee disputes.
- Confidentiality: Unless you give written permission to do so, the Ethics Committee cannot share any of the information, records or reports gathered during the course of its investigation or the results of its investigation with anyone other than you and your ophthalmologist.
- Lawsuits: Federal regulations protect individuals who bring forth complaints “in good faith.” The Academy Ethics Committee cannot assist you in civil litigation against the ophthalmologist for “malpractice.”
- Prior complaints: Ethics investigations are confidential. Complaint information cannot be disclosed to anyone other than the parties involved. Your state board of medicine may be able to share information about any possible prior complaints from patients.
- Length of investigation: This depends on the complexity of the complaint, how many individuals are involved and how cooperative they are. The challenged ophthalmologist is guaranteed his/her right to due process.
How to Report a Concern
To report a concern that your ophthalmologist may have acted unethically:
- Verify that your ophthalmologist is a member of the Academy by searching for him or her in the Find an Eye M.D. database. The search tool only lists Academy members.
- Review the Code of Ethics to determine whether the code addresses situations like the one you wish to report (i.e., find an applicable rule of the Code of Ethics that you believe your ophthalmologist may not have followed.)
- Complete and sign the Patient and Public Submission Form. The Ethics Committee must have a complete, signed copy of the form to investigate your report. Mail the form to:
American Academy of Ophthalmology
655 Beach Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
The Ethics Committee does not accept electronic submissions.