Ophthalmologists are being accused of faking their medical licenses to avoid scrutiny and being able to practice without being registered, the Ohio State Board of Ophthalmology said Tuesday.
State Board of Optometry Commissioner Jim McQuillan told The Associated Press that while the practice has become more widespread, it is a relatively new one and there are more than a few examples of fake physicians.
He said the practice of doctors being paid to perform cosmetic surgery has been a problem for years.
He also said some doctors are practicing in the name of an organization called the Association of American Optometrists (AO) that is not registered with the state.
The Ophthalmic Board of Ohio has been in the news recently after its board members voted to raise the salary of its president, former Ohio State University professor of ophthalmology Dr. Steven L. Bovell, from $85,000 to $105,000.
The board has been criticized by some lawmakers for not properly vetting the qualifications of the board members.
McQuillans comments came amid an ongoing investigation by the Ohio attorney general into the practice, including whether board members were paid by the Association or the Ophthalmal Care Group of America, which has been accused of paying doctors to perform surgeries that do not require a medical license.
The Associated Press does not generally identify ophthalmers in the United States.