American Academy of Optometry annual meeting to convene in Boston

The in-person event is scheduled for November 3 to 6 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, with a Best of Academy 2021 Boston virtual meeting scheduled for December 3 to 5.

The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) 2021 annual meeting, the profession’s largest meeting, is scheduled for November 3 to 6, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

This in-person event will provide optometrists the long-awaited opportunity to reconnect with colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere in an historic city, and according to AAO President Timothy McMahon, OD, FAAO, it will truly be a walk on the “Freedom Trail.”

In-person attendance in Boston requires adherence to detailed COVID-19 safety protocols outlined by the AAO and the state of Massachusetts, the details of which are available on-line (https://academymeeting.org/). All attendees are required to complete a form attesting to compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols before registering for the meeting.

For those optometrists and related professionals who cannot travel at this time, a Best of Academy 2021 Boston virtual meeting is scheduled for December 3 to 5. This event will provide attendees with 20 hours of on-line continuing education.

McMahon, heralded the upcoming AAO meeting as a first of its kind as “we slowly and safely approach the new normal while gathering in this storied city, for this historic meeting, as we return to meeting together.”

AAO educational opportunities

The 2021 AAO annual meeting offers the opportunity to choose from among more than 300 hours of lectures and workshops, Section and Special Interest Group symposia, and hundreds of scientific paper and poster presentations.

In addition, up to 32 hours of continuing education credits can be earned.

The full schedule for the meeting is available at www.academymeeting.org/.

Paper sessions

Here is a taste of what will be available during the paper sessions that are sprinkled throughout the conference.

Wednesday, November 3

The schedule kicks off with paper presentations on the Anterior Segment (9 to 10 am), Animal Myopia (1:30 to 2:30 pm), and Contrast Sensitivity and Color Vision (3 to 4:30 pm).

Thursday, November 4

Second-day offerings include papers on Public Health (8:30 to 9:30 am), Demodex (8:30 to 9:15 am), Contact Lens Antimicrobials (10 to 11 am), Pediatric/Binocular Vision (1:30 to -3 pm), and Low Vision (1:30 to 3:30 pm).

The Thursday program also includes Hot Topics paper sessions on Glaucoma (7:30 to -8:30 am), Cornea (7:30 to 8:30 am), and Traumatic Brain Injury (7:30 to 8:30 am).

Friday, November 4

The schedule includes presentations on Novel Approaches in Posterior Segment and a keynote address delivered by Jennifer Sun (8 to 9:30 am), Optometric Education (8:30 to 9:30 am), Clinical Myopia (10 to 11:45 am), Glaucoma Super Session (1:30 to 3:30 pm), and Cool Topics in Contact Lens (4 to 5 pm).

Saturday, November 6

The schedule closes the paper sessions with talks on Traumatic Brain Injury and a keynote address delivered by Jacob Brodsky (9:30 to 11 am).

Poster sessions

Poster sessions are slated for Thursday, November 4 (poster presentations 4:30 to 6:30 pm) and Friday, November 5 (poster display 10 am to 3 pm; poster presentations 10 am to noon).

Special Programs

The Merton C. Flom Insight Leadership Program is designed to help optometrists build leadership skills and realize their full potential. Titled “Know Yourself: Foundations for Effective Leadership,” the program for AAO 2021 has been completely revamped and will be offered as a live introductory course at the conference.

The revamped program will provide additional content and encourage engagement with emerging leaders in optometry. This series will be available exclusively to fellows and candidates for fellowship.

The Flom Leadership Course Series, presented by Drs. Lindsay Sicks, Darin Paulson, and Carmen Barnhardt, begins on Wednesday, November 3 (1 to 4 pm) during the AAO.

Eight learning modules will focus on Principles of Effective Leadership I, Principles of Effective Leadership II, Embracing Diversity in Leadership, Effective Communication in Leadership, Leader’s Guide to Productive Meetings, Public Speaking for Leaders, Writing Skills for Leaders, and Mentorship: Present and Future Leaders.

Armed Forces Optometric Society & Academy Annual Meeting

This meeting, scheduled for Monday, November 1, and Tuesday, November 2, features continuing education for optometrists, residents, and students in the Air Force, Army, Navy, Veterans Affairs, Public Health and Indian Health Services.

The meeting will include service-specific breakout sessions that enable optometrists to meet with their respective service specialty leaders and discuss current issues facing their service branch. Opportunities will be available to attend hands-on workshops and interact with fellow federal service optometrists and friends at events, including the 2021 Armed Forces Optometric Society Awards Ceremony.

Special AAO and Foundation Events

These include the Academy Fellows Business Meeting Lunch New Fellows Reception (Wednesday, November 3, noon to 1 pm); New Fellows Reception (Thursday, November 4, 6 to 7:30 pm), Academy Awards and Lectures (Thursday, November 4, 7 to 9 pm), Prentice & Fry Lectures (Friday, November 5, 1:30 to 2:30 pm), and Fellows Banquet (Saturday, November 6, 8 to 10 pm).

Student Fellowship Program

This program is an opportunity for students to engage in advanced knowledge and technology through lectures, workshops, posters, and more. The program guides students in developing skills as an optometric or vision science professional. Participants must be OD student members of the AAO.

Resident Events

Residents will have the opportunity on Friday, November 5 (5 to 6:30 pm) network with practitioners from the US and abroad who want to hire residency-trained ODs in the near future.

Residents Day on Saturday, November 6 (8 am to 4:30 pm) is a forum at which residents can present their interesting case reports or the results of their research projects. This event includes paper presentations, luncheon, posters, and a reception.

In and around Boston

In addition to the Freedom Trail, numerous historic sites, shopping venues, restaurants, and art galleries are available within walking distance of the conference center. The North End and Faneuil Hall are a stone’s throw away, as is the Seaport with access to boat tours. A complete list of local attractions is available on the AAO website.

Save the dates for the AAO 2022 in-person annual meeting scheduled for October 26 to 29, 2022, in San Diego.