A full house at the AAO

November 25, 2014

The annual American Academy of Optometry meeting is always a highlight of my year. It is an opportunity to renew old friendships, make new ones, catch up on the latest professional developments, and of course, get those always-elusive continuing education credits.

The annual American Academy of Optometry meeting is always a highlight of my year. It is an opportunity to renew old friendships, make new ones, catch up on the latest professional developments, and of course, get those always-elusive continuing education credits. The Academy has forever been known for outstanding optometric education, and judging from the crowds in the sessions, ODs were taking advantage in droves of this world-class opportunity. Every course I attended was packed to overflowing.

“Some 6,323 ODs registered for the 2014 AAO meeting. That attendance is an all-time high for an Academy meeting, and is possibly the largest group ever at an optometric meeting," said Lois Schoenbraun, executive director of the AAO.

This is no small feat considering the frigid temperatures in Denver during the meeting. 

Check out our AAO 2014 coverage 

The Academy's motto is all CE all the time, which is especially true. From the diplomate preparatory seminars and special-interest group meetings on Tuesday, through the official program the remainder of the week, you can find courses that appeal to you, whatever your area of interest. There are also industry-sponsored breakfast and dinner meetings one can attend to keep up with the latest innovations and technology. 

Also during this year’s Academy, the initial meeting of the American Board of Certification in Medical Optometry (ABCMO) took place. Dr. Ken Myers, the group's founder, noted in his opening remarks that over 400 optometrists were now certified by the ABCMO, and with that number the American College of Medical Optometrists (ACMO) could now be formed.  

About 80 percent of ABCMO-certified ODs work in medical clinics and VA hospitals. Approximately 20 percent are in private practice. The ACMO is a completely separate entity from the ABCMO with a different set of bylaws and board members. About 40 ABCMO-certified ODs attended this initial meeting and were there to volunteer their efforts in these early steps of ACMO  formation.

I always leave the Academy exhausted but very reenergized about my practice and my profession. And I'm especially excited about next year, 'cause it's in th' South-New Orleans! Great town, great cuisine, and hopefully, great weather. If you've never attended an Academy meeting, consider attending next year. It would be a great time to start. Whether you're a neophyte or seasoned Academy veteran, I’m looking forward to seeing you next year in NOLA!