Optometry Meeting Blends Learning, Advocacy, Entertainment

Optometry’s Meeting by the American Optometric Association (AOA) will debut a few “completely new and different” programs and will kick off with a rally on Capitol Hill, according to Andrea Thau, DO, president of the AOA.

The meeting is the 120th Congress of the AOA and the 47th Annual Conference of the American Optometric Student Association, and is being held June 21 to 25 in the nation’s capital.

“The Optometry’s Meeting is the one conference where all doctors of optometry meet. It’s where the business of the association takes place, and where we have exciting events for students, young graduates, and all optometrists,” said Dr Thau, who practices in New York City.

This year will be full of career training opportunities, continuing education courses, inspiring keynote speakers, cutting-edge technology, provocative research, advocacy activities, and networking events, she told Medscape Medical News.

AOA+ Debuts With Capitol Hill Rally

Dr Thau is especially excited about an inaugural program, dubbed AOA+, and a fun learning concept, the “Hackathon,” both new to the meeting.

AOA+ is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision and will be held on day 1 of the busy 5-day conference. It is “truly a first-of-its-kind event” and a “unique primer” targeted to students and new graduates. Those interested in professional advocacy, career readiness, and networking with the field’s thought leaders will be drawn to AOA+, she said.

“AOA+ will immerse attendees in what belonging to the AOA family means and how our 44,000-plus members work together to further optometry through four key priorities: advocacy, public awareness of optometry, continuing education, and tools to provide the best patient care,” she explained. “We want to capture enthusiasm of the young, to involve them in the process of advocating.”

AOA+ will open with a rally on Capitol Hill. More than 2300 students and new physicians are…

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