The American Optometric Association represents approximately 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Optometrists serve patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country, and in 3,500 of those communities are the only eye doctors. Doctors of optometry provide two-thirds of all primary eye care in the United States.
Founded in 1898, the AOA is a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations. Through these affiliations, the AOA serves members consisting of optometrists, students of optometry, paraoptometric assistants and technicians.
Together, the AOA and its affiliates work to provide the public with quality vision and eye care. Through offices in St. Louis, Missouri, and metropolitan Washington, D.C., the AOA:
- Sets professional standards, helping its members conduct patient care efficiently and effectively
- Lobbies government and other organizations on behalf of the optometric profession
- Provides research and education leadership.