4 ways to make the most of AOA membership

4 ways to make the most of AOA membership

Excerpted from page 16 of the June 2015 edition of AOA Focus

Your AOA membership can help you grow in your career, network with other professionals and keep you informed about important advocacy and practice management developments. There are plenty of resources available at your fingertips. In an excerpt from an interview with AOA Focus, three AOA members offer ways to explore and take advantage of this valuable membership.

  1. Utilize members-only resources.
    "Valuable information is readily accessible to members in a variety of sources, including at aoa.org, in AOA Focus and First Look emails," says Curtis Ono, O.D., who chairs the AOA's Affiliate Partner Membership Committee and Affiliate Relations and Membership Executive Committee. Keeping up with AOA communications is one of the best ways to make the most of AOA membership, agrees Glenda Brown, O.D., a member of the Affiliate Partner Membership Committee. "In these communications, we can learn about ICD-10 implementation, AOA's advocacy efforts, new technology, best practices, clinical content, or even read bios on other practitioners," Dr. Brown says.

  2. Connect with your fellow AOA members.
    Make an effort to connect with colleagues through AOA's Facebook and Twitter sites, at Optometry's Meeting®, the Congressional Advocacy Conference, and by joining the Contact Lens & Cornea, Sports Vision, and Vision Rehabilitation specialty sections, Dr. Ono says. "You will not only share information, but also make lifelong friends from around the country."

  3. Take advantage of optometry's community.
    Invest in AOA and affiliate meetings outside of your state as well as your state meeting, advises Jacquie Bowen, O.D., a member of the Affiliate Partner Membership Committee. "Sometimes you may need help from a colleague in another region, in a state where the laws are different, or from an optometrist who is not in competition with you. Our profession is very collegial compared with others, and you should reap the benefits of being in a larger community of people who have gone through what you are experiencing," Dr. Bowen says.

  4. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer.
    To make a difference in the profession and in your community, volunteer to be on committees at the local, regional and national levels, Dr. Ono says. You can also serve as a provider in AOA public health programs such as InfantSEE® and VISION USA. "Personally, I have greatly enjoyed giving back to our wonderful profession and being involved on a deeper level by serving on an AOA committee or task force, and getting involved with advocacy. Through these avenues I feel like I am making an impact on the future of optometry," Dr. Brown says.

Click here to learn what your colleagues are saying about AOA membership.

July 9, 2015

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