Colleague to Colleague:  A Conversation with the AOA Board

Day 3 of Optometry’s Meeting® filled with favorites and firsts

From glaucoma management to sunglass sales, keratitis to concierge medicine, Friday was jam-packed with continuing education opportunities at Optometry's Meeting® 2014.

Attendees had a full day to explore new products and technology in the Exhibit Hall. Eleven alumni receptions offered networking and nostalgia. And a paraoptometric awards ceremony recognized the best and brightest among office staff.  

Fireside chat—minus the fire
In a first-of-its-kind event, members of the AOA's Board of Trustees held an open "Colleague to Colleague" forum, with video highlights available for members who could not attend.  

Trustees fielded questions on advocacy, legislation, optometry's shifting demographics and other topics. AOA President Mitchell T. Munson, O.D., joked that all that was missing to complete the format was a fireplace.  

Several Trustees urged efforts to strengthen state grassroots advocacy, particularly to build on the success of bills such as a recent major win in Louisiana. "We need much more uniform scope of practice so we can show who we are as a profession," said AOA Vice President Steven A. Loomis, O.D.  

Such bills also speak to optometry's growing medical role—something Dr. Munson addressed when answering questions about the recently published National Eye Care Workforce Study. "I think one of the biggest take-homes is the opportunity for increased entry into medical eye care," he said.  

Workforce study spurs conversation
Attendees dove further into the workforce study later in the day. They chatted with members of the project team that published what is the most comprehensive, forward-looking study to date on meeting America's eye health needs in the coming decade.

The study was jointly launched by the AOA and Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)—with data compiled by The Lewin Group, a health care policy research group—earlier in June. The project concluded there is an adequate supply of optometrists and ophthalmologists to meet anticipated public demand for eye health services through 2025.

Randolph Brooks, O.D., AOA past president and AOA—ASCO Workforce Study Project Team chair, said the study provides a roadmap for optometry's success. 

Stay connected with Optometry's Meeting
No matter how far removed you may be from Philadelphia this week, you can stay connected with the latest happenings at Optometry's Meeting.

Visit aoa.org/news for up-to-date coverage throughout the conference, including daily web articles and photos.

Keep an eye on AOA's Facebook and Twitter pages for live reporting, and to see what's trending with your colleagues on AOA's dedicated social media page.

Get video highlights from the meeting of the 117th House of Delegates of the American Optometric Association at Optometry's Meeting.

June 28, 2014

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