Education, advocacy and outreach to boost attendance and profession.

No shortage of new opportunities at 2017 Optometry’s Meeting®

Each year, organizers of the AOA's Optometry's Meeting® try to build a bigger and better conference. Back for another bow are the conference's exhilarating continuing education (CE) lineup, the exciting destination and countless networking opportunities. But this year's meeting also includes a wealth of new, can't-miss happenings in Washington, D.C., June 21-25, 2017.

“There will be something for everybody. All events are designed to uphold and advance the profession of optometry.”

Three-ring circuit

Three meetings will be rolled into one—between Optometry's Meeting, AOA+: The Emerging Leaders' Experience, and the annual advocacy conference, AOA on Capitol Hill 2017. Beyond that, attendees will enjoy the usual high-quality continuing education, speakers, Essilor Optometry Student BowlTM XXVI, and the Celebration of Optometry.

AOA+, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision, AOAExcel® and Essilor, opens with a rally at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21, on Capitol Hill. More than 2,000 students and new doctors of optometry will gather on the Hill to advocate for optometry. All week, doctors and students will be visiting with their Congresspersons, making the case for optometry and against threats to patients and the profession.

With so much going on, organizers also adjusted the schedule for the Presidents' Council and the AOA House of Delegates on Wednesday, June 21 and Thursday, June 22, respectively, to accommodate the AOA's advocacy efforts.

"No one attending Optometry's Meeting can say 'same-old, same-old,'" says John Coble, O.D., chair of the AOA Meetings Center Executive Committee. "We've got an exciting conference schedule this year."

Dr. Coble adds, "There will be something for everybody. All events are designed to uphold and advance the profession of optometry."

CE to use—and amuse

About 200 total hours of CE will be available, providing attendees with practical skills and the opportunity to ponder optometry's future. Among the new CE offerings is a series of courses Wednesday, June 21, called "In the Pipeline" that will focus on that future:

  • "Thinking Outside the Box—What's New in Optometry, Part 1," 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • "Thinking Outside the Box—What's New in Optometry, Part 2," 12:30-1:30 p.m.
  • "Disruptive Technology," 1:30-3 p.m.


The "In the Pipeline" series also highlights another new conference feature—15 courses Wednesday through Friday are designed for joint attendance by doctors and their paraoptometric staff.

"The joint courses for doctors and paraoptometrics will provide the opportunity for integrated education that will reinforce teamwork and communication between doctors and staff," says Linda Rodriguez, CPO, chair of the Paraoptometric Resource Center Executive Committee. "That teamwork positively and effectively impacts patient care and practice goals.

"You won't want to miss "Optometry's Match Game," Parts I and ll, on Thursday, June 22, from 9 to 11 a.m., and on Saturday, June 24, from 10 a.m. to noon. Doctors will listen to scenarios, and attendees will see who comes up with the best responses.

Doctors can earn a maximum of 36½ hours of CE during the conference. Check out the innovative "CE After Dark" courses from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, June 23. Also new is "30-Minute Evidence-Based Case Studies," with seven courses from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 2 p.m. on Friday, June 23.

"We have added extra hours past dinnertime for those interested in getting even more education or too busy to make it to the afternoon sessions," says Marc Bloomenstein, O.D., CE Subcommittee chair. "In fact, we are going until midnight to provide almost 12 straight hours of CE."

Engaging e-posters

State-of-the-art e-posters will debut on high-definition, flat-screen televisions and show case reports, case series and clinical research in a new format. Posters selected for the conference will be available for viewing:

Thursday, June 22
4-7 p.m. (preview)  

Friday, June 23
1-2 p.m. 3 -4 p.m.  

Saturday, June 24
9-10 a.m. Noon-1 p.m.  

The top five posters for 2017 will be showcased during the Saturday sessions, when authors will be present.

"They will still be able to discuss the author's findings because each author will be assigned a time to be present at his/her poster," says Dominick Maino, O.D., who will moderate AOA's Best of 2017 Poster Authors session, "Current Research You Should Incorporate into Your Mode of Practice Now," set for 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 24. Dr. Maino is chair of the Poster Abstract Review Committee. "Attendees will undergo an immersive, interactive experience that was not previously available," Dr. Maino says.

What's a hackathon?

On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., experience a transformative event: the interprofessional hackathon. In short, hackathons are digital-age events where participants collaborate and utilize innovative technology to develop a solution or solve a problem.

"The goal is to design a tool to educate patients and parents about the importance of vision in the learning process, while fostering a community and culture of innovation," says Thomas Wong, O.D., director of new technologies at State University of New York College of Optometry and leader of the session.  

Click here to read more about the interprofessional hackathon.  

Click here to register to attend Optometry's Meeting.

May 3, 2017

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