Get Involved

Exploring advocacy with the American Optometric Association

The AOA supports and assists its member as students, residents, trainees, technicians and young doctors of optometry. AOA members are supplied with information on everything from legislation and rights to health care changes that may affect every doctor of optometry in the United States.

How can you ensure optometry’s bright future? By being informed and getting involved—and the AOA can help. As a student or newly practicing doctor of optometry, you can join over 44,000 members of the optometric community to increase public awareness and contribute to the professional standing of optometry.

It’s easy to join the AOA. Students are eligible for membership in the AOSA, which means you’ll also be a member of the AOA.

Advocacy and service are the AOA’s mission

Optometry is a legislated profession, and its scope of practice is determined entirely by state and federal legislatures, whose decisions affect patient care, services rendered and pay. The AOA has defended the rights of doctors of optometry to practice full-scope optometry for over a century, but advocacy strength lies solely in solidarity and participation.

Discover groups such as the AOA Political Action Committee (PAC)—the AOA’s strongest voice in Washington, D.C., along with the AOA Washington office. Each state affiliate also has a PAC. You can also consult the AOA Legislative Action Center for information on the latest federal and state issues affecting optometry, and participate by speaking with your lawmakers or donating your time or money.

Even student members can help deliver the AOA’s proactive, pro-access and pro-patient federal advocacy agenda directly to elected officials by using the AOA Legislative Action Center or by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 (toll free 800.828.0498). For more information on issues important to you, or to join AOA Advocacy as a federal keyperson or AOA-PAC investor, contact the AOA Washington office directly at 800.365.2219 or visit AOA Advocacy.

Learn more about AOA membership, and how it will benefit your optometry career as a student and new doctor.


The AOA ensures students have the support they need to manage class loads and board exams, and find impactful internships, externships and residency programs.

Academic Timeline


How the AOA can help by highlighting career opportunities, assisting with day-to-day operations and more.

Managing Your Classes


A helpful list of tools, resources and opportunities to enhance both your student and optometry career as an AOA member.