2,020 at #OM2020: AOA+ wants you in Washington

February 26, 2020
This is where it all begins—AOA+ at Optometry’s Meeting® 2020 is the student and new grad experience that engages our profession’s future leaders. Learn about grant opportunities to attend.
AOA+ wants you in Washington

Welcome to optometry. Now, let AOA+ get you going.

Whether still enrolled in optometry school or recently graduated, students and new doctors have taken that all-important first step in pursuing optometry as a career—a quality education. But what happens after graduation or that first job? If school is the how to optometry, then AOA+ is the why.

Once again, Optometry's Meeting®, June 24-28, in National Harbor, Maryland/Washington, D.C., unites the powerfully engaging, advocacy tilt of AOA on Capitol Hill with the new doctor and student career springboard that is AOA+, and the result is an invaluable opportunity for future optometric leaders to get involved and get ahead. But, don't just take it from us; registration speaks for itself.

Still over 100 days to go before this one-of-a-kind, immersive experience gets underway, more than 1,500 students and new doctors are already registered to be part of the 2,020 AOA+ attendees in 2020.

"With 2020 being such an important year for optometry, the AOSA and AOA anticipate an incredible turnout of students and doctors of optometry in Washington, D.C.," says Alex Bennett, American Optometric Student Association incoming president, extending an open invitation to friends and colleagues.

After all, AOA plus you equals a brighter future for our patients and our profession.

Want to know more?

Whether students' and new doctors' first or fourth AOA+, the emerging leaders experience continues to offer new and exciting opportunities to get involved and engaged. Here are just a few AOA+ highlights happening at Optometry's Meeting:

Optometry Unites on Capitol Hill
1-5 p.m., Wednesday, June 24

Learn what it means—and looks like—to advocate for our profession when Optometry's Meeting opens in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol. Join colleagues in Union Square as Optometry Unites demonstrates why advocacy and involvement with the AOA is so vital to protecting and advancing our profession. Bring your pro-optometry rally signs or make one on the Hill and hear moving testimonials about the essentialness of optometric care. And don't miss out on the preceding Race to the Hill (stay tuned for details).

AOA+ Leadership Link
Various times

Get connected with our profession's leaders through Leadership Link, a networking program designed to help students and new doctors transition from optometry school or residencies and into practice. This is an exclusive opportunity to network, ask questions and get a sense for what it takes to become successfully involved.

AOA+ Residency and AOA State Affiliate Summit
12:20-2:30 p.m., Friday, June 26

Back by popular demand, the summit gives attendees the opportunity to visit and learn from residency directors, as well as AOA state affiliates to see what programs are available.

AOA+ Pop-Up Sessions
Various times

These aren't your typical classroom educational courses—AOA+ Pop-Up Sessions are fast-paced, interactive and cover a wide range of topics that you won't always find in school. In the past, Pop-Ups have looked at very practical concerns in starting an optometric career, such as work-life balance and business acumen, to more clinically in-depth topics, such as establishing a sports and performance vision practice or pediatric care workshops. Stay tuned for this year's selection of AOA+ Pop-Up Sessions.

"You could meet a potential mentor at an AOA+ Leadership Link, learn something new at one of the pop-up events specifically designed for students, and blow off some steam with your friends at the AOSA Optometry Student BowlTM XXIX, powered by Essilor, and Luxottica Live! party," Bennett says.  

"Why miss such a great opportunity to connect with your peers, share your ideas and meet your future colleagues?"  

Apply for a travel grant  

This once-in-ever opportunity to celebrate optometry's year in our nation's capital is too much to pass up, which is why the AOA is committed to helping students and new doctors attend. This year, the AOA is offering 2,020 AOA+ travel grants to get you to the Washington/Maryland/Virginia metro area. But with less than 500 to go (as of Feb. 25), grants are going fast.  

Interested in applying for a grant? Here are the requirements to earn an AOA+ Travel Grant available only on a first-come, first-served basis:

AOA+ Travel Grant

  • Be an AOA/AOSA/ state association affiliate member.
  • Register for Optometry's Meeting.
  • Attend "Optometry Unites" on Capitol Hill (June 24), the AOA+ Advocacy Workshop (June 25) and the AOA+ Residency and State Affiliate Summit (June 26).
  • Meet attendance requirements for AOA+ Pop-Up sessions and other select events.
  • Participate in the AOSA Optometry Student BowlTM XXIX (June 25), powered by Essilor, and Luxottica Live! (June 26).
  • Visit the Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation table by the AOSA Sunglass Sale.

Additionally, students or new doctors selected by their state—or AOSA trustees—may qualify for AOA+ Advocate Travel Grants that also come with certain requirements, including additional advocacy-related events or programs. All requirements are subject to change. 

Still have questions? Check out this AOA+ 2020 FAQ.  

Begin your Optometry's Meeting® 2024 registration

Are you ready to register for the profession's premier annual event, June 19-22, 2024, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee? Open the registration portal below to begin your Optometry's Meeting experience today!

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