There are many great meetings scheduled for Optometrists across the country every year. There are so many, that it is tough choice to say. There is no doubt though that anyone could arguably talk about two outstanding meetings:
- American Optometric Association Meeting
- Of course just from the name you will understand that this meeting is brought to you by the American Optometric Association. This is the largest organization of Optometrists in the United States boasting an impressive 44,000 members. This membership number does include Optometrists and para-optometrics.
- The next meeting sponsored by the AOA in in 2019 in St Louis. You can find out more about it here: http://www.optometrysmeeting.org/
- American Academy Of Optometry
- The American Academy Of Optometry is a prestigious organization that offers “tracts” or areas of specialty that a member can participate in. According to the academy, members of the academy “are dedicated to the highest standards of optometric practice through clinical care, education or research.” Their meeting in 2018 will be located in San Antonio. You can find out more about this meeting by clicking this link: https://www.aaopt.org/annual-meeting/san-antonio-2018
Every Optometrist needs to attend meetings for a number of reasons. Of course the main reason though is that all fifty United States require continuing education for renewal of each practitioners Optometry license. So if an OD wants to keep their ability to legally practice in their respective State then they must comply with the Optometry practice act for that State. Compared to other medical fields though, Optometry is kind of strange in that these continuing education requirements as well as the steps that ODs must go through to become licensed will vary. It is not good enough that there are National Board Examinations that all Optometry graduates must pass, each State has it’s set of rules also. We think it is important that every practitioner knows the laws that govern the practice rules for each state.
Of course there are other reasons that Optometrists attend meetings. Another common reason is to get up to date information about the treatment of eye diseases. Many people do not understand the scope of practice that most ODs possess. In most states, they are allowed to prescribe both topical and oral medication that are needed and related to eye conditions. This includes antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Some states allow for control substance prescribing also. This is a far cry from what the average American citizen thinks about when they are discussing Optometrists in general. So going to meetings to get updated information about medications and disease is a another common reason for attending meetings.
Still another reason for attending meetings is to look at the many exhibits that are set up at the larger meetings by ophthalmic equipment makers, eyeglass frame manufactures and a plethora of other eye related vendors. It is always good to see what is new as far as equipment goes and eyeglass frame and sunglasses.
Still another reason to attend meetings is for information about building a larger and more profitable practice. This includes attending practice management events that discuss things like optometry marketing and other practice enhancement items such as
- how to grow your practice online with digital marketing
- sales techniques for increased profitability in your optical area
- how to build a specialty practice such as orthok, vision therapy, dry eye etc
- how to manage your online reputation
- how to use social media in your practice
- staff management
- telephone techniques for receptionists