Mission Statement The American Optometric Society was formed by and represents the interests of optometrists for the following purposes as established by our charter: Monitor, protect, and improve the interests of optometrists and the optometric profession on local, state, and national levels. Improve the quality and accessibility of optometric care available to the public. Support and enhance education, competency, and excellence in optometry. Ensure that licensed doctors of optometry, who have proven their competence and their ability to provide the highest quality optometric care, are properly recognized as such by the public, the profession, its regulators, third party payers, and the government, and that they are not excluded from programs available to the profession and third party payer plans. Establish, support, and recognize those who maintain the highest standards of excellence in the practice of optometry.
Mission Statement The AOS is committed to giving its members a voice in their profession, supporting the common goals of its members, and advocating for its members within other organizations. It is an inclusive and transparent organization that works with local, regional, and national optometric organizations while remaining committed to communication with, and the fair and equal representation of its members. The AOS is dedicated to excellence in patient care and the growth and expansion of optometrists’ ability to serve the public.
The Board of Directors Have Targeted the Following Items for Action Replacement/recall of officers in key state associations, leading to a possible reversal of the AOA's resolution on board certification. Encourage the state boards of optometry to enjoin the use of the AOA/ABO's Board Certification as misleading and deceptive to the public. Work with local AOA societies to make changes in the AOA and state association bylaws giving members legitimate representation. Develop appropriate methods of assuring maintenance of continued competency leading towards coordinated and consistent national continuing education requirements leading toward license portability. Promoting optometrists’ qualifications and scope of practice to other health care providers and the public.
TheMission of the American Optometric Society is to mobilize a broad base of support to bring about change and prevent the profession from being damaged by the current AOA leadership and a number of state organizations. Rather than abandoning these organizations and weakening our profession the AOS was formed as a foundation for constructive change based on the premise that there is strength in numbers and that optometry needs to be led by an organization that cares and listens to its members. Your membership will be a positive step for our profession, not harm it. Indeed, Optometry will ultimately be stronger, more representative and cohesive.
Join the American Optometric Society! Signal your support for the Society's efforts to return the AOA to the organization it once was, to reverse the AOA's detrimental impacts resulting from the formation of the American Board of Optometry and the proposed Board Certification program. The AOS will explore alternative approaches of meeting the needs of optometrists as the health care industry evolves and to assure the highest standards of patient care.
What Happened to the AOA? AOA “leadership” proposed the development of the American Board of Optometry to oversee the creation and administration of a voluntary program called “board certification.” This was done primarily behind closed doors and when it came to put the process to a vote at the annual House of Delegates in June, it passed without the advice, consent and in many cases even the knowledge of the membership. In fact, in a number of cases, state association members were polled and voted overwhelmingly to oppose the adoption of BC, yet their association voted in favor of BC anyway. The state delegates voted exactly opposite the expressed will of the members.
What Happened to the AOA? AOA states on their website: “demonstrating continuing competency through board certification will be an essential criterion--the price of admission for participation in Government and private insurance coverage.” The need for BC is clearly based on a concept that is theoretical and does not exist. By the AOA’s own terms, optometrists would not be eligible for payment for services under the new health insurance plans unless they are board certified.Is BC really voluntary then?
What Happened to the AOA? AOA is creating a program that divides practitioners into two classes implying that BC doctors are more qualified than other licensed practitioners. That is simply not true. Under the AOA’s plan, board certified optometrists are no more qualified than any other optometrists. Licensing and qualifications to practice is controlled and mandated by the individual state boards of optometry----not the AOA. The medical model of “Board Certification” implies “extra skills, knowledge and training.” The deceptive AOA version is not the same thing.
What Happened to the AOA? AOA is creating a program with a name that confuses the public and demeans the profession. It provides ammunition to the ophthalmologists and other MDs that our own professional organization feels we are not qualified to provide patient care without their version of BC.
What Happened to the AOA? The AOA has proclaimed to the public, insurance providers and other health care providers right on their website that you may indeed be incompetent! They prominently display the following: “optometry is the only prescribing doctoral-level profession that doesn’t have a process to measure continued competency beyond entry level”. www.aoa.org, Sept, 2009 That statement is simply wrong and damaging to the profession. Every state requires optometrists to satisfy continuing education requirements specifically to assure continued competence.
Why is the AOA pushing BC? It’s All About Money! Board Certification Will Generate Millions for the AOA
Why is the AOA pushing BC? What can the cash-strapped AOA do to raise more money? They could raise dues and fees. Or they can invent a process of BC, requiring optometrists to pay for credentialing, including education and fees. What does that mean for the doctor? More continuing education! More fees! More hoops!
Why is the AOA pushing BC? It is easy to see board certification generating millions of dollars a year, a large amount of it coming from non-AOA members. This “plan” will generate far more revenue for the AOA than it could possibly lose from alienating some members, is entirely distinct from dues, and doesn’t require any sharing with anybody. The AOA budget will quickly become completely dependent on ABO revenue/donations.
Facts and Myths Myth #1: The American Optometric Society is out to destroy the AOA Fact: It is the AOA that has caused disharmony among our colleagues. The AOS strongly supports organized optometry and the state associations that have acted in the best interests of their members. Fact: The AOS is actively working WITH local AOA societies to help reform the organization so that is can truly represent the needs of optometry.
Facts and Myths Myth #2: The AOA listens to the membership. Fact: Delegates at the AOA meeting in June, 2009 voted exactly opposite the will of the members in a number of states, leading to the passage of the board certification plan. Fact: The American Optometric Society provides for a direct and representative vote: every optometrist has a voice and is heard! We ASK for your feedback!
Facts and Myths Myth #3: The AOA represents the interests of all optometrists and claims a membership of over 36,000. Fact: There are only about 32,000 ODs in the USA and in reality, only about 50% are AOA members. Fact: The AOA therefore only represents only about half of all optometrists. Fact: The AOA created the board certification program despite overwhelming opposition by both the general membership of the AOA and non AOA member optometrists.
Look What We’ve Done! Presentations and Communications
American Academy of Optometry Meeting, FL
C&E Vision Services CE Event, Anaheim, CA
Rio Hondo Optometric Society, CA
California State Board of Optometry
Tri-County Society (Ventura, SB, San Luis Obispo), CA
Board of Trustees of the Virginia Optometric Association
East West Eye Conference, OH
Vision Expo West. Las Vegas. NV
Tidewater Virginia Optometric Society
Inland Empire Optometric Society, CA
November, 2009 November 1, 2009 October 27, 2009 October 22, 2009 October 17, 2009 October 9, 2009 October 7, 2009 October 1, 2009 September 16, 2009 September 8, 2009
Look What We’ve Done! Presentations and Communications State Boards of Optometry: Initiated formal communications with all of the boards regarding the potential conflicts and legal issues with ABO/AOA Board Certification. House of Delegates: Helped draft resolutions to be presented to reform the voting process and to hold the leadership accountable for their anti-membership actions. ARBO: Held informative discussions regarding a responsible format for a program of certification of maintenance of continued competency and uniform continuing education.
What A Difference! The American Optometric Society
Giving its members a voice in their profession.
Supporting the common goals of its members, and advocating for its members within other organizations.
An inclusive and transparent organization that works with local, regional, and national optometric organizations.
Committed to communication with, and the fair and equal representation of its members.
Dedicated to excellence in patient care and the growth and expansion of optometrists’ ability to serve the public.
Join Today ! AmericanOptometric Society™ Please Visit Our Web Site For More Information www.OptometricSociety. org