By: Antonio Chirumbolo – SUNY 2013
WHAT IS OPTOMETRY’S MEETING?
The Optometry’s Meeting is an annual meeting consisting of a multitude of ophthalmic professions, all gathered together in one place, to educate, network with, and entertain one another. It is the utmost invaluable event for optometry and ophthalmic professions.
The “Optometry’s Meeting® is a combined meeting, bringing together the annual meetings of the American Optometric Association and the American Optometric Student Association.”1 Joining these two paramount organizations are students, ophthalmic companies, practicing optometrists and optometric enthusiasts to create a learning experience inundated with gratification.
Check out this audio interview that myself (Antonio Chirumbolo) and Matt Geller did with Dr. John Coble, the AOA Chairman of the Meeting’s Center. The interview discusses all of the most important pieces of Optometry’s Meeting!
Last years meeting, hosted in Orlando, Florida was a huge success. To get an idea of the illustrious atmosphere that envelops this splendid occasion, view the following video created by a student who earned the AOA Video Travel Grant, capturing just some of the many events of Optometry’s Meeting 2010. As successful as last years meeting was, this years Optometry’s Meeting promises to be even greater than its predecessors.
2011 OPTOMETRY’S MEETING
This year’s Optometry’s Meeting is being hosted in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 15-19, 2011. In addition to its beautiful mountain aesthetics, Salt Lake City boasts an environment rich in history, dining, nightlife and hospitality. Combined with all that this year’s Optometry’s Meeting has to offer, this tremendous occasion is certainly not one any optometric student, professional, or ophthalmic enthusiast wants to miss!
Attending the meeting will be members of the AOA and AOSA, as well as hundreds of students from Optometry Schools from all over the United States. Joining students will be influential speakers, practicing Optometrists, and many ophthalmic juggernauts such as Bausch + Lomb, Allergan, Alcon, Vistakon, and Luxottica to name a few, providing a perfect opportunity for students to not only learn about new products and technology, but become proactive in the profession by learning from experienced professionals, meeting colleagues, and forming friendships in a positive environment.
Some of the many activities and events that students can look forward to include the customary “Wednesday Night Welcome Reception” Sponsored by Bausch + Lomb, where everyone can enjoy food, drinks, and great company, as people settle in, become acquainted, and prepare for the next several days of enjoyment. There is always the highly anticipated Varilux® Optometry Student Bowl™ sponsored by Essilor, where students from all the schools and colleges of optometry put their knowledge to the test in a competition involving optometry-related questions with great prizes at stake. The atmosphere promises to be overwhelming as students enthusiastically and creatively cheer on their competing classmates to victory! If that is not enough excitement, students can enjoy a night out by going to Salt Lake City’s, The Depot, where they can enjoy drinks, food, music and dancing, organized by TLC. These are just few of the many exciting events students can relish participating in, and in addition, students will be given a tremendous opportunity to gain knowledge and insight into various aspects of the profession through lecture and seminar events.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Students can look forward to receiving advice and listening to the experience of a renowned influential keynote speaker, Erin Brockovich. In addition to Erin Brockovich, students can acquire a greater understanding in transitioning from student to doctor and developing a successful career and relations by attending seminars “Career Options Expo 2011: From Student to Doctor: Making the Leap With Confidence,” as well as “The Keys to Creating a Great Team,” by Mile Brujic, O.D.
Students will also be given the opportunity to learn about exciting topics in optometric care by attending lectures like “How Ocular Prosthetics Help My Patients and My Practice,” by Shalu Pal, O.D., as well as “Interactive Optometry – What’s That Red Eye?” by Marc Bloomenstein, O.D. and Scot Morris, O.D. Students interested in private practice will be given a prime opportunity to learn about private practice ownership with a lecture on “Buy an Existing Practice or Start from Scratch: Two Strategies to Private-Practice Ownership,” by Derek Hamilton, O.D. and Ryan Parker, O.D.
In addition to several of the aforementioned seminar and lecture topics, students can engross themselves into the profession by learning more about Optometry as a career, new ophthalmic products, and pursuing residencies in Optometry by attending The Optometric Residency Forum, talking with recruiters during the Career Fair, and visiting the illustrious exhibit room which boasts various product and informative presentations, displays, and activities, all associated with optometric and ophthalmic products and care.
While browsing the exhibit room, be sure to look for and visit the Optometrystudents.com booth. Optometrystudents.com will have an official presence at the Optometry’s Meeting this year, and we have many great activities, prizes, and demonstrations planned. The Optometrystudents.com display promises to be unique and special, and there will be plenty opportunity to get involved, have fun, and become part of the growing community of Optometrystudents.com. If any students want to get involved and become part of this growing community, Optometry’s Meeting is the perfect situation to do so. We are always looking for help, whether by student writing or contributing ideas. In addition, we would more than welcome any proactive student who wishes to help operate the Optometrystudents.com exhibit display at the Optometry’s Meeting this year. Meet the creator and team, as well as many other influential figures propelling Optometrystudents.com forward, and become part of the community in the process. Email us at by clicking here if interested in helping at the Optometry’s Meeting.
5 EASY STEPS TO GET TO OPTOMETRY’S MEETING:
- Check with your school and AOSA representatives for information, registration materials, as well as possible scholarship and grant opportunities.
- Register for the Optometry’s Meeting online at https://webapps.aoa.org/webmtg/default.aspx. Have your AOSA membership number as well as basic information handy to complete the registration. Register for the courses you would like to attend that require advanced registration.
- Book a hotel room at Optometry’s Meeting affiliated hotels by visiting the following link from the Optometry’s Meeting website: https://resweb.passkey.com/Resweb.do?mode=welcome_ei_new&eventID=3134001
- Book a flight to Salt Lake City, Utah using your preferred airline.
- Prepare yourself for a wonderful experience!
Also be sure to download the Optometry’s Meeting Smartphone App Here!
There are a vast number of scholarship and grant opportunities available to help cover the costs of attending the meeting that are readily available for students!
Be sure to check with your school for other grants and scholarships, and in addition, here are several grant and scholarships sponsored by various groups and organizations found on the Optometry’s Meeting website, available to students to help fund the cost of attending the meeting: Click Here For The Official Scholarships Link
- Allergan Travel Grants
- AOA Student Travel Grants
- AOA Video Travel Grant
- HOYA Vision Care Student Grant and Scholarship Program
- Varilux® Student Grant Award Program
- The Vision Care Institute™, LLC Travel Grants
Some scholarships and grants will be awarded for next year’s meeting while others are available at the present moment. In any event, be sure to investigate these opportunities for deadlines and requirements at http://www.optometrysmeeting.org/x5933.xml, the Optometry’s Meeting website.
Without question, the Optometry’s Meeting is an absolute pivotal event empowering the profession and propelling it forward. Optometry students and professionals will find no other place to acquire valuable and current information, work together to achieve success collectively as a profession, and develop new friendships and bonds, all while enjoying a positive and community inspired atmosphere. Give yourself the chance to experience and contribute to this marvelous occasion.