I had attended my first American Academy of Optometry’s (AAO) meeting last year, and it was an amazing experience! I obtained my student fellowship, which showed me different facets that AAO has to offer. This year’s AAO meeting is in Seattle from October 23-26th. Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t miss this great opportunity!
1. Continuing Education
Trust me, you don’t want to miss this at AAO, even as a student! Students can attend all of CE courses for free with their registration. AAO meeting offers many courses in different areas from public health and
workshops to ocular disease and practice management. Check out their website right here for more information. You can use EyeMAPTM program to plan all of your classes before getting to Seattle. I plan on attending courses in anterior and posterior segment diseases, low vision, contact lenses, and pharmacology.
2. Student Fellowship
I obtained my student fellowship last year to add the extra “oomph” to my resume. I was so glad that I did it because it showed me what AAO had to offer besides courses. I attended posters and papers, which were presented by doctors from all over the world. Also, it’s like a mini version of the actual fellowship. In order to get started with being a student fellow, you need to be a student member of the academy. During the registration process, choose the “I want to pursue Student Fellowship” box. Once you get to the meeting, you need to attend the orientation breakfast, 4 hours of CE, 2 hours of papers, 2 hours of posters, the academy business meeting, one section of SIG symposium and either plenary session: Monroe J. Hirsch Symposium or Ezell Fellows Present. See, it’s not that bad! You will be attending most of these things anyway, so just have to add couple more to get the student fellowship. You can find more information regarding student fellowship right here.
3. Student Networking Opportunities
AAO has set aside specific time for students to network. This year, it is on Friday, October 25th. They have tables set up for residency programs, which you can go to ask questions about their programs. Last year, before I went to AAO meeting, we had a residency day at our school the week before. I was interested in residency so I went to different schools that I would was interested in and talked to their current residents. It’s a great way to see all the residency programs in one place and ask any questions that you have before you decide to apply. In addition, you get to network with doctors from different states.
There are at least two hundred exhibitors at the AAO meeting showing their products and services. The exhibit hall is open from Wednesday to Friday. On the first day the hall was open last year they had a welcome reception for attendees.
5. Australia Party
On October 25th you’ll get to see all of your professors and other doctors outside of their normal element, having some fun! Last year, they had a live band with a huge dance floor. Everybody was dancing and having a great time. They also announced the winners of the scavenger hunt.
Now you know why you shouldn’t miss this year’s American Academy of Optometry Meeting in Seattle! Click here for more information about the meeting. Hope to see you guys there!