Academy Sections and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) provide a forum for member discussions, professional enhancement, and recognition.
Additionally, these groups provide the Academy with important contributions from various fields of study or practice. Only Fellows of the Academy are permitted to join a Section or SIG. To learn more, visit the pages listed below.
Each Section is required to establish a Diplomate program to provide an avenue for Fellows committed to attaining a higher level of performance and excellence with an opportunity to achieve additional distinction. Diplomate candidates must be current Fellows of the Academy.
Fellows, to join a Section or SIG, please use the button below. Simply highlight the Sections/SIGs you’d like to be part of and press “Update Communication Preferences” when completed. There is no fee to join and no limit to the number of Section/SIGs you can be part of.
Special Interest Groups
Academic Medical Center Optometrists (AMCO) SIG
As a SIG we benefit our members by organizing and improving communications between optometrists at different academic medical centers. In addition to promoting the profession of optometry, we offer assistance with practice management, teaching tools, and case reporting.
As providers of optometry practicing with the highest standards expected by our communities, we come together in a spirit of collegiality to support one another, serve as a resource for those within and outside the SIG, and provide a bridge for common interests between all providers of healthcare for the greater good of the patients we serve.
Fellows Doing Research SIG
The mission of this SIG is to advance the ocular health of the public through community-based clinical research. This is accomplished by training Fellows in the concepts and techniques necessary for multi-center clinical research. Early emphasis is on projects addressing essential questions such as population norms, prevalence data, repeatability, and correlation of common clinical tests with symptoms and/or general disease status. Training Fellows from many practice settings, rather than specialists or tertiary care providers, enables access to patients from a broad range of health, ethnicity, socio-economic status.
Fellows who participate benefit through training in clinical research and being a part of a group that adds significant data to the ophthalmic clinical literature. This helps solidify our profession as primary eye care providers and benefits our patients.
Neuro-ophthalmic Disorders in Optometry SIG
The purpose of this Special Interest Group is to enhance the knowledge of its members in the area of neuro-ophthalmic disease and improve the care given to patients with those diseases.
- Serves as a primary resource for the Academy for papers, posters, courses, information, and research regarding neuro-ophthalmic disorders and advises the Academy on policy in these areas.
- Encourages inquiry and research into neuro-ophthalmic disorders.
- Promotes, advances, and enhances the identity of optometry as a profession with expertise in neuro-ophthalmic disorders.
Nutrition, Disease Prevention, and Wellness SIG
The mission of the Nutrition, Disease Prevention, and Wellness SIG is to promote excellent patient care with lifestyle and nutritional support for prevention and management of eye diseases and related systemic disorders. This is accomplished through professional education, scientific investigation, and multidisciplinary collaboration. We strive to foster camaraderie and mentorship for students, doctors, and researchers interested in nutritional science as it relates to eye care.
The primary mission of the Retina Special Interest Group is to promote excellence in the care of patients with posterior segment eye disease by developing evidence-based educational activities, fostering original research endeavors, and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration. Through the fusion of clinicians, educators, and researchers who share a common passion in the area of posterior segment, the SIG provides the leadership and mentorship necessary to enhance and optimize clinical management of the posterior pole throughout the optometric profession.
Vision in Aging SIG
While the optometric profession and individual clinicians are aware of the aging population and need for optometric care for this segment of the population, vision in aging is often thought of in terms of ocular disease and low vision. However, the clinical care of older adults requires an interdisciplinary approach and the clinical application of a unique, broad body of knowledge and skills to address the complex eye care needs of the aging adult. This includes knowledge of the disease-related and normal age-related changes to the human visual system, as well as the main systemic and neurodegenerative diseases affecting this population. The Vision in Aging SIG provides a forum for discussion, education, advancement of learning, and application of new knowledge of aging and clinical care of older adults as it applies to optometry.
The goals of the Vision in Aging SIG are to promote:
- Knowledge of vision and aging.
- Skill and interest in the optometric clinical management of older adults.
- Eye care for older adults, both within and outside the profession of optometry.
To further these goals, we promote discussion of research needs and the dissemination and application of knowledge from research on vision and aging within the Academy. We also educate others regarding current best clinical practice for older adults and identify new clinical trends to improve the optometric clinical care of older adults and develop the field of geriatrics as it applies to optometry.
This is achieved by:
- Providing a forum for discussion of future areas of research by offering symposia.
- Encouraging continuing education offerings by collaborating with Sections and other SIGs.
- Developing links with geriatricians and gerontologists from other disciplines.
- Surveying current curriculum trends.
- Making recommendations regarding curricula and standards of clinical competency in geriatric optometry/gerontology.
- Advocating for eye care for older adults both within and outside the profession of optometry.