We’re pleased and honored that you decided to join the American Academy of Optometry for our inaugural virtual meeting and hope you enjoy the quality education you’ve come to expect from us.
No one could have foreseen that 2020 would be the year in which all best laid plans would be shelved and new ones would be drawn. That, this year, we’d be making lemonade with an insurmountable amount of lemons. Yet here we are. A completely revamped annual meeting, packed with 300 hours of continuing education (CE) lectures, in which you can earn up to 80 hours of “live” COPE-approved CE credits—an unprecedented amount, by the way—and all from the safety of your home or office.
A few things you can expect this year include new lecture format options. Based on last year’s feedback, the Lectures & Workshops Committee (LWC) was tasked with developing new programs and lecture series for 2020, and COVID-19 did not stop them from accomplishing this task. This year, we are proud to present the Academy Classroom Exchange, or ACE for short. Recognizing that some participants learn better in a more personal setting, the Academy's ACE course curriculums are one hour long with limited attendance, which provides a small group learning experience, thus maximizing discussion and interaction.
In addition to ACE, the LWC also developed two hybrid lectures which bring together a scientific presentation and a case study, complemented by a panel discussion among experts in that field. You will not want to miss the Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Practice sessions: “Contemporary Management of Intermittent Exotropia” and “The Art and Science of Myopia Control.”
Other not-to-be-missed lectures include our Plenary session, “A New Look at Some Old Medical Guidelines.” This is sure to be a crowd pleaser as we hear from our physician counterparts on contemporary management of systemic diseases relevant to eye care. Additionally, we’re tackling some tough subject matter in our joint symposium with the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and the National Optometric Association focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. With the population becoming increasingly diverse, it is imperative that our profession work toward improving the inequities in health and vision care. In order to do so, we must confront the inequality and racism in our society and our profession.
When you’re not soaking in the abundance of educational offerings, including the papers and posters, we hope you will make visiting the virtual exhibit hall a priority and direct-connect with the more than 100 exhibitors and sponsors who are excited to meet with you virtually, and showcase their products and services. We firmly believe that despite not being able to stroll the exhibit hall aisles in-person, you will find the virtual hall just as easy to navigate and will enjoy the ease with which you can easily connect with an exhibitor by a simple “click” of a button.
As if 13 days of education and 24-hour access to the exhibit hall weren’t overwhelming enough, we’re upping the ante and bringing you a variety of entertainment options… straight from Nashville. You’ll certainly want to sip on some that fresh-squeezed lemonade we referenced earlier, as we kick off the annual meeting with the musical stylings of Justin Moore, Tuesday, October 6. As the meeting progresses, we’ll have cooking demonstrations from the executive chefs at some of Nashville’s world-renowned restaurants including Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and Martin’s BBQ; have a bartending lesson with mixologists from Liquor Lab; tour the famed Black Abbey Brewery—you’ll want to have a brew on hand for this tour; and attend the singer/songwriter jam sessions we’ve peppered throughout the meeting. And we’re kicking it all off Tuesday evening, October 6, 8:30pm, with a concert from Nashville favorite Justin Moore.
While this year’s meeting will be vastly different, we have no doubt you will still feel the spirit of the annual Academy meeting, and more importantly, the camaraderie and collegiality of friendship and Fellowship.
Again, welcome to Academy 2020 At Home.
Barbara Caffery, OD, PhD, FAAO
Timothy McMahon, OD, FAAO
Academy 2020 At Home Chair
Peter Scott, MBA, CAE, APR
Chief Executive Officer