About Us

Founded in 1922, the American Academy of Optometry is committed to promoting the art and science of vision care through lifelong learning.

The optometry field is constantly changing. To provide the highest quality continuing education and the most current vision science research, the Academy's annual meeting includes nearly 300 hours of Lectures & Workshops, symposia, and scientific lecture and poster presentations over 4 days. And, besides all that, the Academy is FUN!

The letters "FAAO" (Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry) after an optometrist, scientist or other qualified person’s name signify to colleagues and patients that rigorous qualifications for Fellowship have been met.

Academy membership consists of Fellows (including Emeritus, Honorary and Life Fellows), student members, and candidates for Fellowship. Although members may have similar benefits, only Fellows may use the "FAAO" designation.

  • Currently 86% of Academy Fellows provide clinical care (see patients on a continuing basis).
  • 47% are in private practice.
  • 14% are involved in the education of optometric students.
  • 11% practice optometry through the federal service (military, Department of Veterans Affairs, Indian Health Services, Public Health Service, etc.).

All members of the Academy, whether or not they see patients, are dedicated to the highest standards of optometric practice through clinical care, education or research.