President's Calling - Help Assure Another Banner Meeting and a Call to Action

Published November 7, 2017

In This Issue...

President's Calling

Help Assure Another Banner Meeting

A Call to Action

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January 2017

Help Assure Another Banner Meeting

Preparations have begun for our annual meeting this year in Chicago. An important part of the process of designing a successful program is receiving a full complement of course proposals, scientific paper and poster abstracts, and nominations for our Awards program. We rely heavily on your willingness to share your knowledge, clinical experience and research, and also your recommendations to the Awards Committee.

For some of you, it’s a routine part of your yearly agenda to submit a course proposal for the Lectures and Workshop portion of the annual meeting or an abstract for the Scientific Program. For others, you might just be considering a first-time submission, or you may be a student or resident who’s excited to be an integral part of your inaugural Academy meeting.

Either way, here are some tips to maximize your chances for a successful submission for the Lectures and Workshop program.

  • try to be original with a new topic and cutting edge material
  • don’t repeat a topic that you gave in prior years
  • one hour courses are often preferred to two hour courses
  • provide state-ready outlines/handouts with clear details of material to be covered

Rapid fire topics will allow for less experienced speakers to team up with seasoned veterans, and grand rounds case report submissions are a great way to transition into the program.

If you have submitted in the past and received a rejection, I encourage you to try again. Remember the approval process is quite rigorous and remains very competitive. 

Lecture and Workshop proposals may be submitted from January 2-31, 2017 on the Call for Courses webpage. The window for submission of Scientific Program abstracts is May 1-31, 2017. More information can be found on the Scientific Program webpage. 

Thank you in advance for your consideration in submitting, whether it be an abstract for the Scientific Program or a course proposal for the Lectures and Workshop program. I wish you success for acceptance for Chicago!

One favorite feature of the annual meeting is recognizing those who stand out in our profession and model professional excellence. If there is someone you feel is deserving, please consider making a nomination for an award. Nominations must be received from an Academy Fellow, with an explanation of why the nominee is particularly deserving of the award. A letter seconding the nomination must come from another Academy Fellow. These documents, as well as a CV of the nominee, must be emailed to Helen Viksnins at prior to April 1, 2017. For more information and a list of Academy Awards, visit the Awards webpage.

A Call to Action

For those who may not have already heard, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed Contact Lens Rule changes that will, if imposed, impact practices adversely nationwide (see Federal Register Vol.81, No.235 Proposed Rules). 

If you are unfamiliar with what federal regulators are soon likely to propose (unless they hear from us immediately), read on. Contact lens prescribers will be required to obtain a signed acknowledgement receipt from each patient at the conclusion of a fitting stating they have received a contact lens Rx and been given the option to obtain contact lenses from the “seller of their choice." In addition, the signed acknowledgement must be retained by the prescriber for a minimum of three years (either electronically or paper file).

The FTC feels that by signing another form this will inform patients of their rights to obtain lenses from any seller and ensure that more patients will get their contact lens prescription after the fitting is completed. However, by reducing the need for prescriber verification later, an important patient safety check may be undermined. Consumer surveys have shown safety problems with the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumer Act (FCLCA), which is now over a decade old. Examples of potential safety problems according to an AOA News release include dispensing lenses based on expired or non-existent prescriptions, overfilling prescriptions, and even providing patients with lenses other than those prescribed by their eye care provider1.

Regardless of how you feel about the Academy’s role in advocacy, I encourage those who are willing to respond to the request of Andrea Thau, president of the American Optometric Association, to do so immediately using the link below. 

If you feel this proposed change is an unnecessary administrative burden to your practice, serves no meaningful purpose and may even undermine verification, I urge you to support our sister organization in advocating for the profession by writing today to the FTC. The deadline to respond, January 30, 2017, is quickly approaching, so it’s urgent to respond today!

From the AOA Action Alert: Click here to provide your comments directly to the FTC. You can use the sample message here to let FTC officials know where optometry stands.  

Click here to submit private comments about the FTC proposal to the AOA or to report illegal sales practices of internet contact lens sellers.  


Joseph P. Shovlin, OD, FAAO
President, American Academy of Optometry