Explanation of the Point System
A point system has been put into place to allow candidates more options to meet written requirements. Once the candidate has achieved 50 points, he or she will be invited to sit for an oral examination at the next Annual Meeting of the Academy. It is the candidate's responsibility to provide their Subcommittee Chair with any documentation requested before consideration for awarding points can be made, and it is the Subcommittee Chair's responsibility to assess whether or not the materials presented satisfy the intent of the category.
Research papers, posters and publications in a vision science related curriculum completed prior to receiving the OD or other graduate degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The faculty advisor must provide a statement documenting the student's significant level of involvement in the project. The project must be the candidate's work.
All written work should be submitted through the online candidate portal.
Written Requirement Options
Case Reports (10 points each)
- Must be a case report of a patient the candidate has managed after graduation/licensure/accreditation in optometry.
- For assistance with writing your case reports, visit the Case Report Guidelines webpage.
Publications (10 points each)
- An article may be acceptable if it was published in one of the following or similar peer reviewed journals.
- When multiple authored published articles are submitted for credit, the article will only be considered if the candidate appears as the first author. If the article is over tens years old, it may be acceptable, but a brief paper describing what changes have taken place on the topic since it was published may also be requested.
- The Subcommittee Chair will make the decision if a submitted article meets the standards outlined above.
- Complete citations MUST be included or your proposed plan will be returned to you.
List of Approved Journals
Posters and Papers (10 points each)
A clinical case report poster or paper written after graduation/licensure/accreditation in optometry will be considered, including periods of time when the candidate was a resident. A research paper or poster completed prior to the graduation/licensure may be accepted. Presentations that were made at the Residents Day Program of the Academy meeting may be accepted for points as well.
Candidates for AAO Fellowship can submit posters and papers from the organizations/meetings listed below. Please note that the Admittance Committee will still review each document submitted for final approval of points and you MUST be the first author listed on the poster or paper for the work to be considered.
- American Academy of Optometry (AAO)
- Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
- American Optometric Association (AOA)
- Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) Only able to accept from 2012 and forward
- College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) Only able to accept from 2014 and forward
- Heart of America (HOA) Only able to accept from 2017 and forward
- Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) Only able to accept from 2018 and forward
Posters and papers must be presented at an approved venue prior to granting points towards Fellowship, e.g. a Candidate cannot use a paper/poster being presented at the same Academy meeting where he/she is sitting for the oral exam. A paper or poster over ten years old may not be accepted. The Subcommittee Chair will make the decision if a submitted article meets the standards outlined above.
An electronic copy/PDF of the paper and/or poster must be uploaded.
Academy Lecture (10 points each)
- A unique lecture given within the past ten years at an Annual or International meeting of the Academy may be accepted if the Candidate was the sole presenter of a one-hour lecture or presented for at least one hour of a two-hour lecture. Grand rounds presentations do not count toward this requirement.
- Documentation of successful completion of the lecture with dates and location must be provided along with a description of the lecture.
Residency of Other Graduate/Professional Degree (20 points maximum)
- Candidate must document completion of a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, or post-baccalaureate degree other than an OD (e.g. MS, MPH, MEd, PhD) in a vision science related curriculum affiliated with an accredited college or university.
- Documentation of the successful completion of the program* with dates of attendance and location must be uploaded along with a description of the scope of the program.
- Copies of any research reports, case reports, thesis, etc., completed within the program may be requested by the Subcommittee Chair.
* The Residency certificate may be uploaded after the June 1 written work submission deadline to sit for the oral exam at the next Academy annual meeting.
Leadership Contribution (10 points maximum)
- While most candidates are in positions that inherently require leadership skills, points for leadership will only be awarded for activities at the national or state level outside of the scope of the candidate's regular compensated position. Leadership points will only be awarded for those candidates who can document a sustained record of highly significant contributions to the profession or vision science that resulted from the individual's leadership position.
- Candidates with accomplishments that might make them eligible for leadership points should seek preliminary approval from the Subcommittee Chair by submitting the organization(s) served, the dates of service, the leadership position(s) and a statement outlining the significant contribution(s) to the profession.
- After receiving preliminary approval from the Subcommittee Chair, the candidate must complete a 1,200-word essay that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the committee that significant contributions to the profession or vision science resulted from the individual's leadership activities within the position.
Professionally Related Book (20 points maximum)
- A book published in one or more of the following or similar types of professionally related books: Applied Science, Optometric Education, Optometric Management, Clinical Optometry or other.
- When multiple authored published books are submitted for credit, an explanation of the candidate's role in writing the book must be provided in order for the book to be considered. If the book is over ten years old, it may be acceptable, but a paper describing what changes have taken place on the topic since it was published may also be requested.
- The Subcommittee Chair will make the decision if a submitted book meets the standards outlined above.
Original 6,000 Word Paper (50 points)
- The Candidate is the primary author
- The candidate and the Subcommittee Chair will mutually agree upon the topic of the paper.
- The paper can be based on prior works or projects, but must be new original work written for the purpose of Fellowship.
Original 1,200 Word Paper (10 Points each)
- The candidate describes the current work they are doing, what they have learned from their work and what it means to the profession of Optometry.
- The paper must be a new original work written for the purpose of Fellowship.
Synopsis of Five Consultative Services Provided to Practitioners (10 points each)
- Candidates who provide consultative services (i.e. Contact Lens Consultant, Practice Management Consultant, etc.) can summarize five different case/situations in which they demonstrate their expertise and represent the depth and breadth of their services.
Synopsis of Educational Course Work The Candidate Has Given Related to the Profession of Optometry (10 points each)
- Optometric educators can provide a synopsis of their course objectives, lesson plans, lessons learned. Minimum course duration one quarter/semester
- The Subcommittee Chair will make the decision if a submitted synopsis meets the standards outlined above.