Associations to Explore Joint Educational Opportunities

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SAN FRANCISCO and ORLANDO—The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Optometry will collaborate on educational initiatives to prepare and support their members to serve a growing population of patients. They will develop educational opportunities over the next 12 to 18 months with a formal launch in 2015. The two academies’ leaders said they believe that truly effective collaborative care requires coordination of education and standards of care between the professions of optometry and ophthalmology.

According to a statement from the two organizations, they are engaging with each other in an effort to foster a mutual approach to serving a growing population of patients in the U.S. who are expected to require eye health services in the near future. The organizations cite both the aging Baby Boomer population and health care reform as reasons for an expected significant increase in the number of Americans seeking eyecare.

“The professions of optometry and ophthalmology complement each other in many ways,” said Bernard J. Dolan, OD, MS, president of the American Academy of Optometry. “It is refreshing to embark on this cooperative initiative in the area of continuing education to improve patient care in a collegial environment of mutual respect.”

“More and more ophthalmologists are practicing with optometrists in the same point-of-care environment and are seeking information and models that will optimize the impact for patients," said David W. Parke II, MD, chief executive officer of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “The better prepared our two professions are and the more effectively they work together, the better care we will be able to provide for all patients.”