Like many of you, I chose optometry because it is about so much more than refractions. It is about primary care through the entirety of a patient’s life. It is about being an active member in a community as well as in a profession, constantly striving to enhance the surrounding community and industry. My motivation for becoming an optometrist stemmed from the profession’s nature of enabling others to see their passion in life and preserving their ability to engage in said passion.
Over the last three years, it has been exciting to see the dedication and devotion our classmates have placed in their education. It is also humbling to know that for years, AOA members volunteered their time and worked tirelessly to not only advance the profession of optometry but to ensure that every student and doctor is able to live out their passion.
As AOSA and AOA members, we too can continue this tradition of giving back to the profession. That is why I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to attend AOA+ and Optometry’s Meeting® this year in Washington D.C.
While at AOA+ you will be an advocate for optometry and your patients, you will hear from members of Congress, learn about personal finance from entrepreneur and best-selling author Alexa von Tobel and learn about ways each of us can be leaders in the profession. An opportunity that I am most excited about is the AOA+ Leadership Link program. The program will connect you with an experienced and practicing OD in the area of your choosing. This serves as a wonderful opportunity for students and young grads to build a relationship and receive mentorship. Additionally, they can help aid in a successful transition from student to OD and serve as a friend and resource providing guidance throughout your career.
The opportunities are immense and thanks to the generous financial support of the AOA, AOSA and state affiliates, attending AOA+ and Optometry’s Meeting has never been more affordable for students. March 31st is the deadline to register and receive a $750 travel grant. Included is the link to sign up for AOA+ and Optometry’s Meeting. You will need your AOA membership number to register; if you do not have your number please reach out to your school’s AOSA trustee. I hope that you are able to take advantage of this opportunity and join more than 1,500 fellow students and future colleagues on Capitol Hll. I hope to see you there this summer.
1. Register for AOA+ (registration is free) http://www.aoa.org/aoaplus?sso=y
We are strongest when we are united, working as a unified body to ensure that legislation keeps the best interest of the patient at the center of its policy. It is crucial that we all strive to play our part in advocating for optometry.
Andy Mackner, AOSA President-elect
Pacific University College of Optometry