The Academy of Optometry annual meeting is a great time for students to explore the academic and research side of optometry. While Academy is rich with education opportunities – there are also plenty of fun events for students and opportunities to explore the host city. Click here to see where and when the next Academy is taking place, then review this list of 10 great reasons to attend.

  1. Student Fellowship: Academy offers fellowship opportunities to students as well as graduated doctors and residents. When you see a doctor listed as OD, FAAO it means that they are both a Doctor of Optometry and a fellow at the Academy of Optometry. The fellowship is considered prestigious for students and OD’s alike, and can be a great booster for your resume.
  2. Get Ahead Of Your Classmates: Academy provides learning geared towards doctors of optometry while also presenting the most cutting edge ideas. If you manage to catch on to these concepts as a student, you’ll definitely be ahead of your class. If you plan on going as a first or second year, don’t be afraid to bring a reference manual like the Will’s Eye Manual to help yourself understand the more complex concepts.
  3. Networking Opportunities: The Academy event is a great opportunity to network with students, professors, and doctors. It is never too early to start establishing connections with doctors, representatives, and fellow students.
  4. Check Out the Newest Technology at the Exhibit Hall
  5. Make Optometry Friends Outside Your School: Making friends with optometry students outside of your school allows you to have extra resources for studying and makes large events like Academy and Optometry’s meeting more fun. Love to write? Check out the OptometryStudents.com booth at the exhibit hall.
  6. Explore Major Organizations In Optometry: In addition to representing the Academy of Optometry, the event also plays host to a variety of community and service organizations within optometry including AOSA and VOSH. 
  7. Get Inspired: School can be challenging and, by the time November rolls around, you may need an extra bit of inspiration to get through the semester. Seeing the extent of the optometric community, enjoying a bit of down time, and exploring the student and resident posters can give you the inspiration you need to finish strong.
  8. Check out the host city: No matter where Academy is hosted, the host city is bound to have a variety of sites, museums, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and shops – many of which are usually steps from the convention center. 

Academy is a great event for students and graduates alike. Academy is an annual event. If you are interested in submitting posters, earning travel grants, or applying for scholarships for next year, visit