Excerpted from page 56 of the November/December 2020 edition of AOA Focus.
Nhung Brandenburg, O.D., is chair of AOA’s Membership Development Committee and a staunch advocate for membership in the only organization fighting on optometry’s behalf. Take a look at the five reasons Dr. Brandenburg thinks AOA membership is right for every doctor of optometry.
1. Be in the know.
Being a member of AOA provides me with the most up-to-date clinical education and best practices, gives me access to a network of support, and allows me opportunities to get involved on the local, state and national levels with my colleagues. Together, we have a unified voice to accomplish more than what one doctor can do individually as we advocate for all our doctors of optometry, the safety of our patients and public awareness of optometry’s role in health care.
2. Resources that save time and money.
Multiple AOA resources have helped me become a better clinician and saved me money as I have utilized the malpractice insurance, coding advice and group discounts from AOAExcel® vendors. Attending Optometry’s Meeting®, using the evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and studying modules in EyeLearn Professional Development Hub have sharpened my clinical knowledge, especially as I prepared for and maintain my ABO certification.
3. Help when you need it.
I learned so much from many of the #AskAOA webinars, which provided relevant updates on COVID-19 preparations, telehealth visits, and upcoming E/M coding and billing changes. The prompt and timely information that AOA provided about PPE, the Paycheck Protection Program and the recent Federal Trade Commission Contact Lens Rule change requirements made all doctors of optometry more knowledgeable, protected and prepared to effectively treat patients and keep our businesses open.
4. Connections that make a difference.
When talking to prospective members, especially those who say they cannot afford to belong to AOA, I tell them they cannot afford not to belong. On average, AOA members earn up to 8% more than nonmembers. The friendships, networking opportunities, group purchasing discounts, paraoptometric training, enhanced clinical skills and opportunities to make a difference are priceless.
5. Support optometry’s advocates.
The AOA unites all doctors of optometry so that our profession has a stronger voice and more collective power to ensure that we can practice to the highest level of our training and are treated equitably as physicians and by insurance plans. We are truly better together—so every doctor of optometry should belong to the only organization that is always fighting for them.
AOA Member Center
The FDA is authorizing vaccines to combat COVID-19. But doctors of optometry are still fighting to recover from conditions that limited the essential eye care they provide and to keep their staffs safe from COVID-19 itself, according to the third and final survey by the AOA Health Policy Institute on the profession and the pandemic.
In an address to AOA’s House of Delegates Dec. 3, AOA President William T. Reynolds, O.D., described not only the challenges faced by members, but also how they persevered over the pandemic, social reckoning and a turbulent political season.