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Don’t Miss the Annual AOA Meeting and All It Has to Offer

June 14, 2023

It’s June, so that means it’s time for the annual American Optometric Association (AOA) Meeting. I hope to see you all in Washington, D.C. The meetings, classes, and dinners are always good, but after the business of the day has concluded, I look forward to seeing all of my colleagues and joining them for a late-night cocktail at the bar. They say you learn more after hours than at any meeting, and I truly believe that to be true. We have such a great profession with so many wonderful people.

For nine years, I was involved with the Contact Lens and Cornea Section, which culminated with a whirlwind chairmanship that included five drug recalls, fusarium, and the dreaded acanthamoeba. I was fortunate to work with some of the smartest, dedicated optometrists in the United States as they helped shape the future of eye care today. I always learned a lot from them and was given more than I could ever give. It is true when you give, it comes back in spades.

My most cherished accomplishment was the creation of the Donald Korb Award and reception with Dave Seibel. Donald was, and still is, the mentor of so many of our colleagues, and he has made this award, lecture, and reception one of the best attended for more than 20 years. Rick Weisbarth and Alcon stepped up in the beginning to make sure it was a success. Throughout the years, this award has been given to multiple giants in the field of optometry.

My next assignment, which lasted for nine years, was on the AOA Optometry Cares board, where I served as chairman of the advancement committee. Once again, I met the most dedicated optometrists who gave not only in time but in money. Please click this link to see all Optometry Cares does for our profession and patients. We established the Optometry Cares Society, which we all should be a member of, so please join today and donate to the disaster relief fund that helps optometrists by providing financial assistance for property damages to their practices due to natural disasters.

Of course, we all know about the amazing program, InfantSee. As with my first assignment, this position was extremely rewarding, and I made new friends and learned from my brilliant colleagues.

The AOA has been instrumental in protecting our past accomplishments and growing our future.

I have made so many lifelong friends, and we are just beginning. I’m excited about the Contact Lens and Cornea section reception, and I also look forward to attending this year’s AOA Optometry Cares reception. Please join me, and let’s have a toast to our future. I could fill several pages with stories about my experiences and the history of this annual event.

Please join the AOA, attend the meeting, and bring your friends.



  • Jack L. Schaeffer, OD, FAAO, Chief Clinical Editor

    Dr. Schaeffer is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. He practiced in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was also president of an 18-location group practice and a refractive laser center. Dr. Schaeffer lectures internationally and serves on many industry boards and advisory panels. He is involved with many clinical studies on contact lenses, pharmaceuticals, and equipment. He has recently authored a miniseries on the history of contact lenses and the contact lens specialty practice. He was an Executive Associate Editor of the International Contact Lens Leadership Summit and the developer and Editor of the series, Optometry Scene. Dr. Schaeffer also served as Chairman of the Contact Lens and Cornea Section of the American Optometric Society. He served as board member and fundraising chairman for Optometry Cares: The AOA Foundation and the GPLI Institute. Dr. Schaeffer is on the College of Charleston School of Business Board of Governors. Dr. Schaeffer is involved in multiple community, charitable, and political organizations in Alabama and South Carolina.

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