Education topics

Doctor of optometry and paraoptometric integrated education 

With over 30 hours of credits offered in an integrated setting, doctors of optometry and paraoptometrics can attend courses together on topics that impact the coordination of care provided to patients. Billing and coding procedures, patient communication, nutritional impact on the eye, gene therapy and myopia control are a few topics that will be explored. These courses provide the perfect setting for doctors to bring their staff together for courses that can further enhance the cohesiveness of care provided within a practice. 

Drs. Melton and Thomas: Saturday back to back 

Courses: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The lecture team of Ron Melton, O.D., and Randall Thomas, O.D., has lectured nationally and internationally on ocular disease and pharmacology at more than 1,000 continuing medical education meetings. Drs. Melton and Thomas have authored or co-authored 100+ papers on optometry and acted as investigators in more than 50 clinical research trials. These team-taught courses are designed to sharpen the clinician's skills in diagnosing and medically managing a variety of ocular diseases with emphasis on recognizing often misdiagnosed or missed conditions. The discussion will center around improving outcomes using current and evolving techniques and technologies for diagnosing and treating eye disorders. They will provide guidance in making an informed choice on the use of various drugs and treatment modalities. They will share helpful clinical pearls that they have accumulated from a combined 70-plus years of clinical practice while remaining immersed in the latest medical research and literature. 

Paraoptometric continuing education & professional development 

The AOA continues to foster the development of Paraoptometrics and the necessary skills they bring to support the practice of optometry. The Paraoptometric courses offered at Optometry's Meeting are accredited by the Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (CPC). Topics for these courses include the impact of systemic diseases on eye health, the importance of a complete patient history, and how to support the doctor performing a pediatric eye exam. 

Myopia management 

The prevalence of myopia is an increasing health concern. With issues starting in younger and younger patients as digital device use continues to increase throughout the world, combating those effects becomes a more pressing and urgent mission for doctors of optometry. The use of standard and specialty contact lenses is a critical point of care for patients diagnosed with myopia.

Surgical management 

The treatment of glaucoma and various systemic diseases related to the anterior segment of the eye are often conducted through surgical procedures. With the continued growth of contemporary optometry, we offer courses that reacquaint the doctor of optometry with both basics and nuances related to surgical treatment options as well as advantages and disadvantages of performing these procedures. 

Laser tissue interactions 

This OD/Paraoptometric integrated course allows doctors and their staff the opportunity to learn more about ophthalmic laser procedures and their results. As Contemporary Optometry continues to evolve, lasers are an increasingly essential tool used in today's clinical setting. Attendees will take a deeper dive into laser light and basic laser physics which will help increase understanding of laser-tissue interactions for the whole staff. Additionally, the post-operative process will be discussed as well as the paraoptometric role in providing chairside support during the doctor's delivery of these procedures. 

Diversity & inclusion 

The optometric profession is working to ensure the medical offices across our nation mirror the demographics of our country. In support of these efforts, staffing and patient communication are key components of this endeavor. Optometry's Meeting will offer courses that cover topics ranging from doctor, staff and student demographics and their impact on patient care to the implementation of tools to develop policies for a more diverse and inclusive practice and using accountability to assess their effectiveness in relation to patient care and practice growth including the need for cultural humility as a critical point for effective patient-centered communication. Since these courses are available for doctors and their staff, this is a great way to begin the discussion around diversity, equity and inclusion at the practice level. 

COVID-19 & the eye 

Ocular implications of COVID-19 continue to be seen in patients around the world. It is important for doctors of optometry to be aware of the ocular manifestations and complications that remain as a result of the virus. This course will summarize these implications and help serve as a reference for doctors of optometry during diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients and those after recovery from the virus. 

Population health 

The doctor of optometry plays an important role in providing primary medical care for their patients. The concept of population health requires that doctors continue to explore optometry's expanding role in the healthcare system. This course will give a broad overview of population health management and the ways it can be refocused on the practice of contemporary optometry.