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The American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the largest national membership association of Eye M.D.s.


Eye M.D.s are ophthalmologists, medical and osteopathic doctors who provide comprehensive eye care, including medical, surgical and optical care. More than 90 percent of practicing U.S. Eye M.D.s are Academy members, and the Academy has more than 7,000 international members.

The Academy's Mission

The mission of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is to advance the lifelong learning and professional interests of ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.s) to ensure that the public can obtain the best possible eye care.

Academy History

The Academy evolved as part of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology (AAOO), which was founded in 1896 primarily to provide continuing education to eye, ear, nose and throat doctors.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology was incorporated as an independent organization in 1979 when the AAOO was divided into separate academies for each specialty.

  • Founded in 1980, the Museum of Vision preserves the history of the Academy and strives to inspire an appreciation of vision science, the ophthalmic profession, and contributions made toward preventing blindness. Find out more about the history of ophthalmology and the Academy on the Museum of Vision website.
  • A detailed history of the origin of the Academy is also available online: Pioneering Specialists: A History of the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The Academy Today

The  American Academy of Ophthalmology is an association of Eye M.D.s dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for every individual they treat by helping each to see his or her best and by protecting their patients' vision and eye health throughout life. Academy members are committed to responding compassionately to their patients' individual needs and to advancing the highest standards of comprehensive eye care.

To enable its members to meet these goals, the Academy provides a wide variety of programs, products and services to Eye M.D.s and the patients they serve.

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