• Academy Award Program

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology recognizes its members for several different types of achievements. These awards honor ophthalmologists in multiple stages of practice and for a range of activities, from humanitarian service and significant contributions to the profession, to mentorship and faithful volunteer service. 

    Awards presented at the Annual Meeting

    Opening Session

    Recipients of the following awards attend the annual meeting as special guests of the Academy president and are recognized on stage during the Opening Session.

    • Laureate Recognition Award - The Academy’s highest honor, this award recognizes individuals from around the world who have made exceptional contributions to the betterment of eye care, leading to the prevention of blindness and restoration of sight worldwide.
    • Guests of Honor - Recognizes individuals chosen by the president for their significant contribution to ophthalmology and the Academy.
    • Distinguished Service Award – The president selects and honors an individual or organization for ongoing notable service to ophthalmology and the Academy.
    • Special Recognition Award - Presented to an individual or organization for outstanding service in a specific effort or cause that improves the quality of eye care.
    • Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award (OHSA) - This award recognizes Academy members for their contributions in charitable activities, care of the indigent and community service performed above and beyond the typical duties of an ophthalmologist
    • International Blindness Prevention Award - Honors an individual who has made significant contributions to reducing blindness and/or restoring sight worldwide.
    • Outstanding Advocate Award (OAA) - This award recognizes Academy members who participate in advocacy-related efforts at either the state and/or federal level and perform advocacy functions in their capacity as an ophthalmologist.
    • Straatsma Award - Recognizes and celebrates an outstanding Program Director in ophthalmology.  The purpose of the award is to recognize the critical role of the Program Director and to celebrate the contributions of the awardee.

    Other Events/Sessions

    Recipients of awards below are recommended by the Academy’s SO and YO Committees and approved by the Board of Trustees.  Awardees are recognized before their peers during annual meeting sessions developed by the respective committees.

    • Artemis Award - Recognizes a young ophthalmologist for exemplary care and service to his/her patients
    • EnergEYES Award - Recognizes an ophthalmologist who has mentored, served as a role model and motivating force for young ophthalmologists.

    Recognition to Service and Education Awards

    The following awards recognize individuals for their contributions and volunteer activities that support the Academy and the profession. The international awards acknowledge and honor international members for their dedication to lifelong learning.

    • Commitment to Advocacy Award - Recognizes an ophthalmology training department and its leadership for engaging ophthalmologists-in-training in advocating for their patients and their profession.
    • Life Achievement Honor Award - This award recognizes members/non-members who have accumulated 60 points towards the Achievement Awards program.
    • Senior Achievement Award - This award recognizes members/non-members who have accumulated 30 points towards the Achievement Awards program.
    • Achievement Award - This award recognizes members/non-members who have accumulated 10 points towards the Achievement Awards program.
    • Secretariat Award - This award recognizes members/non-members for special contributions to the Academy and ophthalmology outside the scope of the current Achievement Awards program.
    • International Ophthalmologist Education Award - This award recognizes international Academy members who pursue lifelong education in ophthalmology.
    • International Scholar Award - This award recognizes international Academy members and their lifelong commitment to learning. These recipients must have previously received the International Ophthalmologist Education Award.