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Bylaws of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Inc.

Article I | Article II | Article III | Article IV | Article V | Article VI | Article VII | Article VIII | Article IX



Article I. Membership

1.01. Classes of Membership
1.02. Active Fellows
1.03. Life Fellows
1.04. Honorary Fellows
1.05. Inactive Fellows
1.06. Active Osteopathic Fellows
1.07. Life Osteopathic Fellows
1.08. Inactive Osteopathic Fellows
1.09. Active Members
1.10. International Members
1.11. Associate Members
1.12. Industry Members
1.13. Life Members; Life international Members; Life Associate members; Life Industry Members.
1.14. Members in Training
1.15. International Members in Training
1.16. Inactive Members
1.17. Membership Applications and Acceptance Forms
1.18. Becoming a Fellow or Member
1.19. Transfers of Membership Class
1.20. Voting and Holding Office in the Academy
1.21. Fees, Dues and Assessments
1.22. Termination of Membership
1.23. Code of Ethics
1.24. Membership Certificates; Use of Academy Name and Symbols
1.25. Forfeiture of Certain Rights Upon Conviction of a Felony
1.26. Terms


1.01. Classes of Membership.
There shall be the following classes of membership in the Academy: Active Fellows, Life Fellows, Honorary Fellows, Inactive Fellows, Active Osteopathic Fellows, Life Osteopathic Fellows, Inactive Osteopathic Fellows, Active Members, International Members, Associate Members, Industry Members, Life Members, Life International Members, Life Associate Members, Life Industry Members, Members in Training, International Members in Training, and Inactive Members.

1.02. Active Fellows.
A physician who holds a degree of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy or equivalent medical degree as determined by the Board of Trustees of the Academy, who holds a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States, Canada or the country in which the practice of medicine is regularly conducted, and who has been certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or a medical specialty board acceptable to the Board of Trustees shall be eligible to apply for membership as an Active Fellow. The Board of Trustees may waive the requirements that a candidate for Active Fellowship be licensed to practice medicine or be certified by a medical specialty board, if the physician has contributed significantly to the progress of medicine in its relation to diseases of the eye or related structures.

1.03. Life Fellows.
A physician who has been an Active Fellow of the Academy in good standing for thirty-five (35) years and whose license to practice medicine is valid and unrestricted at the end of that thirty-five (35) year period, is eligible to become a Life Fellow.

1.04. Honorary Fellows.
A person who the Board of Trustees determines has singularly aided the progress of medicine in its relation to diseases of the eye or related structures is eligible to become an Honorary Fellow.

1.05. Inactive Fellows.
An Active Fellow who is no longer engaged in the active practice of medicine by reason of disability or retirement and whose license to practice medicine is valid and unrestricted at the time of disability or retirement, is eligible to become an Inactive Fellow.

1.06. Active Osteopathic Fellows.
A physician who holds a degree of Doctor of Osteopathy, who holds a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States, Canada or the country in which the practice of medicine is regularly conducted and who has been certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Ophthalmology, shall be eligible to apply for membership as an Active Osteopathic Fellow.

1.07. Life Osteopathic Fellows.
A physician who has been an Life Osteopathic Fellow or an Active Member of the Academy in good standing for thirty-five (35) years, and whose license to practice medicine is valid and unrestricted at the end of that thirty-five (35) year period, is eligible to become an Osteopathic Life Fellow.

1.08. Inactive Osteopathic Fellows.
An Osteopathic Fellow who is no longer engaged in the active practice of medicine by reason of disability or retirement and whose license to practice medicine is valid and unrestricted at the time of disability or retirement, is eligible to become an Inactive Osteopathic Fellow.

1.09. Active Members.
A physician who holds a degree of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy or equivalent medical degree as determined by the Board of Trustees, who holds a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States, Canada or the country in which the practice of medicine is regularly conducted and who has satisfactorily completed an entire program of formal residency training in ophthalmology of at least three (3) years duration, shall be eligible to apply for membership as an Active Member.

1.10. International Members.
A physician who holds a degree of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy or equivalent medical degree as determined by the Board of Trustees, who holds a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a country other than the United States in which the practice of medicine is regularly conducted, and limits such practice to ophthalmology or a related field, and who has satisfactorily completed an entire program of formal ophthalmology training of at least three (3) years duration or its equivalent, shall be eligible to apply for membership as an International Member. For purposes of this section, a person's presence in the United States for twenty-four (24) months or less may, upon a recommendation approved by two-thirds (2/3rds) of the members of the Board of Trustees present and voting, be disregarded in determining where the person's practice of medicine is regularly conducted.

1.11. Associate Members.
A person who holds a degree of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or Doctor of Philosophy in science, and is engaged in a field allied with or in a basic science related to ophthalmology or a person who, in the judgment of the Board of Trustees, has made significant contributions to ophthalmology or engaged in full-time research in a science related to ophthalmology, shall be eligible for nomination to receive an invitation for membership as an Associate Member. A person thought to be an eligible candidate for invitation may be nominated by two (2) Active or Life Fellows or Members, on the form prescribed by the Board of Trustees. If the Board of Trustees, in its sole discretion, determines that the candidate should be invited for membership as an Associate Member, an acceptance form prescribed by the Board of Trustees shall be furnished to the candidate. A certification attesting to the person's continued satisfaction of all the requirements for eligibility for nomination to membership in that class shall be required annually.

1.12. Industry Members. A person who holds a degree of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy, or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or Doctor of Philosophy in science, and is engaged in full-time research in a science related to ophthalmology, shall be eligible for nomination to receive an invitation for membership as an Industry Member.

A person thought to be an eligible candidate for invitation may be nominated by two (2) Active or Life Fellows or Members, on the form prescribed by the Board of Trustees. If the Board of Trustees, in its sole discretion, determines that the candidate should be invited for membership as an Industry Member, an acceptance form prescribed by the Board of Trustees shall be furnished to the candidate. A certification attesting to the person's continued satisfaction of all the requirements for eligibility for nomination to membership in that class shall be required annually.

1.13. Life Members; Life International Members; Life Associate Members; Life Industry Members. A person who has been an Active Member, International Member, Associate Member or Industry Member in good standing of the Academy or predecessor organizations for thirty-five (35) years and whose license to practice medicine (if applicable) is valid and unrestricted at the end of that thirty-five (35) year period, is eligible to become a Life Member in the appropriate life category.

1.14. Members in Training.
A physician who holds a degree of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy or equivalent medical degree as determined by the Board of Trustees, and who is engaged on a full-time basis in an ophthalmology residency training program conducted either in the United States or in Canada that is acceptable to the Board of Trustees or who has satisfactorily completed such a training program and is engaged on a full-time basis either in an ophthalmology fellowship training program conducted in the United States or in Canada or in a postgraduate educational course of training leading to an advanced degree at an accredited college or university in the United States or in Canada, or a foreign medical graduate who is otherwise eligible for International Membership and is engaged on a full-time basis in a postgraduate ophthalmology training program in the United States or in Canada, shall be eligible to apply for membership as a Member in Training.

1.15. International Members in Training.
A physician who holds a degree of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy or equivalent medical degree as determined by the Board of Trustees and who is engaged on a full-time basis in an ophthalmology residency, fellowship or equivalent training program outside the United States and Canada that is acceptable to the Board of Trustees, or who has completed a residency training program outside the United States or Canada that is acceptable to the Board of Trustees and is engaged on a full-time basis in an ophthalmology fellowship program outside the United States or Canada, shall be eligible to apply for membership as an International Member in Training.

1.16. Inactive Members.
An Active Member, International Member, Associate Member or Industry Member who is no longer engaged in the active practice of medicine (if applicable) by reason of disability or retirement, and whose license to practice medicine is valid and unrestricted at the time of disability or retirement, is eligible to become an Inactive Member.

1.17. Membership Applications and Acceptance Forms.
Each candidate for membership as an Active Fellow, an Active Osteopathic Fellow, an Active Member, an International Member, a Member in Training, or an International Member in Training shall file with the Executive Vice President the appropriate Academy membership application form, completed as prescribed thereon, and shall pay the application fee in effect at that time. Each person who has been nominated for invitation to become an Associate Member or an Industry Member, and who is furnished by or under the direction of the Board of Trustees the appropriate Academy membership acceptance form to accept membership in one of those classes, may accept the invitation by filing with the Executive Vice President the acceptance form, completed as prescribed thereon and paying the fee in effect at that time. All information submitted on or with an application form, a nomination form, or an acceptance form shall be subject to review and verification by or under the supervision of the Board of Trustees.

1.18. Becoming a Fellow or Member.
Except as provided in Section 1.19, a candidate for membership shall become a Fellow or Member in the respective membership class upon recommendation by the Board of Trustees and election thereto by the affirmative vote of three-fourths (3/4ths) of the Voting Fellows and Members present and voting at any annual or special business meeting of the Academy and upon payment of all applicable dues and assessments for the then current year.

1.19. Transfers of Membership Class.
The membership of a Fellow or Member who is eligible to become a Life Fellow, a Life Osteopathic Fellow, a Life Member, a Life International Member or a Life Associate Member or a Life Industry Member in accordance with these Bylaws shall automatically be converted to membership in the respective Life membership class without any application, request, or other action by the Fellow or Member and without any recommendation, vote, or other approval by the Board of Trustees or the Voting Fellows and Members. A person who becomes a Life Fellow, a Life Osteopathic Fellow, a Life Member, a Life International Member or a Life Associate Member or Life Industry Member shall continue to have and enjoy all of the privileges and responsibilities associated with the person's former membership class.

A Fellow or Member who is eligible to become an Inactive Fellow, Inactive Osteopathic Fellow or Inactive Member may become an Inactive Fellow, Inactive Osteopathic Fellow or Inactive Member, as the case may be, by requesting and obtaining the approval of the Board of Trustees for transfer to the appropriate Inactive membership class. An Inactive Fellow, Inactive Osteopathic Fellow, or Inactive Member who satisfies all of the requirements for eligibility to apply for membership in the person's membership class may seek reinstatement to the former membership class by submitting to the Board of Trustees a request for reinstatement and other information and verifications that the Board of Trustees may specify. Reinstatement of an Inactive Fellow, Inactive Osteopathic Fellow, or Inactive Member to the person's former membership class shall be within the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees and shall be effective upon the person's payment of all applicable dues and assessments for the then current year.

A Fellow or Member is eligible for transfer to a membership class other than a Life or an Inactive membership class, and other than reinstatement to the person's former membership class from an Inactive membership class, without reapplication for membership, upon (1) establishing to the satisfaction of the Board of Trustees, in its sole discretion, that the person satisfies all of the requirements for eligibility to apply for membership in the other membership class, and (2) completion of the training program, in the case of a Member in Training or an International Member in Training and, unless otherwise specified by the Board of Trustees, upon submission to the Board of Trustees of a request on the form prescribed by it for transfer to another membership class. The Fellow or Member eligible to apply for transfer to another membership class shall become a Fellow or Member of that membership class upon approval by the Board of Trustees and upon payment of all applicable dues and assessments for the then current year.

1.20. Voting and Holding Office in the Academy.
The only classes of membership entitled to vote on any matter or to attend any annual or special business meeting of the Academy shall be Active Fellows, Active Osteopathic Fellows, Life Fellows, Life Osteopathic Fellows, Active Members and Life Members. Only Active Fellows, Active Osteopathic Fellows and Life Fellows shall be eligible for nomination, election, or appointment as an Elected or Appointed Officer or as a Trustee-at-Large of the Academy or as the Chair or Vice Chair of the Council, and only International Members, or those Fellows and Members who practice exclusively outside of the united States, shall be eligible for appointment as an International Trustee-at-Large.

1.21. Fees, Dues and Assessments.
(a) The application fees and the dues, assessments and other fees for each class of membership shall be established annually by the Board of Trustees.

(b) Annual dues shall be established on the basis of the calendar year. The dues for a calendar year shall be payable on or before Jan. 1 of that year and shall be considered delinquent if not paid by the date determined by the Board of Trustees. At the discretion of the Board of Trustees, specified classes of members shall have the option to prepay dues for multiple years. Assessments and fees shall be payable at the time or times determined by the Board of Trustees.

(c) No dues shall be payable by Life Fellows, Life Osteopathic Fellows, Life Members, Members in Training, Inactive Fellows, Inactive Osteopathic Fellows or Inactive Members, but these classes of Fellows and Members shall pay service fees and assessments that the Board of Trustees determines to be equitable. A person in a life membership category who requests in writing that no membership services be received other than insurance benefits that may have accrued, or written notice of the dates and places of the annual meetings of the Academy, or the privilege of attending the annual meetings without registration fee, shall be entitled to have any service fees and assessments otherwise payable by the person waived. Life Fellows, Life Osteopathic Fellows, or Life Members requesting waiver of service fees and assessments may subscribe to Academy publications for fees that the Board of Trustees determines to be equitable. No dues, assessments, fees or other charges shall be payable by either Past Presidents of the Academy or by Honorary Fellows, who shall be entitled to receive, upon request, those Academy membership services and publications approved by the Board of Trustees.

1.22. Termination of Membership.
(a) A Fellow or Member in any class of membership whose required dues, assessments, or other fees for a calendar year are not paid in full by the date determined by the Board of Trustees shall be considered "delinquent." If the delinquency is not removed by Dec. 31 of that year, membership shall automatically terminate on the last day of that year, unless membership is extended in a manner determined by the Board of Trustees. A Fellow or Member whose membership has been terminated may reapply for membership as provided in Sections 1.16 and 1.17.

(b) A Fellow or Member in any class of membership may resign by written notice to the Executive Vice President. The resignation is effective without acceptance when the notice is received. But the resignation does not relieve the Fellow or Member from any obligation to the Academy for accrued but unpaid dues, assessments or fees.

(c) The membership of a Fellow or Member in any class of membership who ceases to meet any requirement for eligibility and who does not transfer to another membership class as provided in these Bylaws, shall automatically terminate on the date on which the Fellow or Member ceases to meet the eligibility requirement. If a Fellow's or Member's license to practice medicine, or the conduct of the Fellow's or Member's practice of medicine, is in any manner and to any extent whatsoever revoked, conditioned, suspended, limited, qualified, subjected to the terms of probation or restricted by a court, department, board or administrative agency, membership in the Academy shall automatically terminate on the effective date of that action. The foregoing shall not apply to an adverse action with respect to a Fellow's or Member's medical practice or license by reason of the failure or refusal of the Fellow or Member either to accept assignment of benefits payable by a patient's third-party payor as payment in full for professional services rendered to the patient or to participate in one (1) or more public or private health plans or if the adverse action with respect to the Fellow or Member's medical practice or license is solely the result of a voluntary recognition by the Fellow or Member of a physical, mental or emotional impairment. The Board of Trustees may, effective at any time, revoke membership in the Academy of any person whose application or nomination form for membership in the Academy or acceptance form to accept an invitation for membership in the Academy contains, or is accompanied or supported by information that contains, in the judgment of the Board of Trustees, a substantial misstatement or omission of a material fact. For this purpose, a "material fact" includes any fact required by the instructions on the respective forms.

(d)
In rare cases, a Fellow or Member may be subject to termination or suspension by a 3/4 vote of the Board of Trustees for actions that either are deleterious to the purposes of the Academy, or are offensive to the dignity of the Academy.  The Fellow or Member shall receive at least fifteen (15) days' prior written notice of the proposed termination or suspension and the reasons for it, and shall be entitled to oppose the proposed termination or suspension in whole or in part by written submission to the Board of Trustees, which must be received by the Academy's Executive Vice President at least five (5) days before the effective date of the proposed termination or suspension.  Upon receipt of a timely written submission from the Fellow or Member, the effective date of the proposed termination or suspension shall be stayed pending review by the Board of Trustees of the submission, and its vote as to whether to affirm, vacate, or modify the proposed termination.

1.23. Code of Ethics.
The Academy's Code of Ethics is applicable only to the Academy and its Fellows and Members in any class of membership. The Academy's Code of Ethics, as the same exists on the date of the adoption of these Bylaws and as thereafter amended or revised, is incorporated in and made a part of these Bylaws to the same extent and with the same effect as though it were set forth verbatim in this Section 1.22. The Academy's Code of Ethics may be amended or revised from time to time as provided in Section 9.01. Each candidate for membership and each member in all classes of memberhip shall comply with the Code of Ethics as a condition of initial and continued membership in the Academy.

1.24. Membership Certificates; Use of Academy Name and Symbols.
The Academy shall issue to each Fellow or Member of the Academy a certificate of membership status. Each membership certificate remains the property of the Academy and shall be returned to the Academy upon request. A Fellow or Member of the Academy may indicate membership status by: (a) displaying the certificate at an office used by the Fellow or Member for the practice of medicine; and (b) a factual statement on stationery, in advertisements, and in resumes, biographical sketches and the like, using the name of the Academy or a recognizable abbreviation of the name. The name of the Academy and a logo of the Academy shall not be used by a Fellow or Member on any other certificate or material displayed, prepared or distributed by the Fellow or Member, or on any other sign or display used by or for a Fellow or Member, without the Academy's prior written permission.

1.25. Forfeiture of Certain Rights Upon Conviction of a Felony.
Any Fellow or Member who is or has been convicted of a felony shall be ineligible for service on any Academy committee, shall not serve as a representative of the Academy in any other capacity, and shall not sponsor, present or participate in any meeting or program of or sponsored by the Academy, except with the express permission of the Board of Trustees. In addition, any Fellow or Member who is or has been convicted of a felony shall automatically forfeit all points that may have been earned toward any Achievement Award Program prior to the date of conviction. For purposes of this Section, the terms "convicted" and conviction" include a criminal proceeding in which a finding or verdict of guilt is entered or a criminal proceeding in which the individual enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.

1.26. Terms.
For all purposes of these Bylaws references to medical practice and the practice of medicine include osteopathic practice and the practice of osteopathic medicine.