The American Academy of Ophthalmology holds itself and its members to the highest ethical standards. These encompass numerous evidence-based standards for patient care as well as organizational and individual disclosure of financial relationships.
The Academy is committed to maintaining the highest standards of care for all patients. The Academy maintains several evidence-based guidelines and other vetted reviews on the Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE®) Network.
Several other guidelines specifically address the ethics of patient care. All materials are periodically reviewed and updated, as needed.
The center promotes professionalism and ethical practice through educational courses and activities, lectures, guidelines and other resources.
- ONE Network Clinical Guidelines: Evidence-based, current guidelines for approaching treatment of eye conditions and diseases.
- Code of Ethics: The ethical principles and rules of the Code guide ophthalmologists’ behavior so their actions are in the best interests of patients.
- Advisory Opinions: These ethics statements explain the rules of the Code of Ethics in more detail. They use case studies to describe the rules in practice. Ethics-specific policy statements serve a similar function.
- Reporting Concerns: Patients or physicians concerned about the conduct of an individual ophthalmologist may formally report the situation to the Academy Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee can only investigate concerns that 1) relate to the Code of Ethics and 2) involve Academy members.
- FAQs: Ethics Investigations and the Hearing Process: Academy members with questions about communications from the Ethics Committee may wish to review the Committee’s FAQs for more information or contact the Ethics Committee staff.
The Academy adheres to the Council of Medical Specialty Societies’ (CMSS) Code for Interactions with Companies (March 2011).
- Company disclosures: Under the CMSS code, the Academy provides quarterly disclosures of its financial relationships. All members of the Academy Board of Trustees also provide financial disclosures.
- Presenter disclosures: The Academy requires all presenters at its annual meeting to provide financial disclosures in advance as well as during their presentations.
- Standards for leaders: Academy leaders are expected to adhere to each of the following policies: