• How Member Demographic Info Serves Ophthalmology


    The Academy is working to ensure that our organization adequately represents and serves its members and that the ophthalmology community represents the patients it serves. 

    As part of that effort, we want our members’ diversity to be reflected in critical areas: Academy leadership roles, the presenters at our annual meeting and in other events and award recipients.

    However, we struggle to measure the diversity in those areas with confidence because many Academy members do not provide demographic information about themselves. 

    Therefore, a task force on diversity and inclusion created by the Academy Board of Trustees has recommended that we ask members to voluntarily provide more demographic information and to explain why it’s important.

    We ask that members go to their profiles on AAO.org and update demographic information. Previously, we only asked for gender, race or ethnicity, age, practice type and clinical focus. Now we’re asking for gender identity, sexual orientation, pronouns and language proficiency, and we’ve expanded the options under race and ethnicity. 

    When you voluntarily provide this demographic information, it contributes to the Academy’s understanding of the composition of its membership. Here’s how the Academy may use your information:

    • To ensure that leaders, presenters, programs and award recipients reflect that diversity
    • To measure how diversity in ophthalmology compares with other medical specialties
    • To help decide what programs and services the Academy should develop to serve different member segments 

    Here’s how the Academy will protect your information and give you control of it:

    • Your demographic data will not be displayed publicly unless you choose to have it displayed on Find an Ophthalmologist results pages.
    • You will have an option to display your pronouns on your annual meeting badge when you register to attend.
    • You may review and update your demographic information through your AAO.org profile at any time.
    • As with other demographic data the Academy collects, the expanded data is encrypted for greater security.