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  • The Academy's Mission

    The mission of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is to protect sight and empower lives by serving as an advocate for patients and the public, leading ophthalmic education, supporting research and advancing the profession of ophthalmology.

    Who We Are

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate and support research to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care.

    American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives

    The American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives® (AAOE®), the Academy's practice management affiliate, is dedicated to helping physicians, practice administrators and staff in managing the business side of ophthalmic practice. AAOE membership provides extensive benefits. Learn how to become a member.

    American Academy of Ophthalmic Professionals

    The American Academy of Ophthalmic Professionals™ (AAOP™) provides education and career development opportunities for technicians, scribes and other clinical team members. See how AAOP membership adds value for your patients and your practice. 


    EyeSmart educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. Through EyeSmart, we provide the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. We urge everyone to know their risk factors for these health concerns and to understand how ophthalmologists protect sight and empower lives.

    Academy History

    The Academy evolved as part of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, 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 as the Museum of Vision, the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye 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 the Eye website. A detailed history of the origin of the Academy is also available online: Pioneering Specialists: A History of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

    More About the Academy