• Program Highlights

    AAO 2021: Re/Create

    Thank you for your interest in the program for AAO 2021.

    We are re-creating the annual meeting to streamline your experience and encourage community engagement. The Academy is excited to bring you new educational and networking opportunities, including:

    • New meeting dates so that you spend less time away from your practice. The program will now run Friday, Nov. 12 through Monday, Nov. 15.
    • Reducing the number of simultaneous programs so that you can more easily plan your schedule.
    • Providing more learning opportunities in the Expo.
    • A robust virtual component for those unable to join us in-person or who want to view a session they may have missed on-site.

    View the AAO 2021 Preliminary Meeting Schedule (PDF 176KB). Note: All times are subject to change.

    Look for more exciting news and updates in the coming months.

    Opening Session

    The Opening Session will take place Friday, Nov. 12, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

    Join Academy leadership for an inspirational start to AAO 2021 including the Academy Awards and Jackson Memorial Lecture.

    Dr. Van Gelder to Deliver the AAO 2021 Jackson Memorial LectureRussell Van Gelder, MD, PhD

    Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, PhD will give the 78th Edward Jackson Memorial Lecture, titled "Molecular Diagnostics for Ocular Infectious Diseases."

    Currently Dr. Van Gelder is the Boyd K. Bucey Memorial chair, professor and department chair in the University of Washington Medical School Department of Ophthalmology. In addition, he is adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Structure and Department of Pathology. Dr. Van Gelder also serves as founding director of both the UW Medicine Eye Institute and the UW Vision Science Center.

    Dr. Van Gelder is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. His laboratory has been at the forefront of two fields, non-visual photoreception and pathogen detection in uveitis.

    Over the years Dr. Van Gelder has acted as a reviewer and editorial board member for several publications. Currently he serves on the editorial board of Ophthalmology and Molecular Vision. He is also associate editor for Translational Vision Science and Technology.

    Dr. Van Gelder has been active with many professional organizations and boards. Currently he is a member of the National Institutes of Health's Council of Councils and serves on the advisory committee for the National Eye Institute Audacious Goals Initiative and member of their National Eye Advisory Council. He is also director of the American Uveitis Society and trustee of the Society of Heed Fellows. Dr. Van Gelder has served in various roles within the American Academy of Ophthalmology including President in 2015. He is also a past president of the Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology and the American Uveitis Society.

    Instruction Courses

    The Academy offers hundreds of courses in topics from cataract to vision rehabilitation. In addition, you will find courses in practice management topics such as practice quality and coding & reimbursement.

    Skills Transfer Labs

    The Academy's annual meeting provides you hands-on learning opportunities to master new diagnostic and surgical techniques in Skills Transfer labs and courses. Skills labs are ticketed events that must be purchased separately.


    Dozens of sessions take place during the Academy's annual meeting. Often Named Lectures occur during these learning opportunities.

    Original Papers

    Each Original Paper session focuses on a specific topic followed by a panel discussion. At the end of each session, the panel selects the best paper.


    Attendees can review scientific posters online as well as hear from authors in the Poster Theater. You can also participate in small-group, peer moderated discussions of selected posters by subject.

    Academy Café

    Attendees listen to expert panels debate the issues in these informal sessions designed to encourage your participation and questions.


    Attendees can view videos of specific skills and techniques online.

    AAOE Practice Management Program

    Learn from the experts, engage in conversations with colleagues and pick up takeaways that you can share and immediately put into place in your practice. The program includes:

    • Instruction Courses
    • Master Classes
    • Coding Sessions
    • General Session

    Find more information about the AAOE Practice Management Program.

    AAO 2020 Virtual

    Review the AAO 2020 Virtual program and additional virtual meeting information when you visit Meeting Archives.