The American Academy of Ophthalmology is committed to nurturing a diverse ophthalmologist community that optimally meets the complex eye care needs of a diverse patient population and of our communities.
Diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and views that define our unique differences along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and more.
In terms of diversity, we recognize the national ophthalmological community does not adequately represent the patients we serve, and while in recent years we have initiated a number of programs to combat this inequity, much remains unfulfilled.
What the Academy Is Doing
Currently, Academy task forces are examining our own organization through this lens and seeking to ensure that we are inclusive, welcoming, diverse, and engaged in providing meaningful resources for the public and for our members to fulfill this objective.
One of these task forces is focused on health equity in eye care. Health equity is a complex subject involving social determinants of health and medical care, access to care, cost of care, multifactorial risk factors to disease, and outcomes of care.
The Academy understands that combating inequities involves some issues (economic, geographic, social, etc.) that are outside of our organizational scope; however, we can impact many of them. This will involve research, population data analytics, promoting change in the makeup of the ophthalmologic workforce, promoting optimal structures and processes of care delivery, effective advocacy, amended clinical guidelines, and more effective public and professional education (among other remedies).
We recognize that many of our membership are looking to the Academy to help them understand these complicated and intertwining issues and to provide resources for them in their practices and in their communities.
This webpage is a start in addressing that need. We welcome suggestions as these resources develop. Acting together, we can impact an important problem, combat both explicit and implicit biases, and ultimately better serve our mission to empower lives.
Academy Diversity Policy