• The Academy's Ethics Committee accepts two types of submissions: those asking a question (an "inquiry") and those challenging the actions or behavior of an Academy member (a "challenge").

    Who may submit?
    Inquiries or challenges may be submitted by anyone with a concern related to the AAO Code of Ethics about an AAO member ophthalmologist.  

    What constitutes a submission?
    Any submission, nor matter how it is intended, may be construed by the Chair of the Ethics Committee as either an inquiry or a challenge. Inquiries may be considered without regard to their means or form of submission. Challenges relating to information not in the public domain (i.e., not advertising materials) are not considered unless they are submitted in writing and signed by their submitter. Challenges unrelated to an AAO member are not within the Ethics Committee's investigative purview.

    How do I submit an expert witness testimony challenge?
    The Ethics Committee recognizes that expert witness testimony submissions are distinguishable in many ways from other submissions and has developed a specific submission form to enable these challenges to be submitted with specificity.

    Submission Forms
    There are three types of submission forms. One is for physicians, the second is for patients and the public, and the third is solely for expert witness testimony. Complete the proper form and enclose any supporting material that you wish the Ethics Committee to review. Detailed information can be found on the forms themselves.


    How are submissions handled by the Ethics Committee?
    If a submission involves materials not in the public domain, the Ethics Committee may proceed only if the challenge is submitted in writing, is signed by the submitter, and the submitter agrees to be identified to the AAO member who is the subject of the challenge. Typically, the Ethics Committee then forwards the submission to the challenged member and requests a response. If the challenge cannot be resolved through written communications, the Ethics Committee may hold a private adjudicative hearing to resolve concerns.  Details of the investigative and hearing processes are set forth in the administrative procedures of the Code of Ethics.

    Where do I send a submission?

    Electronic communications to the Ethics Committee may be sent to ethics@aao.org. The street address for sending printed submission forms and supporting materials is:

    Ethics Committee
    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    655 Beach Street
    San Francisco, CA 94109-1342