• The Academy's Ethics Committee accepts two types of formal 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 about his or her ophthalmologist relating to the AAO Code of Ethics.  

    What constitutes a submission?
    Any submission, nor matter how it is intended, may be construed by the Chairperson 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 a fellow or member of the Academy are not within the Ethics Committee's 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 form and enclose any supporting material  that you wish the Ethics Committee to review. Specific 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 have his or her challenge disclosed to the member who is the subject of the challenge. Typically, the Ethics Committee then forwards the submission to the fellow or member who is being challenged and requests a response. If the challenge cannot be resolved based on written communications, the Ethics Committee may hold a private adjudicative hearing. The details of the hearing process are set forth in the administrative procedures of the Code of Ethics.

    Where do I send a submission?
    Print your completed submission form and send that, along with any supporting materials, to the Ethics Committee at the Academy's San Francisco office:

    Ethics Committee
    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    P.O. Box 7424
    San Francisco, CA 94120-7424