• American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) user-generated content is governed by the following set of standards that will apply to all members and their activity and contributions. We reserve the right to remove any material that does not (in our judgment) comply with these standards and to revoke posting privileges at our sole discretion and without warning or explanation. Our decisions are considered final.

    1. Content submitted in the AAO.org user comment areas is not reviewed or checked by medical experts or Academy staff before it is posted. If you believe there is a problem with content you see on the website, use the “Flag as inappropriate” feature to notify the community administrators. All information on the Academy website, including the comments, is also covered under the Academy's medical disclaimer. If you believe there is a problem with content you see on The Ophthalmology Community, send an email to community@aao.org.
    2. You must be a member of the Academy in order to participate in The Ophthalmology Community.
    3. You must be respectful and civil to other members, even if you disagree with them.
    4. You may not post material containing profanity, sexually graphic or offensive language, etc. Such posts will be deleted.
    5. We do not allow harassing, threatening, libelous, racist, abusive, hateful, violent or obscene language or behavior. Posts that discriminate or denigrate on the basis of race, national origin, ethnicity, age, sex, gender-preference, religion or disability will be removed.
    6. Participation in, suggesting or encouraging any illegal or unethical activity is cause for immediate deletion and may be reported to the appropriate authorities.
    7. You may not post any articles, news reports or other copyrighted material included in the posts without the prior permission of the relevant copyright owners. Providing a link to copyrighted material is acceptable.
    8. You must comply with all HIPAA regulations in your community participation. This means you cannot post information that reveals the name or identity of a particular patient, or post a photo or video that shows a patient with enough detail to identify the patient. In situations where you feel a particular photo or video is of sufficient importance, you must obtain a signed patient release that explains to the patient that the photo or video will be posted on a members-only site, but it could appear elsewhere on the web or in print.
    9. You may not flood or spam, post chain letters, pyramid schemes, junk mail or URLs for outside sites that violate any of these Guidelines.
    10. No commercial solicitation or advertising is allowed, including job postings.
    11. Personal support for or opposition to political candidates and parties can be discussed, but political solicitation or advertising is not allowed.
    12. The discussions – whether in communities, comments, forums or other online venues hosted by the Academy – are open and viewable by Academy members. Do not post any information that you do not want seen by other members.
    13. Please keep in mind that other members may claim expertise or status (legal, medical, etc.) that they do not, in fact, possess. Use discretion in following their advice.
    14. Anyone who you share your login information with can post content under your name. You are responsible for the security of your login information. 


    Academy Online Community Disclaimer

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology ("Academy”) provides online information and services on the internet as a benefit to its members and the public and to further its educational mission.

    1. THE ACADEMY, ANY WEBSITE CONTRIBUTORS AND THEIR AFFILIATES DO NOT MAKE ANY WARRANTIES, AS TO THE ACCURACY, ADEQUACY OR COMPLETENESS OF ANY MATERIAL PRESENTED HERE, WHICH IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS. THE ACADEMY AND ITS WEBSITE CONTRIBUTORS ARE NOT LIABLE TO ANYONE FOR ANY: a) ERRORS, INACCURACIES, OMISSIONS OBTAINED HERE; b) DAMAGES OR INJURY TO PERSON OR PROPERTY FROM ANY USE OF IDEAS CONTAINED HERE; AND/OR c) ANY DAMAGES INCURRED IF MATERIAL INFECTS OR CONTAMINATES A USER'S SYSTEM.
    2. The information published on the Academy Online Communities – whether in comments, forums or other online venues hosted by the Academy – is not intended to replace consultation with an ophthalmologist. The Academy cannot answer specific medical questions or refer you to a particular ophthalmologist.
    3. Unless specifically stated otherwise, the opinions expressed, and statements made by various authors on Academy Online Communities reflect the author's observations and do not imply endorsement by the Academy.
    4. The Academy does not exert editorial control over and has not participated in the development of non-Academy websites. The Academy does not support, endorse or hold any responsibility for hyperlink pointers, their website content, any of their expressed views, any services they offer or hyperlinks they mention. The Academy does not endorse any of the products or companies mentioned in the Academy Online Communities.
    5. Participants in Academy Online Communities are encouraged to use this forum for the free and uncensored exchange of ideas, information, critiques, and commentary.  Academy Online Communities are intended to discuss issues related to ophthalmology. Members must refrain from sharing forwarded emails, contests, funds solicitations and other posts that do not pertain to ophthalmology.

      The nature of these forums is such that several guidelines are necessary to protect your interests and those of your fellow Academy Online Communities members participating in the Academy Online Communities.  

      1. Certain discussions by physicians and others who are not part of the same group practice raise the risk of antitrust investigations and liability. This risk exists whether those discussions take place in a face-to-face meeting, by written correspondence, or through electronic communication. Compliance with the rules for Academy Online Communities require that participants do not discuss fees, acceptable reimbursement levels, current salaries or compensation for any office personal, including but not limited to ophthalmologists, optometrists, technicians, and administrators, or plans for collective economic actions (e.g., joint negotiations with or boycotts of third party payors or managed care plans, or decisions not to deal with particular types of providers).
      2. The risk may be even greater for Academy Online Communities, since by definition a written record is made of the communication. Because the Academy Online Communities are sponsored by the Academy, such discussions could not only put you at risk for antitrust liability it could implicate AAOE and the Academy as well. Accordingly, you are asked to refrain from any Academy Online Communities discussions about (a) what is an appropriate amount to charge for a particular procedure, (b) whether particular reimbursement amounts are sufficient or insufficient, collective actions that might be taken if reimbursement are deemed to be insufficient, and (c) whether ophthalmologists should do business with other types of providers for economic reasons (e.g., optometrists who charge excessive co-management fees). One exception to this caution is that discussions about Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement policies are generally permissible as long as they do not lead to anticompetitive actions (e.g., a collective agreement not to treat Medicare or Medicaid patients).

    6. Although the Academy attempts to maintain the security of its Academy Online Communities by limiting participation to Academy and AAOE members and, at the sole discretion of the Academy, selected consultants and staff, participants should not assume that Academy Online Communities discussions are confidential or privileged. To the contrary, Academy Online Communities comments could be forwarded to nonparticipants either by electronic or hard copy transmission. Moreover, electronic communications are often discoverable in court proceedings. This means that a plaintiff in a malpractice lawsuit might seek to discover Academy Online Communities communications involving a particular defendant physician or a subject relevant to the lawsuit. Such discovery efforts may well be successful. Therefore, participants should use discretion in their communications, particularly with respect to statements about their treatment of, or contacts with a specific patient or patients, or about the level of one's technical skills, that might later be used against you (or Academy member physicians) if litigation were ever to ensue. Never mention a patient by name or give enough information that the patient's identity is revealed. Academy Online Communities discussions are tantamount to participating in a public meeting. Disparaging comments about the skills or techniques of other Academy or AAOE members or physicians are no more appropriate in one context than the other. This caution is intended both to encourage professional decorum the Academy Online Communities and to reduce potential liability risks for participants and the Academy/AAOE.
    7. Refrain from posting specific job listings for the purpose of recruiting to hire. The Ophthalmology Job Center provides a platform for posting and filling jobs for MD, DO, OD and administrator positions.
    8. Consultants who are eligible to participate in the Academy Online Communities must agree to these additional terms:

      1. Your participation in Academy Online Communities is non-transferable. Only the primary person listed in the consultant directory may participate.
      2. You may not solicit your services in e-mail replies or postings.
      3. You may not invite readers to contact your firm for further information.
      4. If a reader voluntarily contacts your firm, you may engage in a professional relationship only after you convey – and they agree – that your services are separate and apart from the Academy Online Communities' activities.
      5. All participants in Academy Online Communities are bound by, and must abide by, the Terms of Service, Medical Disclaimer and Privacy Policy on the aao.org website.