American Academy of Ophthalmology
The group is based in San Francisco, California. It claims a membership of more than 90 percent of practicing ophthalmologists (whom the group refers to as "eye MDs") in the United States and an international membership of more than 7000.
The academy has its origins in the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology (AAOO), founded in 1896 as a medical association of both ophthalmologists and otolaryngologists (eye, ear, nose, and throat doctors). The AAO was founded when the AAOO split in 1979 and divided into separate academies for each specialty. Like most medical associations, the AAO collects dues, provides continuing education and seminars for its members, including its four-day annual meeting. Outside the medical community it promotes public health information. Also, like most other medical associations, the AAO takes public policy stances on issues through lobbying (carried out by its Washington, D.C.-based Governmental Affairs Division).
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