NEWS F ROM THE AOSA
The AOA can ease your transition from student to practicing O.D. Be sure to get your member rewards.
BY ALBERT S. LICUP, President, AOSA, ILLINOIS COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY CLASS OF 2006
Graduation is just around the corner for the class of 2005. No more lectures, tests or late nights in pre-clinic labs preparing for practical examinations. But it's also time to start taking control of your finances for this next stage of your life, which may include repaying student loans. How could you possibly have enough money left to join the American Optometric Association (AOA)? My answer is: You can't afford not to.
MONEY WELL SPENT
When you join the AOA, you're contributing to the advancement of optometry in a tangible way. The dollars you invest support optometric advocacy at the federal and state levels. Legislators willingly listen to -- and act on the recommendations of -- the practicing O.D.s who make up the majority of the AOA. Whether it's lobbying for expanded prescribing authority in a single state or promoting the optometrist as the primary eyecare provider to consumers, industry and the media, the AOA is your voice to the government and the public.
You may be thinking, "What can AOA membership do for me?"
When you join the AOA, you'll have access to Optometry's Career Center, an online matching service with detailed information about practice opportunities. You'll also be eligible for the AOAAdvantage student debt consolidation program, which allows you, your spouse and employees to lock in fixed interest rates and take advantage of attractive borrower benefit programs.
As a member, you'll receive free registration to Optometry's Meeting, the joint AOA Congress and American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) Conference. While there, you'll have the opportunity to attend continuing education courses, visit the expansive exhibit hall and network with O.D.s from around the country.
MAKE YOUR MOVE
How do you join the AOA? As an AOSA member, you receive complimentary AOA membership until the end of the calendar year in which you're licensed, not to exceed 18 months after graduation. As soon as you're licensed, contact the AOA at (800) 365-2219, ext. 238, or MemberServices@aoa.org. Include your home and business addresses and indicate the state in which you're practicing. The AOA will notify your state association, which will send you a membership packet. As a recent graduate, you qualify for reduced dues, but submit your information quickly to change your status from new graduate member to licensed O.D.
Becoming an AOA member is like starting an investment plan. The most difficult part is getting started. However, once you begin, you'll realize the true value of an AOA membership. You're not only helping advance the profession -- you're also gaining access to a wealth of resources that can help your career grow and prosper. Good luck in your career ... and join the AOA
Optometric Management, Issue: April 2005