The 2015 American Academy of Optometry (AAO) annual meeting in New Orleans was the setting for a workshop jointly developed by the AAO and the ASCO Academic Affairs Committee (AAC). “Charting Your Career in Academic Optometry and Research: A Session for Optometry and Graduate Students,” held Oct. 9 at the convention center, was part of the AAC’s effort to market graduate education to students. The workshop built on the previously created PowerPoint presentation, “Career Opportunities for ODs in Academia: Teaching & Research Needs,” which is available at ASCO’s website.
The session was developed for students and graduate students who are considering a career in optometric research, and it featured experienced clinician/scientists from industry and academia who discussed their experiences and shared suggestions for success. Dr. David Troilo (SUNY), lead planner of the program, Chair of ASCO’s Academic Affairs Officers group and member of the AAC, delivered introductory remarks.
The following gave presentations:
• Dr. Sue Cotter, SCCOMBKU (career paths for clinician/scientists in academia)
• Dr. Joe Rappon, Alcon (clinician/scientists in industry)
• Dr. Michael Twa, UABSO (degree program information)
• Dr. Kathryn Richdale, SUNY (degree program information)
• Dr. Rachel Redfern, UHCO (optometric research)
• Dr. Troilo (on behalf of Dr. Jeff Walline, OSU – clinical research and clinical trials).
A panel Q&A took place after the presentations. The session was recorded and will be made available through ASCO.
Dr. Troilo explained the impetus behind the creation of the session, saying “Research is the backbone of all health professions. Basic, translational and clinical research in optometry and vision science informs and moves the profession and patient care forward. The session was developed by ASCO in partnership with the Academy to help students and young optometrists appreciate the scientific basis of the profession and consider graduate programs and career paths in optometric research.” AAC Chair Dr. Kelly Nichols (UABSO) also commented on the workshop: “ASCO is committed to continued excellence in optometry through faculty development. This session highlighted the career path of academic optometry and translational research, and it is very possible that future faculty leaders were among the attendees and presenters in the room! We hope to see this program grow in future years.”
For more information about the session and other efforts of the AAC, e-mail Carol Brubaker.