http://www.aao.org/aao/news/release/20040429c.cfm April 29, 2004 SAN FRANCISCO The Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, acting on the direction of its Council, has raised the standard for participation in all Academy educational activities at its Annual Meeting. The standards, consistent with the education and training of ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.s) will preclude participation by optometrists. Academy educational programs are developed for ophthalmologists who possess the educational foundation of medical school, internship, and residency. Without this base of knowledge and experience, the information cannot be fully optimized for its intended patient benefit. This change in standards is consistent with the Academy mission to advance the lifelong learning and professional interests of ophthalmologists to ensure that the public can obtain the best possible eye care. Unfortunately, optometrists have attended Academy courses in the past and used their participation as justification to perform procedures that are beyond their education, training or experience. Such a misrepresentation of qualifications runs counter to the accountability the American public and its watchdogs demand and deserve.