It is with the greatest of pleasure that I can tell you that the IAO is growing at an incredible rate. With the launch of EurOK we have increased our membership by 50%! As soon as we formally launch Asia section and get the formal voting for entry of Oceania we can expect to double our membership from today's level. This increase will not stop there as projections based on growth tell us we will rapidly grow to an organization of over a thousand members representing over fifty countries all over the planet.
The makeup of the academy will also be changing along with our increase in size and influence. Our group in the future will have a much larger percentage of membership represented from Ophthalmology. This will not only come from our new Asia Section where most of the countries have only OMDs but also from here in America and Europe. Your IAO is actively encouraging OMDs to join our organization and to reflect this "open door" policy our membership will be passing a resolution to that effect in Scottsdale at VBD 2012. We have had discussions here in the states with OMDs about joining with us and I am encouraged at the positive responses we have received. Likewise EurOK will also have a significant number of Ophthalmologists among its members. Our partners Paragon Vision Science and B&L with all their member partners have played a very helpful role here.
In my many talks with our membership from here and our sections around the world I have received news on how excited practitioners are to be joining with us. A great story you may not be familiar with is happening right now in China. They have decided to launch the Optometry specialty which is great news. However it's the way they decided to do it that I find even more exciting. Their doctors(MDs) will have a choice to go into training in a non surgical specialty as an Optometrist or take the surgical training route as an Ophthalmologist. This I believe will become a model for developing a vibrant and active Optometry specialty in those countries currently without the OD specialty. We feel that this will bode extremely well as we grow corneal reshaping through our Asia Section in China.
In future months I will be introducing you to our new leadership and also revealing many others not in the lime light but playing a very active role in IAO growth and development. We are very fortunate with this great organization that is blessed with the best people for what will be a difficult but not impossible task.
Cary M Herzberg O.D. FOAA
Dr. Herzberg has been in practice for more then thirty years. He completed his Bachelor of Science Degree and his Doctor of Optometry Degree from Illinois College of Optometry in 1969 and 1971. Dr. Herzberg is a leader in the field of contact lenses . A member of the advisory board of RGPLI, design consultant to C and H and co-inventor of the macrolens "elite" and "ok" contact lenses. Dr. Herzberg is President of the Orthokeratology Academy of America, orthokeratology chair of the AOA Contact Lens Section, and an advisory board member of the PRIO corporation.