Sunday, June 20, 2021
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The FOS received many questions soon after the organization began accepting memberships in January 2012.  The most common questions are listed here.

Is the FOS affiliated with the AOS?

No.  The FOS is not affiliated with any organization.  It is completely independent.

Executive Summary

     The Federal Optometric Society is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation founded to serve its member doctors. The vision is for the FOS to become the premier, in-house venue for federal service optometrists to share their knowledge through member-taught COPE-approved continuing education, member-taught mentorship education and member-taught professional education.     The FOS has no political purpose and will not lobby any organization, candidate or political party.  The FOS is...

How will the FOS be relevant?

The FOS does not have a political purpose, but that does not mean the organization will stick its head in the sand or heckle other organizations.  The FOS will represent the views of its members to other national professional associations and to state and federal government officials.  The organization will inform policy-makers, and that's where it will stop.

Could this push the AOA to better support AFOS?

Sure. And that wouldn't be a bad thing.

Is the goal to supplant AFOS?

No.  The goal is to create an organization that serves its members.  The FOS will never supplant AFOS.  Unlike AFOS, the FOS is not subordinate to any organization and is not tied to any political purpose.  The ways and means of these two organizations are separate and distinct; members will choose to join these organization for very different reasons and to support very different purposes.

Will the FOS weaken optometry?

No. The FOS is not a political organization, it's a professional organization.  It will share the opinions and positions of its membership on various issues, but it has no lobbying power or lobbying purpose.  In fact, FOS Bylaws specifically prohibit it from lobbying and federal law prohibits lobbying for many members due to their federal employment status. Participation and membership in the FOS has no bearing on the power or strength of the political arm of optometry. That will stand...

Can I pay more?

The initial membership dues were established based on rough estimates of expected memberships in each category.  The dues are meant to be very reasonable while still providing enough revenue to cover start up expenses and to prepare for the first annual meeting in Phoenix in October 2012.  Conference registration fees will be established based the financial viability of the organization heading into that meeting. We've already been asked if members can pay "more" than the established dues. ...

Is this about board certification?

     The FOS was not formed because of board certification.  The members may share opinions on board certification through member polls, and it may turn out that the membership shares a common opinion on board certification, but the founders did not create this organization in an effort to defeat board certification.      The issue of board certification may prompt optometrists to join or leave one organization or another, but board certification is a...

The FOS and AFOS are different

The FOS exists to serve its members, unencumbered by political agenda or directives from any parent organization.  Join the FOS if you primarily seek a common bond with your fellow federal service optometrists, continuing education opportunities (to speak and to learn), mentorship education and professional education opportunities, camaraderie, and to voice your opinions through member polls and interaction. AFOS is an affiliate of the AOA and must abide by the parent organization's policies...

Join. Share. Spread.

Join the organization. Once you join the Federal Optometric Society, you'll have access to additional information on FOS-unique initiatives to best serve the members. Share your awesomeness. Develop one or more COPE approved CE courses and volunteer to present to fellow members at our special and annual meetings. Doing something as simple and meaningful as developing a COPE-approved lecture or two will help the FOS become as self-sufficient as possible. Success and value depend completely on the...