Membership for new graduates
The benefits of membership with the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) are extensive and can make a profoundly positive impact on your career as an optometrist. As an association representing the majority of Ontario's optometrists, we are able to provide benefits including peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and career support.
Membership has its particular benefits for new graduates, including:
- Specialized continuing education ranging from clinical topics, to how to become a valuable asset in a practice, to financial advice to pay down debt and build financial stability.
- A special new graduate rate for its best-in-class professional liability insurance (PLI), required by the College of Optometrists of Ontario.
- A mentor program which connects new graduates with established practicing members.
OAO provides end-to-end monitoring of critical regulations and legislation and offers the strength of combined buying power for insurance coverage, emergency funding and other safety nets that help secure your future. Additional benefits include:
- Timely updates regarding changes to OHIP coverage, scope of practice regulations and the schedule of benefits.
- Monthly e-mail newsletter from the OAO President with association updates, including government relations efforts.
- Personalized assistance on OHIP billing issues and help unraveling government red tape.
- Best-in-class comprehensive professional liability insurance coverage.
- Members only website portal, with access to online and academic resources.
- Special rates for continuing education events, and access to members only online education.
- Participation in OAO’s children's vision awareness program, Eye See...Eye Learn®.
- Participation in OAO's public education campaign, which drives Ontarians to see OAO members.
Read testimonials about the value of OAO membership.
How can I join?
OAO has developed a Getting Started in Ontario guide to facilitate the process of getting started as an optometrist following graduation. This guide details seven important steps new graduates should take in order to set themselves up for career success.
As a new graduate, you are entitled to special OAO membership rates that acknowledge financial restrictions you face as you begin your career. These rates can be found here.
To apply for OAO membership, please complete the following forms. Submission instructions can be found in the membership application form: