Dr. Bennett is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry

The California Keratoconus Center and the office of Dr. Barry Leonard & Associates proudly announce that its very own Dr. Alex Bennett has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). Becoming an FAAO requires intensive work and reflects a dedication to learning and becoming the best optometrist possible.

Becoming an FAAO

There are two paths individuals can take to becoming an FAAO. The first requires a year of clinical residency training under the direction of a registered supervising clinic. The second requires Candidates for Fellowship to be licensed or accredited to practice at the highest level permitted by law in their jurisdiction and be engaged in active clinical practice. These candidates must prepare at least one case study involving patient care and sit for an oral examination at the AAO Annual Meeting.

American Academy of Optometry Logo

American Academy of Optometry Logo

Dr. Bennett elected to follow the second path because he wanted to independently address real patient cases, research the latest advances in the field, and deliver a superior patient experience and outcome. By the time Dr. Bennett was named a Fellow, he had completed not one but five case studies. The studies averaged 50 pages and contained as many as 70 citations for the research he used in completing the treatment. Citations are essential as they demonstrate to the AAO Review Panel that the Candidate has gone to great lengths to advance his knowledge. You might say he’s an overachiever, and you’d be right.

The five cases he documented were:

  • Scleral Lens for managing Keratoconus: This was his first case and the first time he independently managed the design and fitting of scleral lenses. Dr. Bennett says he felt confident in his ability due to his time working with Dr. Leonard while still a student.
  • Scleral Lens for managing Dry Eyes: In this case, he uses the fluid-filled aspect of scleral lenses to successfully treat dry eyes for a patient.
  • In another case, Dr. Bennett had to make a judgment call about allowing a patient to drive after a stroke had diminished the patient’s ability to see. He wrote about the legalities of how optometrists are involved in these kinds of decisions.
  • Controlling Fast Eye Growth in kids and teens using Specialty Soft Contact Lenses: The patient, in this case, was a teenager experiencing faster than normal eye growth. Left unchecked, the rapid growth can lead to eye damage. The soft lenses were a novel and successful treatment.
  • The 5th case was presented as a poster at the Heart of America Eye Care Congress in February 2023. This case was about a sudden change to a patient’s vision prescription due to a surgical procedure.  We’ve attached the poster and the accompanying paper as a short example of the case report format (7 versus 50 pages).

Dedicated to Learning and Becoming the Best Practitioner

Dr. Bennett continues learning and advancing his optometry skills. Where most Doctors of Optometry want to start practicing what they learned as soon after graduation as possible, an estimated 10% are like Dr. Bennett, driven to go further and learn more by becoming an FAAO.

He also wanted the recognition within his profession that being named an FAAO brings. When you continually strive to be the best, having the recognition of your peers that you are at the top of your profession brings its own rewards. Also, FAAOs gain access to the Academy’s advanced resources, have an opportunity to serve on Academy Panels and Committees and develop a solid professional network with other Fellows.

What’s Next for Dr. Bennett, FAAO?

Because of his interest in treating “front of the eye” conditions, Dr. Bennett plans to contribute his skills and knowledge to the California Keratoconus Center, already known for its pioneering developments in treating this debilitating eye disease. Of course, this demands continuous learning and research so he can deliver the outcomes and benefits the California Keratoconus Center’s patients expect and deserve. Dr. Bennett also provides excellent general optometry services for patients of Dr. Barry Leonard & Associates.

Whether It’s to Treat Keratoconus or for General Optometry, See the Best Care Provider in the Valley

If you are suffering from Keratoconus and want to be treated by the best Keratoconus specialists, or need general optometry care from the Best Optometrists in the Valley, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bennett at the California Keratoconus Center within the office of Dr. Barry Leonard & Associates. Call 818-891-6711 or schedule an appointment online. We look forward to helping you see better than you ever have before.

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