Being appointed FARVO – Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology – is a big deal for me.
First, ARVO is a true powerhouse: it exists to drive innovation in ophthalmology, and vast swathes of the basic, translational and clinical research that drives the field forward is presented (often as posters) at ARVO first, and its advocacy, educational and outreach efforts are of the highest standards. It’s an honour to be associated with ARVO.
Second, you really do have to earn it. It took me 24 years. ARVO operates a points system, and you need a minimum of 50 points to be appointed a Fellow of ARVO. For example, one year of membership equals one point (up to a maximum of 20 points), or serving as a Congress panel moderator or a journal reviewer all earns a member 1 point per year. There are many ways to earn 50 points, but irrespective of how it was earned, the title FARVO is an acknowledgment of a long commitment to ARVO’s work. Again, this is a long-term association that I am exceptionally proud of.
Third, it really does mean something. It’s safe to assume that anyone with the letters “FARVO” after their name has contributed a great deal not only to ARVO, but ultimately, to patients with visual impairment and blindness too. It’s safe to assume that they are diligent, hard-working, knowledgeable and that they do all of this for the benefit of humankind. It’s humbling to receive this award, but at the same time, it’s something that fills me with great pride. Thank you ARVO, it is truly a privilege.