Message from the PAOF Chair

Sep 26, 2023

J. Fernando Arevalo MD PhD
PAOF Chair, 2021-2024

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We just finished a month of soccer fever with the Women’s FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand that finally saw Spain capture the title for the first time ever. The spirit in Australia and New Zealand 2023 was one of friendship and international collaboration among fans that wanted to support each other’s teams do well in this event. We saw many teams becoming stronger over the years with significant help from nationalized players or descendant of immigrants to those countries that now these young players call “home”. In addition, it was common to see that the coach/manager of the team was a foreigner lending his expertise to succeed, and feeling his/her new country’s flag as their own.

As I saw the cultural exchange and international collaboration evolve in international soccer, I could not avoid to compare this to how the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) plays the same role as FIFA in bringing together all the countries and ophthalmologists in The Americas for our own cultural exchange and international collaboration at our regional congresses, and PAAO Congress. In addition, the collaborative studies that have started to develop in our area have changed the way research is performed in Latin America with the opportunity to publish in our Pan-American Journal of Ophthalmology.

FIFA Women’s World Cup; Stadium Australia; August 12, 2023; England vs Colombia

The PAOF continues to work tirelessly and supports the PAAO membership, particularly our young/early-career members via various grants/awards, and opportunities through our Travel Awards, and scholarships. We are in the process of creating more opportunities for you as we speak. We hope that PAAO members will generously support the Foundation ( throughout the year. No gift is small, donate what you can. The more gifts donated, the more support the Foundation can provide to PAAO programs.

The future is great if we stick together as a Pan-American community! We are better, stronger and the goal is to meet again at our XXVII Pan-American Regional Course of Ophthalmology, March 14-18, 2024 in San Juan, Puerto Rico! XXXVI Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology, May 30-June 2, 2025 in Bogota, Colombia! It’s at these superb meetings where ophthalmology from all the Americas come together to meet and you cannot miss that!


Dr. Fernando Arévalo
PAOF President