Approximately 25,000 attend San Francisco meeting, with record number of international physicians present.
SAN FRANCISCO—Turnout was strong for the largest and most comprehensive ophthalmic educational meeting in the world, the 2009 American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy)—Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) Joint Meeting, held in San Francisco Oct. 25 to Oct. 27. Preliminary figures for attendance at the meeting were approximately 25,000, a 17 percent increase over 2008. More than 6,000 international physicians attended the meeting, an increase of 50 percent compared to 2008. Preliminary figures for attendance at the Subspecialty Day events Oct. 23 and 24 also showed a strong increase, totaling more than 7,100, a 37 percent rise over the previous year.
“That 25,000 people from all fifty states came to the meeting in the midst of economic turmoil speaks volumes about the appetite of ophthalmologists for the latest knowledge and skills,” said David W. Parke II, MD, executive vice president and CEO of the Academy. “The presence of so many of our international colleagues was especially gratifying and enriched the meeting even more. Our patients come first, and we all recognize that providing the highest quality care means committing to continual education.”
The opening session on Oct. 25 included the presentation of the 2009 Laureate Recognition Award, the Academy’s highest honor, to Bernard Becker, MD, for his leadership in ophthalmic research, clinical care, and education. In addition, the session featured a tribute to H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, who retired as the Academy’s executive vice president in March, 2009 after 16 years.
Science highlights from the media included research about a wide range of ophthalmic issues, including the vision of Iraqi war veterans, barriers to care among glaucoma patients, and complaints about vision changes as an early clue to Alzheimer’s. A full listing of highlights is available in the Academy’s Joint Meeting Newsroom.
Press briefings at the Joint Meeting included presentations on advances in cataract surgery and intraocular lenses and a panel on key issues to emerge during the year, including advances in diabetic retinopathy, the relationship between learning disabilities and vision, and advances in management of dry age-related macular degeneration. Audio recordings of these brief briefings are also available on the Academy’s Web site.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
AAO is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons—Eye M.D.s—with more than 27,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit the Academy's Web site at www.aao.org.