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New Orleans Highlights

The Basics

Session Highlights

Academy Store

Exhibit Hall Highlights

The Basics

Hit the Ground Running
If you get oriented now, you’ll have more time at the convention center to attend courses, browse exhibits and catch up with colleagues. Here’s your Joint Meeting 101.

Getting Around
What are the dos and don’ts that will speed you through airport security? Do you know what you are, and are not, allowed to include in carry-on baggage? For the government’s flight tips, visit

Getting from the airport to downtown New Orleans. A seat on an airport shuttle bus costs about $13 per person, one way (ticket booths are located in the lower level at the baggage claim area).

By taxi, the approximate fare is $28 for one or two people, plus $12 per additional passenger. Pickup is on the lower level, outside the baggage claim area.

By limousine, the rate is $35 for one or two people, plus $10 per additional passenger. Limousine information desks are located on the lower level baggage claim areas.

The Academy has arranged a rental car discount with Avis and Budget Rent a Car. To make arrangements contact either Association Travel Concepts (800-458-9383), Avis (800-331-1600 or; use Discount Code #J100502) or Budget (800-772-3773 or; Convention Discount #UO64319).

Traveling to and from the convention center. There will be a shuttle bus service between most of the official Academy hotels and the convention center during regular Joint Meeting hours from Saturday, Oct. 23, through Tuesday, Oct. 26. There will be limited service on Friday, Oct. 22. The shuttle bus schedule is available online (, in the Pocket Guide, in the Final Program and in the lobby of participating hotels.

Taxis are available outside Lobbies D, E, H and I of the convention center.

Car parking, for around $12 per day, is available at several parking lots near the convention center.

The flight home. If you’re going straight from the convention center to the airport, you can store your bags at the coat check in Lobbies E and H ($1 per coat; $2 per bag). On Monday, Oct. 25, and Tuesday, Oct. 26, airport transportation will leave from the convention center every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The fare is $13 per person (cash only) and you are urged to allow for 45 to 60 minutes of travel time. It is recommended that you make an advance reservation—see the Shuttle Supervisor at curbside in front of the convention center.

Don’t forget to verify your flight by phoning your airline: Air Canada (888-247-2262), AirTran (800-247-8726), America West Airlines (800-235-9292), American (800-433-7300), Continental (800- 525-0280), Delta (800-221-1212), Frontier (800-432-1359), Grupo Taca (800-400-8222), JetBlue (800-538- 2583), Northwest (800-225-2525), Southwest (800-435-9792) and United (800-241-6522).

Five Convention Center Essentials
For a basic orientation, you should know the location of five key resources.

Onsite registration and ticket sales. If you haven’t registered already, you can register in Hall J on Friday (6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Saturday (7 a.m to 6 p.m.), Sunday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Monday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Tuesday (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Spouse registration and course ticket sales take place in Hall J from Saturday through Tuesday (during the same hours as Joint Meeting registration).

Bags and Final Programs. Visit one of the Bags & Programs counters—which are located in Hall J and in Lobbies E and H—to turn in your Final Program voucher and collect the Final Program, Joint Meeting bag, New Orleans map and other meeting materials.

E-services. For free e-mail access, Web access and the AAO Mail/Message Center, visit the Pfizer Ophthalmics exhibit (Hall E, Booth #1117) or the Technology Pavilion (Hall I, Booth #5645). Go to the Wi-Fi Hot Spots—at the back of Hall E and at the Technology Pavilion—for free wireless connectivity from your laptop computer. Free PDA downloads are available at the Meeting E-Guide Beaming Station in the Technology Pavilion; the Meeting E-Abstract Beaming Stations in both the Merck exhibit (Hall E, Booth #1143) and Technology Pavilion; and the Summary Benchmark Beaming Station at the Quality of Care & Knowledge Base desk in the Academy’s Resource Center (Hall G, Booth #3039).

Business center. If you need to take care of business, visit the Morial Business Center by Rhino in Lobby F for faxing, copying, desktop publishing and shipping.

CME reporting and attendance verification. Before processing requests for CME credit, the Academy must verify your attendance at Subspecialty Day and/or the Joint Meeting. There are several ways to do this:

  • register in advance, receive materials in the mail and turn in your exchange voucher for the Final Program and/or Subspecialty Day Syllabus; or
  • register in advance and pick up materials onsite if materials did not arrive before you traveled to the meeting; or
  • register onsite; or
  • use your ExpoCard onsite.

To report your 2004 Joint Meeting and Subspecialty Day CME credits, visit one of the CME Reporting/Proof of Attendance terminals. These are located at the Academy Resource Center (Hall G, Booth #3039) and in Lobbies D and I.

Academy members whose attendance is verified will also be able to report Joint Meeting and/or Subspecialty Day credits on the Academy’s Web site ( beginning Nov. 15 until Dec. 31, 2004.

Session Highlights

Free Events
If you have any spare time between Instruction Courses and Skills Transfer Courses, you can drop in on a diverse program of free events—no ticket required. For a comprehensive listing, see your Pocket Guide or Final Program.

ONGOING FREE SESSIONS that you can attend throughout the Joint Meeting include the following:

  • Free papers will be presented from Sunday through Tuesday in the Auditorium, rooms 391 and 394 and in La Nouvelle Orleans Ballrooms B and C. (See this month’s EyeNet insert for listings.)
  • Scientific posters will be presented in Hall D in two sessions—Saturday/Sunday and Monday/Tuesday. There will be complimentary coffee, supported in part by Vistakon, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Sunday through Tuesday. (See this month’s EyeNet insert for listings.)
  • The video program runs from Saturday through Tuesday at the Video Theater in Hall D. It includes 38 videos, each of which will be shown four times. (See the Pocket Guide or Final Program for listings).
  • 31 free symposia—which take place in the Auditorium, room 394 and La Nouvelle Orleans Ballrooms B and C—run from Sunday through Tuesday (see the Pocket Guide or Final Program for listings).

ON FRIDAY, attend Advances in Refractive Surgery: Best Papers in the Meeting—6 to 7:28 p.m., in the Auditorium. This rapid-fire paper session, which is part of the ISRS/ AAO Subspecialty Day, is free to all registered Subspecialty Day and Joint Meeting attendees and exhibitors.

ON SATURDAY, free events include:

  • The State Affairs Forum—from 9 a.m. to noon at the Wyndham New Orleans at Canal Place. The Academy’s “Surgery by Surgeons” campaign will be among the advocacy efforts under discussion at this interactive forum.
  • The Welcome Reception and Raffle—from 4 to 6 p.m. in the exhibit hall. Enjoy a drink and hors d’oeuvres with your fellow attendees. Swipe your ExpoCard at designated terminals in the exhibit hall on Saturday for a chance to win Academy prizes.

ON SUNDAY, free events include:

  • The Opening Session—8:30 to 10 a.m. in the Auditorium. The first half-hour will feature the Academy’s secretary for the Annual Meeting, A. Jan Berlin, MD, president Allan D. Jensen, MD, president-elect Susan H. Day, MD, and SOE president Zdenek J. Gregor, FRCS, FRCOphth.

    At 9:04 a.m., this year’s Academy Laureates—Daniele S. Aron Rosa, MD, PhD, J. Donald M. Gass, MD, and Marshall M. Parks, MD—will be honored. (For more on the Academy Laureates, see the Final Program and Academy News.)

    At 9:08 a.m., the six charter members of the Visionary Society will be honored.

    From 9:13 a.m. to 9:20 a.m., H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, will present the executive vice-president’s address.

    At 9:31 a.m., Stuart L. Fine, MD, will present this year’s Jackson Memorial Lecture, AMD: A 35-Year Perspective.
  • The Annual Business Meeting—from 10 to 10:30 a.m. in the Auditorium. Vote on new candidates for Academy membership and hear the reports of the president and executive vice president.
  • Ultimate Grand Rounds: Challenges in Cataract Surgery and Corneal Disease—An Interactive Debate of Current Clinical Concepts —from 10:40 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. in the Auditorium. Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, will moderate debates on case studies covering topics such as capsular tension rings, vitreous loss, multifocal IOLs, pterygia, herpes, dry eye and management of Fuchs’ dystrophy and cataract.
  • Maintenance of Certification: A Conversation With the ABO—12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom B. A brief presentation on the MOC process will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
  • 2004 International Forum—1 to 3:30 p.m. in room 383. Listen to 11 speakers address this year’s topic, The International Eye Care Crisis: Closing the Service Gap.
  • Editors’ Choices—3:10 to 5:10 p.m. in room 394. Editors of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, Archives of Ophthalmology and Ophthalmology will present their choices from approximately 750 articles published in their journals during the last year.
  • AAOE General Session—from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. in room 293. The keynote speech, ProfitAbility: Leading Teams to a Better Bottom Line, sets the tone for the AAOE’s program.

ON MONDAY, free events include:

  • Spotlight on Cataracts 2004: Cataract Controversies—from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Auditorium. This year’s cataract spotlight program features presentations from more than 30 leading cataract specialists.
  • Welcome to the Real World of Ophthalmology: Reality 101—from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in room 397. Panelists will discuss the nonmedical aspects of the ophthalmic practice.
  • Refractive Surgery’s Spotlight Session and Reception—presentations from 5:30 to 7 p.m. followed by a reception; both in La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom C. Pioneers and visionaries from around the world will present during this retrospective session, which is entitled Where Have We Been and Where Are We Now? A Symposium Honoring the Memory of Jose Barraquer, MD, and the Contributions of Steve Trokel, MD, and  Jan Worst, MD, to the Development of Refractive Surgery.

Academy Store

New Products
Staff at the Academy’s Resource Center (Hall G, Booth #3039) will be showcasing their full range of products, most of which will be available for purchase and pickup. Here’s what’s new since last year’s Annual Meeting.

What’s New in Clinical Education
Visit the BCSC (Basic Clinical and Science Course) display to browse through this year’s completely new volume—Section 14: Refractive Surgery—and three major revisions—Section 10: Glaucoma, Section 11: Lens and Cataract and Section 12: Retina and Vitreous.

Visit the BCSC CD-ROM kiosk to demo the CD-ROM’s new features that allow you to highlight text, write notes, bookmark important sections and link from journal article references to PubMed.

Visit the Clinical Education video-DVD kiosk to preview “Eye Exam: The Essentials,” “Fundamentals of Ophthalmic Medical Assisting,” “Fundamentals of Slit-Lamp Biomicroscopy” and “Retinoscopy and Subjective Refraction.”

Visit the Focal Points display to find out what topics a 2005 subscription will cover.

Visit the General Education and Reference Display to peruse the new edition of Basic Ophthalmology and best-selling texts from other publishers.

Visit the LEO Clinical Update kiosk to demo the latest Lifelong Education for the Ophthalmologist CD-ROMs: Cataract, Refractive Management/Intervention and Uveitis.

Visit the Maintenance of Certification kiosk to preview the Academy MOC Essentials—information
and resources to help you prepare for the ABO’s Demonstration of Ophthalmic Cognitive Knowledge (DOCK) exam.

Visit the Quality of Care & Knowledge Base desk to review the latest Ophthalmic Technology Assessments and Complementary Therapy Assessments. Ask about the free PDA downloads.

What’s New in Ethics
Visit the Ethics Online kiosk to demo the Academy’s three online ethics courses or listen to the new audio compact disk series, each of which offers one hour of ethics-specific CME.

What’s New in Patient Education
Visit the Patient Education Brochures, Booklets and Eye Fact Sheets display to read the new Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) for Presbyopia brochure, revised Cataract Surgery and Diabetic Retinopathy booklets and new translations of the Posterior Capsulotomy (Spanish) and Floaters and Flashes (Chinese) eye fact sheets. This year, 18 brochures and 31 eye fact sheets feature a colorful redesign.

Visit the Patient Education video-DVD kiosks to view the two latest DVDs: Understanding Cataract Surgery and Understanding LASIK and Wavefront.

Visit the Patient Education Tools on CD-ROM kiosk to demo the 10 PowerPoint presentations on The Eye Over Time CD-ROM.

What’s New in Practice Management
Visit the AAOE Practice Management Center to explore recently published books: Selecting and Implementing the Right EMR, Practice Management or Optical System for Your Practice and four new booklets: Ophthalmic Executive’s Resource Guides—40 Ways to Raise Revenue and Cut Costs; Developing an Employee Handbook: Creating a Protective Shield or Legal Minefield?; Protecting Your Practice: What You Need to Know About Insurance; and Winning Patients and Keeping Them for Life.

Visit the Coding Products desk for the 2005 CPT, 2005 ICD-9, 2005 Ophthalmic Coding Flip Cards, 2005 HCPCS, 2005 CPT Pocket Guide for Ophthalmology, 2005 Ophthalmic Coding Coach and the latest in the Ophthalmic Coding Series.

Academy Resource Center (Booth #3039)

Exhibit Hall Map
Advocacy. Visit the Federal Affairs & OphthPAC desk or State & Subspecialty Relations desk.

Clinical Education. View print materials, videos, CD-ROMs and Web offerings. Plus, see the Academy MOC Essentials at the Maintenance of Certification kiosk.

Coding. Visit the Coding Questions and Products desks.

Communications. For informational resources that you can use to promote eye health and safety, visit the Communications & Periodicals desk.

CME Reporting. Either use the CME Reporting/Proof of Attendance kiosk or drop off the Final Program CME form at the Member Services desk or Information desk.

Ethics. Demo a CME-bearing course or preview an audio-CD at the Ethics Online kiosk.

Member Services. Update your membership record or ask about member benefits at the Member Services desk.

Patient Education. Browse eye fact sheets, brochures and booklets, demo a CD-ROM and preview a video or DVD.

Quality of Care. Browse through the Preferred Practice Patterns or download the Summary Benchmarks to your PDA.

Exhibit Hall Highlights

A Showcase of Innovation
The exhibit hall is your once-a-year opportunity to explore the latest technologies, pharmaceuticals and services. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served during the Welcome Reception on Saturday, Oct. 23, from
4 to 6 p.m.

Academy Resource Center (Booth #3039). Want to know what the Academy and AAOE can do for you and your practice? Staff are on hand to explain their full range of products and resources (see the map above).

The Academy/OMIC Insurance Center (Booth #3439). Consult with insurance experts who are familiar with more than 15 OMIC insurance programs.

Academy Foundation (Booth #3447). The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology provides financial support and implements programs that advance ophthalmic education. Ask about the Foundation’s overseas programs—which include the International Volunteer Registry—and U.S. programs—which include The Academy Education Fund, the Museum of Vision and EyeCare America. Academy Foundation Partners for Sight and Leadership Council donors can pick up their lapel pins at the Foundation booth. EyeCare America volunteers are encouraged to pick up their certificates of appreciation and special gifts.

EyeNet Magazine (Booth #1304). Pick up each of EyeNet Magazine’s Joint Meeting publications—Academy News, EyeNet's Guide to Academy Exhibitors and EyeNet Selections—and a free EyeNet gift.

Medem (Booth #3749). Ask about Medem’s new physician-centric disease management services, which are free to Academy members. Other services from Medem ( include secure messaging and fee-based online consultation.

Museum of Vision (Booth #3447). Throughout the ages, man has sought to discover the nature of eyesight and the sources of eye disease. For many centuries the answers to these questions lay not in anatomy or biology, but in the realm of ritual and religious practice. “Windows to the Soul” explores the legends, amulets and talismans associated with eyes and eye disease.

The Technology Pavilion (Booth #5645). Hear from industry leaders at the Technology Theater (check the Pocket Guide, Final Program or go to, then “Exhibits” for a schedule); enjoy e-mail and Web access (AAO Mail/ Message Center) at the Cyber Lounge; download the E-Guide and E-Abstracts to your PDA at the beaming stations; talk to consultants at the Ask the Experts area; and take your laptop to the Wi-Fi Lounge for wireless connectivity.