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April 2007

Academy Notebook

What's Happening 

Get Ready for the 2007 Mid-Year Forum

The Academy’s annual policy input meeting, the Mid-Year Forum (MYF), is just around the corner on April 18–21 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.

The MYF brings together leadership in ophthalmology, including the Academy’s board and leaders of state, subspecialty and specialized interest societies.

Kicking off the MYF is Congressional Advocacy Day, an opportunity for all ophthalmologists to participate in advocacy at the federal level. Participants will learn about key Academy priorities in Washington during an evening briefing on Wednesday, April 18, and then head to Capitol Hill on Thursday, April 19, for a number of congressional visits arranged by the Academy’s Washington, D.C., staff.

Following the congressional visits, attendees will participate in a series of MYF sessions. The physician reimbursement opening session will feature legislators, CMS representatives and policy experts discussing the issues affecting physician payment and how physician organizations might respond to these challenges.

The scope of practice closing session will review the Academy’s ongoing efforts to defend quality eye care and explore the Academy’s participation and leadership in the AMA’s Scope of Practice Partnership initiative.

Other sessions include the future of ambulatory surgery centers and issues around training the next generation of ophthalmologists.

In addition, an electronic medical records session will feature best practices in the selection and implementation stages, while sharing key lessons from electronic medical records installations that could help others make a smoother integration.

Sign up. Registration closes on March 20, 2007. Contact Megan Jolly at, or 415-561-8565, for questions about the Mid-Year Forum.

Leadership Joint Session
LEADERSHIP JOINT SESSION. Academy President C. P. Wilkinson, MD, joined future society leaders participating in a joint session of the Academy’s Leadership Development Program (LDP), the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology’s (PAAO) Curso de Liderazgo and the European Society of Ophthalmology’s (SOE) EuLDP. Forty-three participants in the three organizations’ leadership development programs met Jan. 19–21 in San Francisco to learn about a variety of leadership and association management topics. From left to right: Susan K. Mosier, MD, MBA, Academy LDP participant; Stevie Tan, MD, SOE EuLDP participant; Dr. Wilkinson, president of the Academy; Mario Joaquin Saravia, MD, PAAO Curso de Liderazgo participant; and Brandon G. Busbee, MD, Academy LDP participant.



E&M Documentation Is Focus of March 20 Web Conference

If E&M documentation guidelines are either confusing or new to you, plan to attend The Art of Evaluation & Management Documentation. In this 90-minute interactive Web conference, the Academy’s Coding Executive Sue Vicchrilli, COT, OCS, and Michael L. Gilbert, MD, OCS, will cover each component of documentation—history, exam and medical decision making. This will be accomplished by analyzing charts from each specialty in ophthalmology.

During the last portion of the Web conference, participants will come to better understand the role of the MD, technician and front office staff in chart documentation.

They will also become aware of key issues auditors assess when reviewing documentation, and gain confidence in the level of code selection. Finally, consultation guidelines will be addressed.

The Web conference will take place on March 20 from 11 to 12:30 p.m. PST. The fee is $140 for members and $175 for nonmembers. The presentation will be delivered live over the telephone, and participants will be able to view the speaker’s slides online. For those unable to attend the event, CDs of the presentations—including both the audio and slides—will be available for purchase at the same price.

For more information, visit


International Ophthalmologist Education Award

This award was created to recognize international Academy members who have demonstrated their pursuit of lifelong education in ophthalmology through the accumulation of continuing medical education (CME) credits.

Those who are interested must apply online. If the applicant completes 90 CME within three years of applying for the award, they will receive a certificate and will be listed on the Academy Web site, in the Annual Meeting Final Program and in EyeNet. Half of the credits must be Academy-sponsored CME. To record both Academy and non-Academy CME, applicants must use the Academy’s online transcript service.

For more information, or to apply for the award, visit To access the online CME transcript service, visit


Current Insight Launches Into Second Year

Current Insight, the Academy’s online quarterly publication that provides a clinically based assessment of recent developments in ophthalmology, has entered its second year of publication.

Free to Academy members, each quarterly edition is published over the course of three months, with three articles posted per month. The nine articles each quarter collectively cover the principal ophthalmic subspecialties. The spring edition launches this month with coverage of topics in cataract/anterior segment, pediatric ophthalmology and uveitis.

To read the current edition or previously published editions of Current Insight, visit For additional online educational products including subspecialty-specific news, CME-bearing cases and courses, Quality of Care information and other publications and resources, visit


Ophthalmology’s Greats

The Academy is now accepting nominations for its highest honor—the Laureate Recognition Award.

This award recognizes individuals from around the world who have made exceptional scientific contributions to the betterment of eye care, leading to the prevention of blindness and restoration of sight worldwide.

To nominate a colleague for the 2007 Laureate Recognition Award, visit /member/awards/laureate/call_ for_nom.cfm. The deadline for submissions is March 31.


Meeting Matters

Get Ready for New Orleans 2007

New Orleans is back in business and is looking forward to welcoming the Academy for the Annual Meeting this fall, from Nov. 10–13. Do you have fond memories of beignets and jazz, strolling the streets in the French Quarter and enjoying the many restaurants featuring classic Cajun and Creole fare? Then you are in luck. It is ready to share with you these and the many more activities that make it one of the country’s most unique cities.

For the latest information on the Annual Meeting and Subspecialty Day, go to click here.

Submit Abstracts for Papers, Posters and Videos

The abstract submission period for scientific papers, posters, videos and exhibits will open on March 14 and close on April 10. All abstracts must be submitted online.

If you plan to submit a video, the abstract is due on April 10, and the Academy must receive the actual DVD by April 27.

Please note, the abstract deadline for Instruction Courses and Skills Transfer Courses closed on Jan. 9.

For information on submitting an abstract, go to /meetings/annual_meeting and go to “Presenter Central.” For further information, e-mail or phone 415-447-0343.


ISRS/AAO Beijing Registration Deadline Is Approaching

The advance registration deadline for the ISRS/AAO Beijing meeting is April 11. Prices go up $50 onsite, so register now and save.

This year’s meeting, Expanding Horizons in Refractive and Cataract Surgery, will take place May 26–27 in Beijing, China. Program directors Ronald R. Krueger, MD, and Jialiang Zhao Sr., MD, are planning a program on the latest innovations in refractive and cataract surgery. The meeting will be simultaneously translated into Mandarin.

For more information, visit

Academy Exhibits at Dubai Meeting

If your plans take you to the MEACO (Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology) meeting March 29 to April 1 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, stop by the Academy’s booth and see the latest products from the Academy.


Members at Large

Connecticut Eye M.D.s Encouraged to Write Best Sellers

“Every ophthalmologist should write a best seller,” said Robin Cook, MD, to the Eye M.D.s attending the Jan. 19 meeting of the Connecticut Society of Eye Physicians (CSEP). Dr. Cook was a featured speaker at the CSEP meeting held at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, Conn.

After giving his own keynote presentation, CSEP president Steven C. Thornquist, MD, presented Dr. Cook with an award for his vision and leadership in public awareness on the national medical liability crisis.

Despite his achievements in the medical liability arena, Dr. Cook is best known as one of the founding fathers of the medical thriller genre of popular fiction and provided each of the CSEP meeting attendees with a copy of his latest novel, Crisis. Dr. Cook did his residency in general surgery at Queens Hospital in Honolulu and published his first book, Year of the Intern, in 1972. He was a resident in ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary from 1971 to 1975 and also opened a private practice north of Boston.

Michael Crichton, another author and doctor, directed the movie version of Dr. Cook’s 1997 novel Coma. Dr. Cook’s 1999 novel Vector foreshadowed the real-life 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States and his many other novels have included Outbreak (1987), Vital Signs (1991), and Toxin (1998).

“We thought it would be a special treat to have Dr. Cook join the other featured clinical speakers at this CSEP meeting. The distribution of his new book was an added bonus,” said Dr. Thornquist.

In addition to Dr. Cook’s presentation, CSEP meeting attendees heard a presentation by the new department chairman at Yale University, James C. Tsai, MD.



Sandra T. Lora Cremers, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, was awarded $25,000 by the National Rosacea Society for a study evaluating the role of angiogenesis in ocular rosacea.

Ravi D. Goel, MD, has been awarded a 2007 AMA Foundation Leadership Award. The awards are presented annually to medical students, residents, fellows, young physicians and international medical graduate physicians who have exhibited outstanding leadership in organized medicine and/or community affairs.


Who’s in the News

“Eye-pressure checks alone will not rule out glaucoma,” remarked Mark J. Gallardo, MD, in a Jan. 15 El Paso Times story on National Glaucoma Awareness Month. “Patients need full, comprehensive, dilated eye examinations to evaluate the optic nerve,” Dr. Gallardo said.

Ranya G. Habash, MD, was interviewed by Florida’s Boca Raton News for a Dec. 31 story about her removal of a cataract from a 9-year-old’s eye. “He said he had forgotten what it was like to see out of both eyes,” Dr. Habash noted. “The day after they took off the patch, he started to read again.”

In a Jan. 14 article in the Los Angeles Times, Lawrence M. Hopp, MD, gave the following suggestions for enjoying cold-weather recreations: use artificial tears or re-wetting drops to treat dryness associated with high altitudes, and wear polarized sunglasses to reduce glare and prevent snow blindness.


Washington Report

Reimbursement Issues Top the List

Halting a predicted 5 percent reduction in 2008 Medicare physician payments is the top legislative priority for Eye M.D.s in 2007. The Academy is urging members to make their voices heard during Congressional Advocacy Day 2007 on April 18–19. “Advocacy Day is a day for ophthalmologists to meet with their members of Congress and discuss issues that affect their practice and their patients,” said Peter J. Whitted, MD, JD, chairman of the Academy’s congressional advocacy committee. “It also provides the opportunity for our members to learn firsthand what a vital role advocacy plays in the legislative process.”

Join your colleagues in the nation’s capital at the largest and most effective lobbying day dedicated to the ophthalmic profession. This event provides the opportunity to reinforce issues of importance to physicians as well as demonstrate ophthalmology’s strong presence on Capitol Hill. Last year, more than 240 Academy members participated in the event, meeting with more than 275 lawmakers and their staff members.

No lobbying experience is needed to participate. The Academy’s federal affairs staff will provide training on the issues and on effective lobbying tactics. The federal affairs staff will also schedule appointments for you to meet with your congressional representative. There are also mentoring opportunities available. Ophthalmologists can earn up to three CME credits for attending the issue briefing on April 18 and the Mid-Year Forum.

For more information about Congressional Advocacy Day, contact Denna Suko, manager of political affairs, at 202-737-6662, or visit MYF.