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Taking the Joint Meeting’s Pulse: Where to Find the Best Conversations

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Since its inception in 1896, the Academy’s Annual Meeting has always been about face-to-face interactions with colleagues in medicine. This year’s Joint Meeting in San Francisco offers several opportunities for such informal connections.

Whether you attend one of the variety of Breakfasts with the Experts, grab a cuppa joe at the Academy Café or meander through the scientific posters, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact and network with colleagues from across the country and even the world!

Breakfast with the Experts
These intimate roundtables feature facilitated discussions on the hottest topics facing young ophthalmologists today. Not only will you learn great information on a wide variety of topics, but you’ll also benefit from the successes and pitfalls of those who have recently gone through what you are currently experiencing.

The YO-sponsored breakfasts take place over three days. Topics include:

  • International opportunities
  • Fellowship match and how to land your top choice
  • Red flags when changing practices
  • Common corneal dilemmas
  • Uveitis clinical pearls
  • Eye pathlogy and avoiding medico-legal predicaments
  • Children’s eye exam tips
  • Survival tips for the young academician
  • Transitioning from mentee to mentor
  • Transitioning from employee to partner
  • Marketing your practice online

In addition to the YO-sponsored events, there are also several ethics-related breakfasts worth considering. Topics include:

  • Conflicts of Interest: An Ethical Conundrum 
  • International Ophthalmology and Codes of Ethics
  • Ethical Dilemmas in Emergency Ophthalmic Care 
  • Refractive Surgery: Ethics Informed Consent
  • Ethical Expert Witness Testimony: What You Should Know
  • Ethical Physician-Industry Relationships and the Revised PhRMA Code

Lastly, the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives also offers several coding and compliance breakfasts moderated by seasoned professionals. While not all topics may make sense for YOs, there are a few that standout:

  • Financial Planning for the Young Ophthalmologist
  • Practical Use of Business Benchmarks
  • New Associate Contracts
  • Successful Marketing Tools in Today’s Economic Environment
  • Building a Successful Portfolio Using Alternative Investments to the Stock Market
  • Ophthalmology Buy-ins and Payouts in a Changing Economy
  • Ophthalmology career Opportunities: Deciding What’s Best for You

With all Breakfasts with the Experts, there are only nine seats available at each table. To ensure you get a place at the table, register in advance. Plus, by registering early, you’ll save $10. And members-in-training save another 50 percent!

No seats left in your top choice? There’s always a chance that someone may drop out at the last minute, so be sure to check in at Course Ticket Sales at the meeting (Moscone West Lobby) to see if any tickets have been traded in.

All breakfast roundtables are held Sunday, Oct. 25 through Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Level 2 Lobby and Overlooks of Moscone West. And, as the name implies, all Breakfasts with the Experts include a continental breakfast.

You can register online by first registering for meeting, then adding the breakfast you want to your cart. Onsite registration is also available, but the roundtable you want may be closed out … plus you’ll pay a bit more onsite.

Academy Café
Another great forum for getting advice is the Academy café. This new format was such a hit last year that it’s been brought back to the San Francisco meeting with a much-expanded schedule. And when you hear the topics being covered, you won’t believe that these sessions are FREE!

Participation is easy. Grab a cup of java (or bring your own) and get ready for a lively conversation on a variety of topics, including cataract, cornea, retina, glaucoma, oculoplastics, cataracts and the business of premium IOLs. Keep your cell phone, PDA or laptop handy so you can send questions to the moderator for answers during the session.

To find the exact time and location of your preferred topic, visit the online program and search by event type “Academy Café.”

Scientific Posters
The last venue for informal interaction is the scientific posters and papers display going on throughout the meeting in the South Exhibit Hall. If you’ve ever wanted to talk directly with the author(s) of scientific papers, this is your chance! Browse the hundreds of scientific posters and papers daily Oct. 25 to Oct. 27 from 8:30 a.m to 5 p.m.

At certain times during those days, the author of the paper or poster will be on hand to discuss their work and answer any questions you may have. This is a great opportunity to interact with the researchers themselves and ask about their methods, findings and what their results mean for you in your practice.

A schedule of paper discussions and when presenters will be on hand will be included in the Pocket Guide distributed at the meeting. To view the topics of posters and papers available, visit the online program and search by event type “paper” or “PAAO scientific poster.”

You Have to Be Here to Attend
If you haven’t yet registered for the meeting, keep in mind that pre-registration
closes on Wednesday, Sept. 30, so sign up now to make sure your breakfast has not sold out. Then scan the online program to find café and posters that interest you and begin to plan your meeting. And we’ll see you in San Francisco!

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About the author: Kimberly Day is a freelance health writer and medical editor and a frequent contributor to YO Info. She is the co-author of Hormone Revolution and ghost writer of Eat Papayas Naked.