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Young Ophthalmologists
New-to-Practice Guide the Meeting
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It’s not your first meeting, but you’re still just a year or two into practice. Wondering how to approach the Annual Meeting now? We’ve got you covered. There are a wide variety of programs and courses designed specifically for young ophthalmologists in their first few years of practice. Not only can you discover the ins and outs of buy-ins and how to determine the value of a practice, but you can also learn everything you need to know about coding, employment law, and even a few internet marketing strategies. And, best of all, you can network with the experts.

Brush Elbows and Ask Questions
One of the key sessions for any young ophthalmologist in the first five years of practice is the new Networking with the Experts session. Designed to offer knowledge and tips for the new-to-practice young ophthalmologist, this lunchtime session features three panelists who will cover:

Lawrence Geller
Lawrence Geller
Ravi Goel, MD
Ravi Goel, MD
Rob Melendez, MD, MBA
Rob Melendez,
Richard A. Raybin
Richard Raybin
  • Challenges in the first five years of practice;
  • Mistakes to avoid when signing your first contract; and
  • Financial planning and your investment portfolio.

As YO Info editor Robert Melendez, MD, explains, Networking with the Experts was designed to provide even more resources for young ophthalmologists to excel in practice, and to provide an opportunity for YOs to chat with experts face-to-face to hear their personal experiences.

“I think all YOs should attend this session,” says Dr. Melendez. “It is ideal for young ophthalmologists new to practice to help them avoid common mistakes in their first five years of practice. Practical advice will be given to increase your chances of becoming a partner and identifying ways to become the best business partner you can be.”

Panel participant Ravi D. Goel, MD, agrees. “The session is designed to help YOs interact informally with experts who can help guide them on the challenges and pitfalls to look out for in the first five years of practice,” he says. “I've learned a great deal by interacting with colleagues informally and gaining insight into how they manage patient care and how they manage their practices. The demands on a young ophthalmologist as a small business owner can be just as challenging as those who face the demands of board certification.”

The Networking with the Experts session will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at McCormick Place, Room S101B. Tickets are $20 and include lunch.

Terrific Courses….
There are also several courses perfect for young ophthalmologists just starting out. If you are in your first couple years of practice, you may want to add these courses to your itinerary:

  • How to Value an Ophthalmology Practice (260)
  • Five Steps to Coding Simplification (552)
  • Challenging the Challenges: Ensuring Optimum Outcome in Difficult Cataracts (344)
  • Extracapsular Cataract Extraction (ECCE): Non-Phacoemulsification Large and Small Incision Approach (LAB156A)
  • Phaco Frighteners: Practical Pearls for Optimum Outcomes (358)
  • Comprehensive Strategy for Unplanned Vitrectomy Technique for the Anterior Segment Surgeon (543)
  • Employment Law Boot Camp (348)
  • How to Avoid Joining the Wrong Practice: Factors to Consider Before Accepting an Associate Position (408)
  • Negotiating Your Buy-In (224)

If you have been in practice for three years or more, the YO Committee recommends these courses:

  • The Challenging Patient: Risk Management and Optimizing Patient Satisfaction by Effectively Managing Personality Styles (339)
  • Designing the Ophthalmic Clinic: Maximizing Your Efficiency (406)
  • Cataract Surgery in the Setting of Ocular Comorbidities and High-Risk Features for Intraoperative and Postoperative Complications (542)
  • Internet Marketing Strategies for Ophthalmology Practices (371)
  • Deciphering Financial Reports for the Young Ophthalmologist (438)

…and Great Advice
No matter which courses you attend or sessions you partake in, remember that being in practice means that you need to be well-versed on a variety of topics … not all of which are scientific. “While residents approach the Annual Meeting from a scientific perspective, young ophthalmologists in the first few years of practice should also approach the meeting from a clinical and business perspective as well,” says Dr. Goel.

Dr. Melendez agrees. “I would encourage YOs to attend AAOE courses such as becoming a partner, understanding financial statements, dealing with human resource and staff issues,” says Dr. Melendez. “All of these become very real factors once you are in practice.”

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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.

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