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Get Ready for Orlando: Annual Meeting Preview
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With heat waves ripping across the country and kids wrapping up the end of the school year, one can only be thinking…ah, summer. The time of lemonade, backyard barbeques, pool parties and the Annual Meeting. Wait, what? Yes, the Annual Meeting, member registration for which opens Wednesday, June 22.

This year’s Annual Meeting is a bit earlier than usual: Oct. 22 to 25 in Orlando, Fla. While we don’t want to rush you into fall too quickly, there are a few things you need to know sooner rather than later. So, fill that glass with some iced tea and take a look at the coming attractions for this year’s meeting.

The Academy Plus Course Pass
One of the best things about Disneyworld is that one pass gives you access to all the rides and entertainment throughout the park. Wouldn’t it be great if the meeting were like that? Well, now it is!

The new Academy Plus course pass gives you access to 350 different Academy and American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE) instruction courses for one low price. No more planning ahead and pre-selecting courses. Now you can choose courses the same day as the course, giving you even more freedom and flexibility during the meeting.

All Instruction Course handouts will still be available online, so you can print them out either at home or onsite. Just remember that everyone else will have the course pass, too, which means your preferred course may fill up quickly. And with fire marshal regulations firmly in place, there will be seating limitations. Courses will be first-come, first-seated, so plan to get to key courses early.

Beginning June 22, you can get your Academy Plus course pass for just $175 ($100 if you’re a member in training!), or for $225 onsite. Again, it covers all 350 Academy and AAOE instruction courses. However, it will NOT cover Skills Transfer labs, Breakfasts with the Experts, AAOE roundtables, Coding Camp, and a few other ticketed special events. Advance pricing is good until Sept. 28.

Get Ready for Some Adventure
If you’ve ever wanted to step into a book, movie or comic book and experience all the adventures alongside your favorite characters, this year’s Annual Meeting is your chance. 

On Monday, Oct. 24, you’ll be able to do all that, plus visit Hogwarts Castle and take a ride with Harry Potter at Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure! The Academy will take over the park so members and their families can have unlimited access to all of the thrills and cutting-edge rides without the long lines and crowds.

Everywhere you turn at Islands of Adventure, there’s a myth, movie, or cartoon coming to life. Take a trip on the Jurassic Park River Adventure, travel with Canada’s favorite Mountie on Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls ride, turn green on the Incredible Hulk Coaster, then fly on over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to soar high above Hogsmeade with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Tickets for this incredible night go on sale June 22 for members. Prices start at $59 for adults and $53 for children ages four to 14. You can also purchase them onsite.

Sunday is YO Day
Ever wish you had an entire day to yourself? For YOs, that day is Sunday, Oct. 23. The day starts off with your choice of three different Breakfasts with the Experts, each beginning at 7:30 a.m.

The YO Program follows next, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and covers critical topics for the young ophthalmologist, including contracts, coding, insurance and even how to maintain a healthy work and life balance. As always, the YO program includes lunch in the $35 ticket price.

After a quick respite, the day continues from 2:30 p.m to 4 p.m. with the joint session of YOs from the Academy, European Society of Ophthalmology and Canadian Ophthalmological Society. In this free course, Modern Technologies and Techniques for Young Ophthalmologists to Know, you’ll learn specific strategies used internationally in the treatment of various ocular diseases. The course will also cover strategies and research from abroad that you might not be exposed to if you trained or practice in the United States.

The educational portion of the day will wrap up with International Opportunities for Young Ophthalmologists from 4:15 p.m to 5:30 p.m. This session will address the challenges of treating eye disease in developing nations, and will help you identify those groups working towards these goals, as well as the opportunities available for resident and YO involvement.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the Annual Meeting without a YO reception. The 2011 event, which will be a chance to mix and mingle with YO colleagues from around the world, will be at the Orlando Hilton Hotel. This year’s reception is a bit later than in past years, with the festivities starting at 9 p.m. and running until 11 p.m. That should give you plenty of time to grab a bite to eat and recoup from your YO Day!

Plan Ahead
While the Annual Meeting may seem ages away, the reality is that it’s right around the corner. Both registration and housing open on June 22. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can secure your registration, course pass, YO Program ticket and even line up housing, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the summer knowing you’ve secured your place at the 2011 annual meeting. Don’t wait too long, though! Early registration closes Aug. 3 and many of the most popular hotels sell out early.

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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 contributing editor to Peak Health Advocate.

 
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