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Young Ophthalmologists
Beyond the Course Pass
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The Academy Plus Course Pass is all the rage this year. It gives you flexibility and freedom to pick from nearly 350 different Annual Meeting courses for one low price.

But it doesn’t give you access to everything. For YOs in particular, there are a few things you’ll want to attend that lie outside of the course pass.

The YO Program
The YO Program is a “must attend” for any young ophthalmologist. It is the only session designed with residents and newly practicing YOs in mind.

The YO Program addresses all the key issues facing young ophthalmologists, including how to start a practice, negotiate contracts, understand buy-ins and help protect quality patient eye care through active participation in advocacy.

You will also get a taste of Coding Camp, with practice management tips from the Academy’s coding specialist Kim Ross. And Randall Wong, MD, will give you insights on how to handle marketing in the digital age, from bad online reviews to making the most of social networking.

Ophthalmology superstar William Lloyd, MD, will also be hosting a panel discussion on choosing the right type of practice for you. Whether you are leaning toward academics, a large group practice, or heading out on your own, the discussion is sure to be informative and lively.

And, as if the YO Program couldn’t get any better, the Academy’s 2011 president Richard Abbott, MD, will also be there to share some thought-provoking, honest advice about coming of age in the Academy. The program will conclude with a few comments about EyeWiki and even a quick piece of advice on ergonomics!

The best part is that you have access to all of the speakers and moderators. There’s time after each presentation for questions and answers. This is Dr. Lloyd’s favorite part. “No question is off limits,” he said. “The attendees gain real-world information about practice situations from their colleagues who have been there. I find that those who attend learn a lot and usually don’t want the session to end.”

Don’t miss out on the YO event of the meeting! This year, the YO Program is Sunday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center, Room W308abc. It is supported in part by Allergan.

This action-packed session costs just $35 and includes lunch, a 4GB thumbdrive and other giveaways. Be sure to get your tickets ASAP!

Networking with the Experts: Knowledge and Tips for the Young Ophthalmologist
Second only to the YO Program (and also not part of the Academy Course Pass) is Networking with the Experts, back after a very successful pilot in 2010. Geared for YOs in their first few years of practice, this lunchtime session will be moderated by YO committee member (and former YO Info editor!) Rob Melendez, MD, MBA.

Four panelists will discuss several of the business aspects to practicing medicine, including:
  • Mistakes to Avoid when Signing Your First Contract — Larry Geller
  • How to Set Up Your Financial Portfolio — Sayjal Patel, MD
  • How YOs Can Stay Out of Trouble / OMIC — Denise Chamblee, MD
  • Benefits of Networking — Ravi Goel, MD
This year’s Networking with the Experts, supported in part by Allergan and Genentech, is Saturday, Oct. 22, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center, Room W308.

Tickets are $20 and include lunch, but seating is limited to the first 100 people, so be sure to save your seat today!

Don’t Forget the Free Stuff
There are also several notable events and educational opportunities not included in the Academy Course Pass because they’re free! These include the Academy Café, scientific papers and posters, and the Technology Pavilion.

If you haven’t checked out the Academy Café yet, make it a must-do this year. This is the best place to kick back with a cup of joe and get ready for a lively conversation. Choose from eight different sessions, covering topics including:
  • Military ophthalmology,
  • Cataract,
  • Glaucoma,
  • Oculoplastics,
  • Retina,
  • Combined procedures, and
  • Cornea.
The most amazing part is that these sessions are FREE! YO Info Editor Natasha Herz, MD, personally vouches for the café. “I highly enjoyed the R&R while getting to meet new people and listen to some interesting discussions,” she said. “It’s well worth stopping in if you have some time.”

Why not join the conversation! Just check the online program to find your preferred session, then head over to room W315a. Keep your cell phone, PDA or laptop handy so you can send questions to the moderator for answers during the session.

In addition to the café sessions, make sure to check out the scientific papers and posters. In addition to browsing through the actual posters in Hall A, you can also check them out online!

Simply scan the 2D barcode located on each poster with your smartphone or iPad. You’ll immediate upload the digital poster, as well as the author’s narrative when available.

Lastly, indulge your inner geek at the Technology Pavilion. Check out the latest in hardware, medical record software and even hand-held communications.

Lance Kugler, MD, a member of the YO Info editorial board, said he’s found the Tech Pavilion particularly helpful. “Many practices are apprehensive about making the change to EMR,” he said. “The Academy really listened to its members' concerns and put together a tremendous forum for industry experts to answer questions and engage in discussion.”

Don’t be the last to be in the know! Stop by booth 3379 and check out the latest gadgets.

The Pass…Plus
There’s a lot to cover and just four days to do it! Make that time count by prioritizing your meeting.

For any YO, the YO Program and Networking with the Experts are practically required. Those sessions, coupled with your Academy Course Pass, should help you set your course. Sprinkle in some posters and a Café session or two and you are well on your way to a great meeting.

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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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