The Academy continually strives to provide the ophthalmic community with the most advanced research and education, and the Annual Meeting is an integral part of that process for all ophthalmologists across the globe. This November, New Orleans will play host for the seventh time and promises to make the 117th Annual Meeting a must-see event.
The Annual Meeting will begin with the popular Subspecialty Day meetings — seven sessions running from Nov. 15 to 16 that cover cornea, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, oculofacial plastic surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, refractive surgery and retina. These meetings are immediately followed by the Annual Meeting proper, running from Nov. 16 to 19.
The Big Easy
New Orleans is a world-renowned business and vacation destination that considers the Academy one of its oldest and most important customers. In January, Fodor’s included the city in its “Top 25 Places to Go in 2013” list. And in the past several years, the area has witnessed more than 500 new restaurants, $300 million in airport expansions and $1 billion in hotel renovations. This year, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, home of the Annual Meeting, debuted a $52 million renovation, which includes a new entrance area and Great Hall, the largest ballroom in New Orleans. In total, the convention center has 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space, 140 meeting rooms, and the 4,000-seat New Orleans Theatre, all of which will be jam packed come November with 45 symposia, 55 Skills Transfer labs, 100 Breakfast With the Experts sessions, more than 350 Academy and AAOE instruction courses, and much, much more.
What’s New for You, YO
There’s no doubt that the Annual Meeting and Subspecialty Day are must-attend events for domestic and international ophthalmologists across all demographics. This year in New Orleans, however, the Academy is offering a host of noteworthy sessions, improved hot spots and innovative ways to interact with meeting content that are of particular importance to young ophthalmologists.
Sessions of Interest
- 2013 YO Program: It’s YO World, Jumpstart YOur Career (SPE 10) — YOs face a unique set of demands in making the transition from training to practice. To help both residents and new-to-practice physicians successfully make that leap, the YO Committee developed a four-hour program covering everything from contracts to ergonomics. The interaction format features a number of expert panels on topics like practice type, whether to get a fellowship and revenue-sharing. The morning session is geared more for residents, while the afternoon session focuses on those in their first few years of practice. (Sunday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
- So You Want to Be a Leader in Ophthalmology? (SYM 39) — The number of vacancies for leadership positions in health care is growing. This symposium will identify the key leadership positions in ophthalmology, including department chair, residency program director and state and national leadership positions, as well as practice- and hospital-based leadership roles. A panel of speakers will also discuss the ways to sustain a continued foundation of strong leadership, with a particular focus on how young ophthalmologists can begin developing, fostering and sharpening the leadership skills required to fill these positions. Speakers will be young ophthalmologists who occupy current leadership roles as well as experienced ophthalmologists who have been in these positions for many years. (Tuesday, Nov. 19, 8:30 to 10 a.m.)
- The First Few Years of Practice: Some Key Concepts for Young Ophthalmologists (Course # 233) — In residency and fellowship programs, ophthalmologists are well trained in the practice of medicine; however, the same cannot be said about the business of medicine. Led by Lawrence Geller, MBA, this course will focus on how to be successful in business and will cover patient satisfaction and customer service; the importance of state licensure and managed care credentialing; negotiating an employment contract; understanding managed care plans and fee schedules and maximizing use of the Internet. (Sunday, Nov. 17, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.)
- From Cadaver Eyes to Virtual Reality: Surgical Simulators 101 (Course #330) —Effective surgery simulation is essential for training; however, the time and cost of establishing a surgical simulation program are significant. Many tools are available to simulate cataract surgery, from the traditional wet-lab experience to virtual reality computer simulation. Jeff H. Pettey, MD; Yousuf M. Khalifa, MD; and Shameema Sikder, MD, will discuss the spectrum of phacoemulsification simulation tools and their respective strengths and weaknesses. (Monday, Nov. 18, from 9 to 10 a.m.)
Venues and Technologies of Interest
- Mobile Meeting Guide: This essential tool for navigating the meeting can help you plan your agenda, view handouts and complete course evaluations, plus it lets you view posters online, and watch surgical videos. Access the easy-to-use wireless Web app on your smartphone, tablet or Web-enabled mobile device. The Mobile Meeting Guide will be available online Oct. 16.
- Learning Lounge: Located next to the Academy Resource Center, the Learning Lounge features interactive discussions and presentations in a small group setting led by well-known ophthalmic leaders. The full schedule will be posted on the Mobile Meeting Guide, but YOs won’t want to miss the Monday, Nov. 18 event, “Growing YOur Business with Social Media Marketing,” from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Space will be limited – first come, first served. More details to come.
- Technology Bar: New this year, the Academy will have a dedicated desk for attendees to get advice and troubleshoot technology-related issues onsite. The Technology Bar will be staffed by Digital Acumen tech experts who will offer assistance with the Mobile Meeting Guide, log-on issues and other general device issues.
- Technology Pavilion: A full slate of user-friendly technology presentations will again be offered this year covering the latest in ophthalmic hardware, software, Internet and mobile solutions. Topics include how to get the most out of the Mobile Meeting Guide and updates on the O.N.E.™ Network and The Resident Hub™. The complete schedule will be posted on the Mobile Meeting Guide.
Save the Date and Stay Tuned
Visit www.aao.org/yo and check back with YO Info in the upcoming months for more Annual Meeting and Subspecialty Day coverage, as well as additional details about the revamped 2013 Young Ophthalmologist Program in New Orleans. And be sure to visit the Academy’s website for updated information about registration, the exhibit hall and hotel and travel information, as well as a redesigned Program Search.
The deadline for early registration is Aug. 7. International attendees are advised to register early and secure a visitor’s visa. If you need to cancel, Oct. 2 is the deadline for refunds.
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About the author: Mike Mott is a former assistant editor for EyeNet Magazine and contributing writer for YO Info.