A New Tool: The Global Ophthalmology Guide
As medical service abroad increases in popularity, so does the demand for educational resources to prepare physicians for the experience. To meet that need, the Academy created the Global Ophthalmology (GO) Guide, which launched in November as part of the ONE Network.
The GO Guide is open access and contains a clickable map featuring region-based treatment and management information on a variety of disease topics, along with pertinent charts, tables, algorithms, and images. The guide also includes online courses from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; the NGO Resource Guide for Ophthalmologists; Epidemiology and Biostatistics for the Global Ophthalmologist, which is an adaptation of Dr. Al Sommer’s classic book; a multimedia section with clinical and surgical videos; and an overview of Vision 2020, a global initiative to end avoidable blindness.
This year alone the GO Guide will see the addition of 10 more disease topics, more online courses, and more videos. R.V. Paul Chan, MD, executive editor of this project, said, “In recent years more ophthalmologists, especially those in training, are expressing a desire to deliver care in underserved areas of the world. And in order to be most effective, they need to be well prepared and have access to region-specific information. In addition, it’s important that they understand the ethical issues of working abroad. The GO Guide provides educational resources that ophthalmologists and ophthalmologists in training can access for information regarding international ophthalmology in one convenient site.”
The GO Guide is intended for use by both English speakers and non-English speakers. It will be updated on a regular basis, so be sure to check back for new content.
For more information, visit www.aao.org/global-ophthalmology-guide.
RESOURCE FOR VOLUNTEERS. The GO Guide was over a year in the making, involving dozens of editors and authors from around the world.
Ask the Ethicist: Complications From Another Surgeon
Q: A patient called for a second opinion following her recent cataract surgery, as she was unhappy with her postoperative visual outcome. Once in my office, she asked if I could help her vision. I was unable to improve her visual acuity better than the 20/80 level; I also noted a vitreous strand to the surgical wound with a peaked pupil, and a sulcus IOL. An OCT revealed macular edema. The patient had a copy of her chart from her operating surgeon, which stated that the IOL was placed in the bag and there were no complications. How should I tell the patient about the surgical complications that are likely contributing to her suboptimal visual acuity?
A: The 1996 Argus article “When Dissatisfied Patients Seek Second Opinions,” by Jean R. Hausheer, MD, states: “When a dissatisfied patient seeks out a second opinion following cataract surgery, first collect all pertinent facts and data. This includes a thorough patient history, a comprehensive ocular examination, a review of the prior ophthalmologist’s medical and surgical records, and, ideally, a discussion with the surgeon of possible etiologies for the patient’s symptomatic lens implant problems. Only after all this information has been gathered can the patient be properly diagnosed and informed. Often, sympathetic and careful management is enough to mitigate a patient’s dissatisfaction and avert unwarranted malpractice litigation.”
For further guidance, view the Code of Ethics (www.aao.org/ethics) Principles 4 and 7, and Rules 4 and 14.
Attend the Keynote Address
The 2014 Mid-Year Forum is scheduled for April 9-12 at the Renaissance Downtown in Washington, D.C. During the Awards Banquet on Thursday, April 10, the keynote address will be given by Claire Shipman, an ABC News senior national correspondent on “Washington and the World: Claire Shipman on Today’s Headlines.” The registration fee is $250 and is available until March 17.
Learn more at www.aao.org/myf.
Enroll in the IRIS Registry
This month, the Academy will launch the IRIS Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight). The world’s first comprehensive eye disease clinical registry, it is designed to work seamlessly with your EHRs. On March 25, enrollment will be opened to all U.S. Academy members.
For more information—including how to enroll and how it can help you participate in PQRS—visit www.aao.org/irisregistry.
ONE SPOTLIGHT: Exclusive interviews. Catch up on important developments from New Orleans by viewing video interviews with experts who made key presentations at last year’s meeting. Highlights include:
To view, visit www.aao.org/one, select “Multimedia,” then “Videos” and “Annual Meeting Presentations.”
- “The Secret Concretion,” with Ivan R. Schwab, MD. A quick clinical pearl for managing patients with chronic complaints of foreign body sensation.
- “Latest Strategies for Managing Astigmatism,” with Douglas D. Koch, MD. Learn how to improve visual outcomes with toric IOLs.
- “Diabetic Retinopathy: What the Evidence Says,” with Jennifer K. Sun, MD. An update on the role of strict systemic control, anti-VEGF therapy, macular focal grid laser, and steroids.
Register for the MOC Exam Review Course
Prepare for maintenance of certification (MOC) exams by attending the Academy’s 2014 MOC Exam Review Course. It is led by expert faculty involved in the creation of the Practicing Ophthalmologists Curriculum, an Academy-developed knowledge base. The course offers in-depth reviews of Core Ophthalmic Knowledge and your choice of one or two practice emphasis areas. The class will be held July 18-20 at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill.
To register, visit www.aao.org/mocoverview.
Prepare for ICD-10: Attend CODEquest
CODEquest, the leading ophthalmology-specific coding seminar, helps you smoothly transition to ICD-10—the biggest change to coding in more than 30 years. This four-hour course will teach you and your staff everything you need to know to ensure procedures are reimbursed at the highest allowable level. The Academy and AAOE, along with ophtahalmic state societies, are presenting CODEquest in more than 35 cities.
To register for a course, visit www.aao.org/codequest.
Sneak Peak at AAO 2014 Symposia
Planning is already under way for AAO 2014 in Chicago. Symposia (free for all attendees) will include the following:
- Pediatric Orbital Disease. Combined meeting with the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.
- Ocular Drug and Gene Delivery to the Posterior Segment. Combined meeting with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
- Adjusting to the Changing Demographic: Determining Treatment Options With the Patient in Mind. Combined meeting with the Academy’s Committee on Aging.
- Advanced Treatments in Inflammatory Diseases of the Ocular Surface. Combined meeting with the Cornea Society.
- Neoplasms and Neuro-Ophthalmology: Pearls and Pitfalls. Combined meeting with the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society.
For more information about AAO 2014, visit www.aao.org/2014.
Learn About the Best Booths
At the 2013 Annual Meeting, the Academy held its first Best of Show exhibitor competition. All exhibitors were automatically entered. A third-party exhibitor evaluation team selected Abbott Medical Optics in the “island booth” category and Avellino Labs in the “in-line booth” category. They also selected several honorable mentions.
See what made these booths exceptional at www.aao.org/exhibitorcentral.
Submit Abstracts for Papers, Posters, and Videos
If you are interested in being a presenter at AAO 2014, you must submit abstracts online. For papers/posters, and videos, the online submitter opens on March 12 and closes on April 8.
For abstract guidelines, go to www.aao.org/annual-meeting and select "Presenter Central."
Save These Dates for Chicago
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for AAO 2014. Circle the following dates:
- June 25—Registration and housing reservations open to Academy and AAOE members.
- July 9—Registration and housing reservations open to nonmembers.
- Aug. 6—Last day to register and qualify for Early Registration fee.\
- Sept. 3—Last day to register to have your badge and meeting materials mailed to you before the meeting.
- Sept. 24—Last day to register online.
- Oct. 17-18—Subspecialty Day.
- Oct. 18-21—AAO 2014.
- Oct. 18-21—AAOE Program.
Visit the Academy Around the World
View the latest Academy products or resolve your membership questions at the Academy’s booth during the following ophthalmic meetings:
- World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC): 2014 Congress. April 2-6, Tokyo. Booth A6-08.
- American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS): 2014 ASCRS/ASOA Symposium & Congress. April 25-29, Boston. Booth 1473.
Members at Large
A Very Good Year
2013 brought much recognition for Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM. In February, she was selected for the Distinguished Alumni Fellow Award from the University of Pittsburgh. In May, Dr. Seddon received the Philip S. Hench Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Alumni Association. In August, she was recognized by Women in Ophthalmology (WIO) with the WIO Honorary Award for her leadership in the field and contributions to the profession. Finally, in November, Dr. Seddon received the 2013 Mentorship Award on behalf of WIO and the American Medical Association Women Physicians Section. These awards are tributes to her significant achievements in the clinical management of macular degeneration.
New Drug Compounding Law
In November, President Obama signed into law the Drug Quality and Security Act, which institutes tighter regulations on compounding pharmacies. The act gives the FDA new regulatory authority over large-volume compounders of sterile products that opt to register with the FDA. Smaller traditional compounders that operate on a local, patient-specific basis continue to be governed by state compounding laws. Congress pursued more stringent regulation of compounding pharmacies in response to the fall 2012 meningitis outbreak linked to a Massachusetts compounder that resulted in 64 deaths.
The Academy supported the lawmakers’ pursuit of legislation to increase patient safety through higher standards for sterile compounders. At the same time, the Academy educated lawmakers about the importance of physician access to compounded products for office use, which is essential in maintaining patients’ visual health. Thanks to the Academy’s educational efforts, many compounded ophthalmology drugs, including antimicrobials, diagnostic drops, and those used in conjunction with surgery, can be procured for office use from the new FDA-registered facilities.
Unfortunately, however, lawmakers failed to include other key provisions that the Academy negotiated in earlier versions of compounding legislation. In particular, the new law is silent on the repackaging of drugs such as Avastin. FDA officials said recently that the agency will make a determination on how it will handle the issue of repackaging in the future. The FDA indicated, however, that smaller traditional compounders must adhere to patient-specific prescriptions for compounded products, including repackaged drugs.
Despite many remaining questions about the new law’s implementation, the FDA is moving quickly to enact some provisions, such as beginning the voluntary registration process for the large compounding facilities. The Academy is working with ophthalmic subspecialty societies and other physician, pharmacy, and patient organizations to ensure implementation of policies that protect ophthalmologists’ and patients’ access to repackaged products. The Academy is working with ophthalmic subspecialty societies and other physician, pharmacy, and patient organizations to ensure implementation of policies that protect ophthalmologists’ and patients’ access to repackaged products.