The Academy Collaborates Internationally
As AAO 2019 approaches, ophthalmologists from around the world are preparing to fly to San Francisco, both to attend and lead symposia. Led by international doctors, sessions such as “Danger Zone: Refractive Surgery Nightmares and Worst Case Scenarios—A Video-Based Course” and “Retinal and Choroidal Manifestations of Selected Systemic Diseases 2019,” are just one way that the meeting provides diverse perspectives on eye care.
However, the meeting is just a small part of the Academy’s international collaboration. Currently, approximately 25% of Academy members live outside of the United States, and—especially thanks to the Internet—it has become easier than ever to share educational resources with an international audience.
The Ophthalmic News and Education Network (ONE Network) is accessed by roughly 330,000 users each month. The ONE Network provides full access to journals, including Ophthalmology and British Journal of Ophthalmology, more than 3,100 videos and podcasts and 4,600 clinical images, and the Global Ophthalmology (GO) Guide, which offers region-based treatment and management information for Europe, North America, and developing nations. The network is used by ophthalmologists involved with partnering societies and organizations around the globe and is free to ophthalmologists in developing nations.
Academy Express is a weekly e-newsletter that disseminates ophthalmic news to more than 78,000 individuals worldwide. To make content more relevant to international ophthalmologists, the Academy works with 72 societies from around the world to tailor the blast for its members and provides translations into Portuguese and Spanish.
The Preferred Practice Patterns (PPPs) Benchmarks Summaries are available in 17 different languages. The Academy’s Preferred Practice Patterns are reviewed annually by a panel of experts. The PPPs use available data to recommend guidelines for quality of care. The summaries of these guidelines are translated into 16 other languages and then made digitally available.
The Academy works with international societies to foster collaborative development, dissemination, and use of ophthalmic educational resources. As part of a global ophthalmic community, the Academy works with societies on every level so that ophthalmologists can provide a high level of patient care regardless of their location. The Academy often holds annual or biannual meetings in conjunction with other supranational organizations, invites supranational organizations and their members to host symposia at its own annual meeting, and works with these groups to uphold the values of the profession.
Participate in EyeWiki Contests
The Academy is hosting two EyeWiki writing contests, one for U.S. participants, the other for internationals. Those interested in entering the contests are invited to write a high-quality EyeWiki article in any of the following areas before each contest’s respective deadline:
- Cataract/Refractive Surgery/Cornea/Anterior Segment
Articles will be judged on accuracy, currency, and completeness of content; quality of writing and organization; and use of EyeWiki formatting (layout, use of media with references). In addition to winning individual prizes, select authors may be asked to present their EyeWiki topic at AAO 2020 in Las Vegas.
U.S. residents and fellows contest. This contest is open to ophthalmology residents and fellows in training in the United States and ends Dec. 1, 2019. Qualifying entries will be considered for one of four all-expenses paid trips to the Academy’s 2020 Mid-Year Forum in Washington, D.C., in April. Learn more at www.eyewiki.org/Residents_and_Fellows.
International ophthalmologists contest. This contest is open to ophthalmologists (including residents and fellows in training) outside of the United States and ends June 1, 2020. Qualifying entries will be considered for one of four prizes. Winners may choose between the Academy’s Basic and Clinical Science (BCSC) Complete Set eBook series and a two-year subscription to Focal Points Digital. Learn more at www.eyewiki.org/International_Ophthalmologists.
Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye Is Under Construction
Behind the window coverings, workers are constructing the world’s first free public museum dedicated to vision. Starting in 2020, an estimated 30,000 visitors a year will enjoy varied exhibits and special events at this popular Fisherman’s Wharf location.
Help bring the science of sight to the world with a one-time gift or pledge at aao.org/museumcampaign.
Advice From OMIC: Comanagement of Surgical Patients
Some ophthalmologists share care of ophthalmic surgery patients with optometrists in the community or within their practice. There are patient safety and liability risks associated with surgical comanagement, whether it takes place within or outside of a practice. To help ophthalmologists minimize this risk, OMIC (the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company) has developed recommendations that are based both on OMIC claims experience and on a 2016 position paper titled “Comprehensive Guidelines for the Comanagement of Ophthalmic Postoperative Care,” which was signed by the Academy and more than 60 eye care societies.
Download it at www.omic.com/comanagement-of-surgical-patients.
OMIC offers professional liability insurance exclusively to Academy members, their employees, and their practices.
FOR THE RECORD
Annual Business Meeting
The Annual Business Meeting will be held Sunday, Oct. 13, 8:30-10:00 a.m., in West 3002 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Candidates for Academy membership will be approved during this meeting. To see the full order of business, refer to the Opening Session and Annual Business Meeting page in the printed AAO 2019 Meeting Program or online in the Mobile Meeting Guide. Following the Annual Business Meeting, election ballots for open board positions and the amendments to the Code of Ethics will be sent to voting fellows and members.
Proposed Amendments to the Code of Ethics
The Board of Trustees recommends two amendments to the Academy’s Code of Ethics for consideration and adoption by members.
The first amendment updates Rule 3 to more specifically define the ethical responsibilities of ophthalmic researchers. The second amendment addresses sexual harassment and discrimination in ophthalmology with the addition of a new rule. The amendments will be implemented by a majority vote via the Academy’s election.
Read the proposed Code of Ethics amendment language at aao.org/about/governance/academy-blog/post/proposed-amendments-to-2020-bylaws-code-of-ethics.
TAMARA R. FOUNTAIN, MD
Candidate for President-Elect
Career. Professor, Past-Coordinator for Medical Student Education, Oculoplastics Section Chair emeritus, Rush University Medical Center; Principal, Ophthalmology Partners Limited; Board Chair Emeritus, Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC); Past-President, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Past-President, Illinois Association of Ophthalmology; Oculoplastics Program Committee, World Ophthalmology Congress; Alumni Fund Chair, Harvard Medical School.
Academy service. Young Ophthalmologist Committee; Leadership Development Program; Lifelong Education for the Ophthalmologist Committee; Secretariat Award; Ethics Committee; Board Trustee-at-Large; Executive Vice President Search Committee; EyeNet Advisory Board; Honorary Achievement Award; Secretary for Member Services.
Goals. Twenty-five years ago I began my “AAO Life” on the Young Ophthalmologists committee, went away to its prestigious Leadership Development Program school, and after graduation, landed several volunteer jobs as an Academy “adult.” The pay was lousy but like many workers, I stayed for the benefits—to work with and learn from the greatest thought-leaders and physician volunteers in our field. From YO to almost-SO, I would be honored to serve as AAO president-elect for 2020, an especially visionary year.
MARIA M. AARON, MD
Candidate for Secretary for Annual Meeting
Career. As Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education at Emory, I am responsible for 106 residency programs and 1300 residents. I was the Residency Program Director for 14 years and received the Straatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education (2010) and the ACGME Courage to Teach Award (2011). I’ve served on the ACGME RRC for Ophthalmology and have been an Associate Examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology.
Academy service. In 2011, I joined the Special Projects Committee, became Associate Secretary of Special Projects in 2013, and became Secretary of the Annual Meeting in 2017. I received an Achievement Award in 2008 and a Senior Achievement Award in 2015.
Goal. My goal is for the annual meeting to remain the premier ophthalmology meeting by delivering innovative education and offering attendees networking and social opportunities. I would be honored to serve our members for a second term as the Secretary for the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
RAVI D. GOEL, MD
Candidate for Senior Secretary for Ophthalmic Practice
Career. Comprehensive ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon, Regional Eye Associates, Cherry Hill, N.J.; Instructor, Cataract and Primary Eye Care Service, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia; BA: Ethics, Politics, and Economics, Yale University, 1993; MD: Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 1997; ophthalmology residency: Greater Baltimore Medical Center, 2001.
Academy service. Current roles: Program Director, Ophthalmology Business Summit; Member, Communications Secretariat; Academy Delegate to American Medical Association (AMA); Vice-Chair, AMA Ophthalmology Section Council. Past roles: AAOE Board of Directors; EyeNet Magazine Editorial Advisory Board; Academy Revitalization Study Group; Young Ophthalmologist Committee. Graduate, Leadership Development Program (LDP VI).
Goal. Practice management is essential as ophthalmic practices face increasing regulatory, payer-based, and nonclinical challenges. The Academy must continue to develop cutting edge initiatives to help colleagues educate, research, and innovate across practice settings and subspecialties. Executive leadership training programs will help members navigate the changing landscape. As Senior Secretary for Ophthalmic Practice, I look forward to working with fellow trustees, AAOE board members, and colleagues in a shared mission of protecting sight and empowering lives.
SARWAT SALIM, MD, FACS
Candidate for Council Chair
Career. My career has been in academic medicine. Currently, I am Professor of Ophthalmology, Vice Chair of Clinical and Academic Affairs, and Director of Glaucoma Service at Tufts University.
Academy service. Council: Vice Chair, American College of Surgeons (ACS) Councilor, Deputy Section Leader, and Section Nominating Committee Member; Focal Points and EyeNet Editorial Board; Co-Leader of Childhood Glaucoma Section of Pyott Glaucoma Education Center Section; Myopia Task Force; Lead Editor for Glaucoma for EyeWiki; Knowledge Base Glaucoma Panel Committee; Digital Media Committee Managing Editor for Glaucoma DVD; Young Surgeon Representative to ACS. Awards received: Senior Achievement Award, Award for Exemplary Contributions as Glaucoma Section Lead Editor of EyeWiki; Special Recognition Award; Secretariat Award; Achievement Award; Leadership Development Award; Leo Award. Other leadership: Board of Directors of state ophthalmological societies (Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Wisconsin); Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs; Women in Ophthalmology; American Glaucoma Society (Patient Care Committee, Commissioner to iJCAHPO, and Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee); American Board of Ophthalmology (Glaucoma Exam Development Committee, Content Outline Revision Committee, and Oral Board Examiner).
Goal. I would be honored to use my experience, skill set, and broad perspective in understanding the needs of the members and facilitating communication and coordination between them and the Board. I look forward to contributing further as Chair of the Council.
THOMAS A. GRAUL, MD
Candidate for Council Vice-Chair
Career. Glaucoma specialist, private practice; graduate of University of Nebraska College of Medicine; ophthalmology residency, Medical College of Wisconsin; glaucoma fellowship, University of Iowa; Adjunct Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Nebraska; Clinical Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin. Active in teaching ophthalmology residents. Past-President, Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Program Director and Executive Committee member since 2002; Examiner, American Board of Ophthalmology; Chair, Nebraska Medical Education Trust.
Academy service. Current Councilor for Neb., Deputy Section Leader (State Section); member, OphthPAC Committee and Product Advisory Committee; Past-Chair of Surgical Scope Fund Committee; Past-Chair of Practicing Ophthalmologists Curriculum Glaucoma Panel; graduate, Academy Leadership Development Program; recipient, Academy Secretariat Award and Achievement Award.
Goal. As Vice-Chair of the Council, I hope to increase participation of Councilors in advocacy at the state and national level and represent Councilors and Academy members faithfully as a member of the Board of Trustees.
MARY LOUISE Z. COLLINS, MD
Candidate for Trustee-at-Large
Career. Graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine; residency: Wills Eye Hospital; fellowship: pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, Children’s National Medical Center; employment: Greater Baltimore Medical Center: Director Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Residency Program Director; Chair, Department of Ophthalmology; Designated Institutional Official for graduate medical education; other organizational leadership positions: President, Maryland Society for Eye Physicians and Surgeons (MSPES); American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) Board, Director-at-Large, Chair, Legislative and Interorganizational Relations Committees, Children’s Eye Foundation Board; National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health.
Academy service. Associate Secretary for State Affairs; State Government Affairs Committee; Academy Councilor, representing MSPES and AAPOS; OphthPAC Committee; Congressional Advocacy Committee, Basic and Clinical Science Course Committee; Awards Committee.
Goal. As Trustee-at-Large, I will advocate for the members’ interests and concerns in fulfilling the mission of the Academy, including the areas of advocacy for patients, the public, and our profession, and in providing the best possible ophthalmic education.
RON W. PELTON, MD, PHD
Candidate for Trustee-at-Large
Career. Graduate of Hendrix College (BA), Vanderbilt University School of Graduate Education (PhD), Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (MD), Baylor College of Medicine residency; American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery fellowship, University of Utah; Fulbright Fellow, Karl-Franzens-Universität in Graz, Austria; Leadership Development Program XI; Academy Achievement Award; Academy Special Recognition Award; Academy Secretariat Award; Academy Senior Achievement Award; Board Member and Past-President, Colorado Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons; current OMIC Committee and Board Member; Examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology. Presently in solo private practice in oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery in Colorado Springs since 2000.
Academy service. Practicing Ophthalmologists Advisory Committee for Education; Life-Long Education for the Ophthalmologist Committee; Ethics Committee (current Chair); Committee for State and Governmental Affairs; American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Thesis Committee.
Goal. To continue the great legacy of those who have served before me and honor the position of Trustee-at-Large by working with passion and diligence to serve the mission of our leadership and membership.
Ensure That Patients Know Their Rights Regarding Step Therapy
Because of a policy change that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted this year, patients with Medicare Advantage plans could be subject to step therapy. This policy requires patients to try and fail on the insurers’ preferred medications before advancing to the therapy prescribed by their health care provider. At least eight Medicare Advantage plans that have already implementing step therapy.
Plans that implement step therapy this year face requirements that may benefit patients—particularly those who have age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. Notably, a memo published by CMS requires Medicare Advantage plans that implement step therapy to share any financial savings that result from step therapy directly with affected patients.
Help patients understand their rights. The Academy believes that Medicare Advantage plans may be unlikely to alert their beneficiaries of this requirement. To help ophthalmologists inform their patients of this benefit, the Academy has developed a document for patients that outlines Medicare beneficiaries’ rights, along with specific information about how the plans will return savings to patients (e.g., gift card).
Access the file at aao.org/maplan.