• American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Annual Meeting To Showcase Latest in Eye Care Research, Technology, Clinical Education and Legislation

    World's largest conference for eye physicians and surgeons to be held in conjunction with the European Society of Ophthalmology Oct. 17-21 in Chicago

    SAN FRANCISCO — The world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, today announced the highlights of its upcoming 118th annual meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the European Society of Ophthalmology Oct. 17-21 at Chicago's McCormick Place. Known as the place "Where all of Ophthalmology Meets," the event is expected to draw more than 25,000 attendees, making it among the largest medical meetings in the United States.

    AAO 2014 is the year's most important showcase for ophthalmology research and innovations in eye care, with more than 550 exhibitors, 51 symposia and hundreds of scientific papers and posters. The meeting also serves as the single largest global ophthalmic education opportunity for practitioners and their staff, featuring upward of 340 courses plus 57 skills transfer labs to share the most current clinical knowledge and practice management expertise. Eye physicians and surgeons can earn up to a maximum of 33 continuing medical education CME credits.

    Highlights of the five-day conference include:

    In-depth Explorations of Hot Ophthalmic Topics – This year's meeting has 51 symposia featuring the latest in LASIK and refractive surgery technology as well as the impact of telehealth and handheld mobile computing applications on ophthalmology.

    Innovations in Ocular Drugs and Therapy – Learn about emerging less-invasive drug delivery methods for age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the United States, plus advances in ophthalmic genomics for disease diagnosis and treatment.

    Subspecialty Day Meetings – These one and two-day sessions Oct. 17-18 provide comprehensive education on issues, techniques and innovations in eight ophthalmic subspecialties including cornea, glaucoma, oculofacial plastic surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, uveitis, retina, refractive surgery and, new this year, ocular oncology and pathology. See further details at: https://www.aao2014.aao.org/annual-meeting/subspecialty-day.

    A Closer Look at Children's Eye Cancer – This year's Jackson Memorial Lecture Oct. 19, 8:30-10:00 a.m. CDT, North Hall B will focus on retinoblastoma, the most common eye cancer in children. A leader in retinoblastoma research, Professor Hans Grossniklaus, M.D., MBA, president of the American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists, will be presenting the progressions in diagnosing and treating this disease over the last 50 years.

    FDA and Medicare sessions: Regulation and Compliance Updates – Have questions about drug and device approvals and regulations? Get answers at the FDA question and answer session Oct. 19, 12:45-1:45 p.m. CDT, N427D. In a separate session on Medicare Oct. 19, 12:15-1:15 p.m. CDT, Grand Ballroom S100C, preview the expected changes in the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, such as those anticipated to the Physician Quality Reporting System PQRS. Shortly after AAO 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will release the final rule, which will have an extensive impact on ophthalmologists.

    Senator Rand Paul to Provide Perspective on Affordable Care Act ACA – Sen. Rand Paul, M.D., R-Ky., the only ophthalmologist serving in Congress, will speak during a symposium on the ACA Oct. 20, 8:30-10:00 a.m. CDT, room S406A. Sen. Paul will address the need for policy changes in health care from the perspective of a physician-legislator. He will touch on Medicare reform, repeal of the flawed SGR formula, working with ophthalmology to reduce government burdens on the practice of medicine and the importance of consumer-driven health care to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship. Following the symposium, media are invited to attend a press briefing with Sen. Paul on Oct. 20, 10:15-10:45 a.m. CDT in room N426A.

    Veterans' Eye Care: ABC News Journalist Bob Woodruff Discusses the Visual Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury – Woodruff was critically injured in 2006 by a roadside bomb in Iraq, inspiring him to co-found the Bob Woodruff Foundation to help injured service members, veterans and their families access needed support and resources. In a symposium on Oct. 20 12:45-1:45 p.m. CDT, room S102ABC, Woodruff and ophthalmologists will discuss traumatic brain injury-related visual problems which have become a significant area of emphasis in the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and the private sector. Following the symposium, media are invited to speak with Woodruff on Oct. 20, 2:00-2:15 p.m. CDT in room N426A.

    Electronic Health Records, Quality Reporting and the IRIS Registry – Learn how big data will affect ophthalmology. Don't miss the session on the PQRS Scores, meaningful use and value-based modifiers. Plus, find out the latest on the IRIS™ Registry Intelligent Research in Sight, the nation's only longitudinal eye disease and condition database. Officially launched in March 2014, the IRIS Registry already has approximately 4,500 physician participants and contains more than 8 million patient records.

    Global Perspectives on Eye Disease and Treatment – The "View Across the Pond" Series, presented jointly with the European Society of Ophthalmology, provides international perspectives on intraocular lenses, retina and cornea issues. In a separate session, the World Health Organization will present global eye research findings.

    Clinical Instruction Courses – The 247 clinical courses cover topics including multifocal and accommodative IOLs, corneal endothelial disease, 24-hour intraocular pressure monitoring and much more. New among the 57 skills transfer labs: cataract femtosecond laser surgery and corneal cross-linking.

    Museum of Vision – The newest exhibit, "Beyond Ophthalmology, Beyond the Clinic," will be unveiled at the meeting and features ophthalmologists, including author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Esperanto creator L.L. Zamenhof, who made contributions to society outside medicine in fields such as literature, sports, politics and the arts.

    "The American Academy of Ophthalmology's primary mission is to provide high-quality educational experiences to advance our profession," said David W. Parke II, M.D., CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "AAO 2014 is the one time ophthalmologists can step away from their everyday work and engage with their peers to learn about and present cutting-edge research, discuss best practices and ensure that their patients are getting the best possible eye care."

    Media Registration
    The Academy provides free access to credentialed members of the media. Registration for the media is now open and can be accessed at www.aao.org/newsroom/annual-meeting-for-media. For more information about the meeting, including a searchable program, visit https://www.aao.org/annual-meeting/.

    Mobile Meeting Guide
    This guide, which is available starting Sept. 25 at www.aao.org/mobile, contains complete Subspecialty Day and AAO 2014 program information to help attendees plan their schedule in advance.

    About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
    The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons, serving more than 32,000 members worldwide.  The Academy's mission is to advance the lifelong learning and professional interests of ophthalmologists to ensure that the public can obtain the best possible eye care. For more information, visit www.aao.org.

    The Academy is also a leading provider of eye care information to the public. The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit EyeSmart or OjosSanos to learn more.