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  • Senior Ophthalmologist Activities at AAO 2022 in Chicago

    The Academy’s 2022 annual meeting has recently concluded, and it was revelatory and joyous for those colleagues who were able to attend. It had the sense of a camp or class reunion, with people shaking hands, hugging, and truly enjoying the opportunity to be face-to-face rather than screen-to-screen.

    The Senior Ophthalmologist Committee was involved in many activities with pleasantly good attendance throughout. The SO Lounge moved from the main third floor to the fourth floor at McCormick Place. It had many SOs enjoying the opportunity to engage with others, have a light snack and listen to a presentation on the Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE®) Network, while enjoying lunch that was provided for them.

    As SO Committee chair, I had the opportunity to collaborate and participate in the Academy’s Committee on Aging Symposium that was held on Saturday morning under the leadership of Simon Law, MD, who is chair of that committee. The symposium, “Social Determinants of Health in Geriatric Ophthalmology (SYM01),” explored the socioeconomic and health care delivery challenges in providing adequate care for seniors across various cultures. It provided a guide toward a path forward in dealing with inequities.

    Pictured left to right, Drs. Stephen Obstbaum, Alfredo Sadun, Samuel Masket, and Andrew Lee.

    A Forum to Discuss Aging and the Eyes

    On Saturday afternoon, fellow SO Committee member Stephen Obstbaum, MD, and I co-moderated the Senior Ophthalmologist symposium, "The Impact of Age on Management of Common Ocular Conditions (SYM17)," that explored the impact of age on diagnosis and management of five common ocular disorders. Attendees heard outstanding presentations, with content valuable to the entire Academy membership, young or senior ophthalmologists. Speakers and topics included:

    • Leon Herndon Jr., MD, Impact of Age on POAG
    • Andrew Lee, MD, Sudden Monocular Loss of Vision
    • Rosa Braga Mele, MD, Impact of Age on Pseudoexfoliation
    • David Boyer, MD, Age and Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy
    • Nicole Fram, MD, Corneal Decompensation and Malpositioned IOLs

    On Sunday afternoon, representing the SO Committee I had the privilege and honor of presenting the Academy’s Artemis Award to Frank Brodie, MD, of the University of California San Francisco. The Artemis Award is given annually to an individual who has gone far beyond the routine responsibilities of a Young Ophthalmologist to reduce pain and suffering. Dr. Brodie developed a system with 3-D printing to create custom spectacles for children with craniofacial abnormalities. Before that, special needs children could not be fitted for eyeglasses. With the help of others, he created the Loving Eyes Foundation to sustain the project. Congratulations, Dr. Brodie!

    2022 Artemis Award recipient, Frank Brodie, MD, MBA and Samuel Masket, MD

    Physician Wellness

    Each year the SO Committee is responsible for a Learning Lounge session. On Monday, Todd Baker, CEO of the Ohio State Medical Association, and Camille Palma, MD, a vitreoretinal surgeon at Cook County Hospital and certified yoga instructor, joined me in discussing Burnout and Wellness issues among ophthalmologists.

    Mr. Baker emphasized the mental health aspects of burnout and Dr. Palma explained the importance of physical well-being and ergonomics in allowing physicians to be “fit-for duty.” The interactive hour-long session was well attended and included a colleague from New Zealand. (See Academy resources around physician wellness).

    The SO portion of AAO 2022 concluded on Monday with our SO special program. We were treated to Chicago deep-dish pizza during a beautiful nature photography presentation by colleague, Jeff Maltzman MD, former chair of the Academy’s OPHTHPAC® Committee. Not only were the photos beyond eye-catching, but Dr. Maltzman explained the optics and photographic principles of his spectacular work.

    Architect Juliane Wolf of Studio Gang, one of the most influential architectural firms in the country, gave a presentation on contemporary architecture in Chicago. She explained the integration of their work with the environment and the human condition. Its designs are both beautiful and inspirational, taking into account the issues of everyday urban life and how to elevate the experience of the inhabitants.

    2022 EnergEYES Award recipient Keith Carter, MD (Pictured center).

    Finally, Janice Law, MD, the Academy’s YO committee chair, made a surprise presentation of the EnergEYES Award to Keith Carter, MD, of the University of Iowa. The EnergEYES Award was created in 2009 to recognize and honor a senior ophthalmologist who demonstrates exemplary leadership skills by energizing others to improve ophthalmology. For many years Dr. Carter has been involved in resident education and helped launch the Academy’s Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program where he now serves as chair of the programs executive committee.

    On behalf of the SO Committee, we hope you took advantage of our SO activities and had a great meeting. The AAO 2022 virtual meeting platform is open through January 31, 2023, so you still have time to take advantage of great programming! We look forward to seeing you next year in San Francisco for AAO 2023.

    Author’s note: The Academy is indebted to John Stechschulte, MD, SO Committee member, for procuring Baker and Wolf’s participation. We are very grateful for his assistance with this year’s programming.