• 4 Ways to Grow in Practice at AAO 2015

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    From medical management to changes affecting the business of medicine, new-to-practice doctors face many challenges not covered by medical curricula. At the AAO 2015, ophthalmology’s annual meeting, you can get all the practice advice you need, plus, catch up on the latest clinical advances and reconnect with friends from training.

    “The annual meeting is a perfect little package where, in less than a week, you can pick up the basic skills you need to get your career started after training,” said oculoplastics fellow James G. Chelnis, MD, a YO Info editorial board member. “From Breakfast With the Experts to a whole host of symposia and AAOE lectures, there’s really something for everyone!”

    Last month, YO Info looked at what the annual meeting has to offer residents. Here, we focus on four groups of sessions and events that will be of particular interest to the practicing YO.

    1. Learn From Leaders

    The AAO 2015 YO Program (course # SPE10) is free to YOs and takes place Sunday, Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Venetian Ballroom D. This year’s two-part program features several fantastic speakers, including 2015 Academy President Russell Van Gelder, MD, PhD, the ophthalmology department chair at the University of Washington.

    Part 1, “Pearls for Building a Solid Clinical Foundation,” is designed to help the transition from training to practice and offers tips on all things clinical, including:

    • How to address surgical mistakes;
    • Continuing to grow as a surgeon after training; and
    • The early years of clinical practice.

    Part 2, “Put Your Pearls Into Practice,” provides a business toolkit of everything you need to launch a successful practice, with topics that include:

    • Striking a positive work-life balance;
    • Contracts and negotiations and
    • Investing in your future with advocacy.

    2. Refine Your Clinical Skills

    In addition to the YO Program, the YO Committee endorses a number of other Instruction Courses relevant to YOs starting practice. These include:

    • Learning Phaco Chop: Pearls and Pitfalls (Course # 212; Sunday, Nov. 15,10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., room LIDO 3005) — Led by David F. Chang, MD, this course will present multiple variations of the phaco chop technique, including advantages, instruments used and common surgical mistakes.
    • Decoding the Uveitis Workup: Why, When and What to Order (456; Monday, Nov. 16, from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. in room GALILEO 1003) — Learn how to order appropriate and cost-effective diagnostic tests based on the clinical presentation of various uveitis entities.
    • Retinal OCT Interpretation 101 (673; Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. in room LIDO 3001) — This is an introductory course for those who are interested in learning about OCT and the interpretation of OCT images pertaining to retinal conditions.

    If you’ve been in practice three years or more, the YO Committee recommends the following sessions:

    • Advanced IOL Power Calculations for the Cataract and Refractive Surgeon (207; Sunday, Nov. 15, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room LIDO 3003) — Learn different techniques for determining the proper IOL and power for complicated cases, plus indications for specialty lenses.
    • Oculoplastic Procedures for the General Ophthalmologist (521; Monday, Nov. 16, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in room LIDO 3001) — This course will focus on basic and effective procedures for the treatment of involutional ectropion and entropion, tarsorrhaphy, marginal eyelid lesions and more.
    • Diagnostic and Therapeutic Dilemmas in Neuro-Ophthalmology (643; Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room MURANO 3305) — A panel of university-based neuro-ophthalmologists will present diagnostic and therapeutic clinical dilemmas.

    Download the YO Highlights brochure [PDF] to learn more about these and other sessions. Use the online program to add courses to your calendar.

    3. Boost Your Business Skills

    AAO 2015 also offers several coding and business courses designed to fortify skills many YOs don’t get enough exposure to during training. Here are a few to consider: 

    • Negotiating Your Buy-In (Course # 257; Sunday, Nov. 15, from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. in room CASANOVA 607) — This course takes a young physician’s perspective to address the business and legal aspects of the buy-in to a solo or group practice as well as other practice entities.
    • E&M vs. Eye Codes: Who Is the Winner? (503; Monday, Nov. 16, from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. in room CASANOVA 501) — This course is designed to help you determine when to bill an E&M code and when to bill an Eye code.
    • Protecting Your Online Image (709; Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. in room GALILEO 905) — In this workshop, you’ll gain a better understanding of how online media can help build your practice as well as how you can protect against bad reviews and negative comments. 

    4. Network With Experts

    AAO 2015 also offers many chances to meet with leaders in the field, coding experts and new and old friends. The YO Lounge (room 102) will host several networking events sponsored by the YO Committee and partner organizations. Wear your YO ribbon for free admission to the following events:

    • Meet With an International Expert — Saturday, Nov. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    • OPHTHPAC® and Surgical Scope Fund Networking Event — Saturday, Nov. 14, from 4 to 6 p.m.
    • YO ARVO! Exploring Careers in Research — Sunday, Nov. 15, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Event hosted in collaboration with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology members in training committee.
    • Managing YO Practice: AAOE Roundtable Discussions — Monday, Nov. 16, from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

    The YO Committee has also developed a number of other free events, such as the Academy Café event, Young Ophthalmologists — Developing YOur Cataract Practice (Course # SYM45; Saturday, Nov. 14, from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.). In this casual learning environment, you can converse with an expert about the challenges facing young cataract surgeons. No ticket is necessary — just stop by!

    To find a full listing of YO events, use the online program and search by special interest “Endorsed by the Young Ophthalmologist Committee.” You can also download the YO highlights brochure [PDF].

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    About the author: Mike Mott is a former assistant editor for EyeNet Magazine and contributing writer for YO Info.