AAO 2016 in Chicago offers many ways to develop as an ophthalmologist. For glaucoma specialist Sandra Belalcázar, MD, of Colombia, it’s also a great place to learn about how to handle complications. To help you have a successful meeting, we asked Dr. Belalcázar to share her meeting tips for international attendees.
AAO 2016 is held in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology.
Name: Sandra Belalcázar
Where you practice/train: Fundación Oftalmológica Nacional, in Bogotá, Colombia
First Academy annual meeting (year): 1998
What’s your favorite story from last year’s annual meeting? I really enjoy going to the AAO meeting because I not only have the opportunity to have a wonderful academic actualization, I can see the state-of-the-art in different areas of ophthalmology coming from extraordinary speakers. I also have the opportunity to meet wonderful friends from other parts of the world whom I have met going to these meetings and through other activities related to the AAO and the PAAO. I do not have a particular story, I just enjoyed learning and meeting with friends from different parts of the world.
What AAO 2016 advice would you give to another young ophthalmologist coming from your region? Take advantage of all the activities dedicated to young ophthalmologists, like meeting with the experts, all the different training courses and going to the social activities for young ophthalmologists as well. Participation in all of these activities helps young ophthalmologists expand their academic and social scope, which expands international relationships that can help their colleagues in their own countries.
What’s on your must-attend list for AAO 2016? I think the most interesting sessions are the ones related to surgical complications. I enjoy and learn a lot from the sessions about cataract complications. I also like courses where they talk about new surgical technologies and techniques. The must-attend conferences are: Complicated Phaco Cases, My Top 5 Pearls, The Ccutting Edge.
What do you plan to do more of at this year’s meeting? I am planning to look for sessions on controversies and debates on glaucoma and cataract. I also want to check on uveitis sessions.