The Singapore Society of Ophthalmology (SSO) Young Ophthalmologists chapter successfully organized its inaugural Global YO Symposium from Jan. 17-19 as part of the Singapore-Malaysia Joint Meeting in Ophthalmology.
More than 200 attendees from the Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa and the United States attended the program. Here are some of the highlights of this first-ever YO-led program in Asia.
YO Scientific Program
Not only was the program led by invited speakers who were YOs from all over the world, it featured a debate format which led to passionate exchanges and sharing of clinical practices around the world.
Controversial topics that were hotly debated included a question about whether YOs should be trained to do refractive surgery or minimally invasive glaucoma surgery during residency and whether artificial intelligence (AI) will replace young ophthalmologists in the future.
We used an online live audience voting system with questions posted real time while panelists discussed the topic and questions were posted. The feedback on this interactive format was very positive!
Global YO Session
We also assembled YO leaders from around the world representing the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology, European Society of Ophthalmology and many national YO societies to share their experience and challenges in building the YO community in their respective countries.
The panel discussion welcomed new and emerging YO societies in Brunei and Morocco, and a live poll of the YOs in the audience revealed that they sought mentorship and the opportunity for global exposure through fellowships.
YO Awards and Social
We ended the session by awarding 20 YO travel grants to attend the symposium to promising YOs, and special awards to YO leaders nominated by their national society from the Asia-Pacific region. And of course, we celebrated the symposium during the YO social event, where food, drinks and games brought YOs from all around the world closer together.
About the author: YO International subcommittee member Marcus Ang, MBBS, PhD, is a cornea and refractive surgeon in Singapore, as well as the YO Committee chair for the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology.