More ophthalmologists will gather for AAO 2016 in Chicago this fall than any other meeting in the profession. As a resident, it’s your best single opportunity to burnish clinical skills, meet potential employers and mentors, and much more. To help you have a successful meeting, we asked glaucoma fellow Jason Rupp, MD, to share his tips for first-time meeting attendees.
AAO 2016 is held in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology.
Name: Jason Rupp
Subspecialty: Glaucoma fellow
Where you practice/train: Washington University in St. Louis
First Academy annual meeting (year): 2015
What’s your favorite story from last year’s annual meeting? I went to a session where they were presenting the best videos dealing with complications. This presenter was showing an IOL exchange in a patient who had a previous vitrectomy and an open posterior capsule. The new lens fell through the posterior capsule opening and into the vitreous cavity. He then stopped for an audience response question; the choices were what you'd expect (call retina immediately, close and call retina later, etc.). Once the audience responses were shown, he put up a picture of what he actually did: Patient lying prone on the table, surgeon with loupes on, lying on the floor, securing the lens as gravity brought it back anteriorly! It was appropriately met with a standing ovation. I still smile every time I think about it.
What advice would you give to a fellow resident who plans to attend AAO 2016? Looking at the whole program quickly gets overwhelming. Figure out what you want to focus on and don't worry about all the other things you're missing. There is a good YO Highlights Guide that can help you focus. Last year my co-residents and I decided to go to as many cataract video sessions as possible, and that worked really well for us.
What’s on your must-attend list for AAO 2016? YO program on Sunday and the YO Surgical Video Competition.
What do you plan to do more of at this year’s meeting? I'll be looking for more sessions about the training-to-practice transition.
What’s on your must-have pack list for the meeting? A coat — I don't imagine we'll match the beautiful Vegas weather this year.