I just returned from the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress in Bangkok, and it was certainly exciting to see young ophthalmologists stepping up.
YOs from all over Asia attended the Congress not just as participants, but as speakers, instructors and leaders at APAO 2019.
First, we launched the inaugural APAO YO Lounge with a series of activities, including the Leadership Development Program graduation, an event for women in ophthalmology and, of course, the YO social, a blend of Muay Thai combat sports, Thai dessert-making (luk chap) and the YO networking event.
Next to the YO lounge, the YO Symposium had a new format. It provided an opportunity for 10 YOs to speak at a podium. Their talks were interesting and ranged from surgical pearls and tips on editing surgical videos to projects that used online apps for research.
YO speakers hailed from a diverse range of countries: China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Thailand. YO representatives came from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, European Society of Ophthalmology, Young Ophthalmology Society of India and the Singapore Society of Ophthalmology YO Chapter. We even had time to recognize two outstanding young ophthalmologists, Drs. Xinyi Su from Singapore and Rina La Distia Nora from Indonesia with YO Awards.
Finally, behind the YO lounge, we had a series of successful wet labs, most exciting of which was the inaugural sessions organized by the Asia Pacific Glaucoma Society Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery Interest Group. It was great to see many sessions led by YO instructors, and the rooms were packed and over-subscribed by the attendees who were, as you may have guessed, mainly YOs.
YOs even had time for fun – as our first ever YO #apaoyo Instagram winner Dr. Pakornkit Phrueksaudomchai @ma_korn would testify! (View our slide show below to see his message on Instagram.)
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About the author: Marcus Ang, MBBS, is secretary of the APAO YO Committee, chair of the Singapore Society of Ophthalmology YO Chapter, an associate professor (DUKE-NUS), cornea and refractive surgeon at the Singapore National Eye Centre and graduate of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Leadership Development Program XX, class of 2018.