Roger F. Steinert, MD


October 14, 2011

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Hello. I am Dr. Roger Steinert, Director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at the University of California, Irvine. I am going to talk to you about some of the things that I see as exciting and interesting about the upcoming American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting. Orlando is our destination. When we were last in Orlando, we had challenges with housing. I understand that this year, there are numerous hotels as well as other amenities, restaurants, and so forth, around the convention center, so this promises to be a much more positive experience than the last time the AAO was in Orlando.

With respect to the meeting itself, the convention center is large and very user-friendly. AAO opens with Friday and Saturday Subspecialty Day sessions. These Subspecialty Day sessions have been very popular and have grown quite a bit. Subspecialty Day sessions are now offered in refractive, cornea, retina, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, pediatrics, and uveitis -- something for everybody. On Saturday, the opening general session includes the Jackson Memorial Lecture given by Steve Pflugfelder from Baylor, and he will be talking about tear deficiency and the impact on the cornea and on vision. That should be an excellent presentation. He is an outstanding authority in that area.

Femtosecond laser refractive cataract surgery is a hot topic that will surface throughout the meeting, as well as being a source of great interest on the exhibit floor. Don't miss the Sunday afternoon session on femtosecond lasers within the AAO program. Then, Sunday night, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and EyeWorld are hosting a town hall meeting for an hour and a half on femtosecond laser refractive cataract surgery at one of the Rosen Hotels. That will be structured with very rapid fire 2-minute presentations and lots of opportunity for questions from the audience. As you know, this is a very controversial area, with lots of questions, concerns, and excitement. This will be an opportunity to explore all of that.

Monday brings back the very popular "Cataract Monday" program. The morning program, directed as always by David Chang, is going to be a video-based session on complications. It will be fast paced, covering pretty much the entire waterfront of problems and solutions in cataract surgery. That will be followed in the afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00 PM by the ASCRS symposium, which this year will be exploring the new technology on the horizon that will improve the quality of cataract surgery. That will be co-moderated by Steve Lane and me.

I particularly want to draw your attention to the Academy Café. If you haven't done that before, it's quite interesting. There are panels of experts, and you can sit in a very comfortable lounge chair, enjoy a cup of coffee, and if you want, text messages up to the podium that will then be addressed. There is also a learning lounge, a new concept where you can interact with authorities on a one-to-one or small group session basis. That should be quite interesting as well.

If you are interested in the whole electronic medical record and information technology revolution going on, and puzzled as to what to do or have questions, a special exhibit at booth 3345 will address that area. You should check that out and see if it meets your needs. Please, if you are going to the AAO, be aware that the AAO program is now completely electronically accessible. You can get it through your smartphone or your iPad and find anything that you are interested in -- you can search by topic, by presenters, etc. If you have any comments, feel free to comment on this blog. I'm Dr. Roger Steinert.


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