Roger F. Steinert, MD


April 21, 2014

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A Very Special Event

Hello. I am Dr. Roger Steinert, Chair of Ophthalmology and Director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at the University of California, Irvine. This segment is going to be a preview of some of the highlights of the upcoming American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

On Friday, April 25, the meeting will kick off with the subspecialty days in cornea and glaucoma. They are packed with useful information, even for people who are not fellowship-trained in those subspecialties, and you won't want to miss that.

On Friday evening, from 5:00 to 6:00, a very special event will take place. The Government Relations Committee has invited Senator Rand Paul to come and speak to ASCRS. This is not a political endorsement of Senator Paul, but it is an acknowledgement of the fact that he is an ophthalmologist in the US Senate. He has been extraordinarily supportive of medicine in general and of ophthalmology specifically. He has been a great friend of ASCRS, and it will be very special to have the opportunity to hear his perspective on some of the politics and issues relating to medical care. Regardless of your political leanings and thoughts, I would strongly suggest that you come to that session and hear what Senator Paul has to say.

Session Highlights

On Saturday morning is the opening general session, and this will feature many special events. Eric Donnenfeld will be departing as ASCRS president and will give his departing president's speech. The incoming president is Dr. Rick Lewis, a glaucoma specialist from the Sacramento area. The Binkhorst lecture will also be related to glaucoma. Ike Ahmed, who is well known for his creative solutions to surgical challenges, will talk about microinvasive glaucoma surgery, an idea whose time has come.

On Saturday afternoon, we will kick off of the regular program. There is a special symposium on where corneal crosslinking stands with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and if you have an interest in that, you won't want to miss it. Otherwise, there are courses and free papers galore all the way through Tuesday.

On Sunday, there are some special sessions in the morning. The first is from Dr. Adam Rutherford from the United Kingdom. He has a PhD and is also a science writer. He will be talking about DNA and some scientific implications. He is a fascinating writer and speaker, and this should be quite an interesting session.

Ed Holland, who is the ASCRS program chair, is going to be doing a session modeled on 60 Minutes about future directions in anterior segment surgery. That should be very exciting as well.

There is also a joint symposium with the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASOA) on the integrated eye care model. "Should I or Shouldn't I?" is the title of that session. Then, on Sunday night, ASOA is hosting a party at the House of Blues, which should be fantastic. The House of Blues is on Lansdowne Street, which is one of the streets that borders Fenway Park, so you can have a lot of fun. You can see the other side of the Green Monster and have a good time at the House of Blues. It should be fabulous.

Monday morning is notable for the Charles Kelman Innovator's Lecture. It is always fascinating to hear innovative ideas, both from the past innovator award winners and from some of the current presenters at the meeting who have fascinating-sounding talks and have been invited to participate in this session. This will be capped off by Dr. Warren Hill's presentation as this year's Charles Kelman Innovator awardee. He will be speaking on "Something Borrowed, Something New." He said that it will be a surprise and an interesting new approach to intraocular lens (IOL) power calculation. He believes that this could be a real breakthrough and make IOL power calculations even more precise and move this whole area forward, an area that has not progressed very much compared with other areas in cataract surgery.

Monday night is the annual film festival. This is a highlight of the meeting and is usually packed with people wanting to see who wins, but also to get previews of the films that are judged the "best of the best" from the approximately 160 films that are submitted to the film festival.

Finally, on Tuesday is the wrap-up session. David Chang is moderating a session called "Hot Off the Press." This is brand-new information coming in. In the morning, you won't want to miss the courses and symposia, and I would particularly like to draw your attention to X Rounds. This is put together and moderated by Eric Donnenfeld, with a panel of about 8 people (including yours truly). What makes this special is that it's very fast-paced. The speakers are running on a stopwatch and have 2 minutes or less to convey what they consider to be a new technique or a new device that's innovative. It runs through a whole lot of technology and techniques in a very short amount of time. It can be fun as well as highly educational.

Seeing the Sights

Boston is a great city. You will have ample opportunity to meet friends and to enjoy some terrific dinners. If you have not been to Boston and taken a tour, I can highly recommend a couple of options. One is the Boston Duck Tour; this tour, which does eventually make it into the Charles River but mostly cruises around the streets, is a fast and low-exertion way of seeing some of the famous sites in and around Boston. You can also go on the historical walking tour that will take you, depending on your energy level, potentially as far as Charlestown and the Bunker Hill Memorial, one of the famous battles at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. If you don't want to stray that far, you can see the New State House, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House, which is wooden and one of the few remaining places of that era. The Paul Revere House is truly authentic; it's an amazing experience to see the house and how people lived, as well as to appreciate how short they were.

Have a great time, and enjoy the food. I hope we have good weather, and at least we can be reasonably sure that the snow and the Polar Vortex will finally be past. This is Dr. Roger Steinert on behalf of Medscape. Thanks very much for listening to this ASCRS preview.


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