Dr. Osher described his need to provide a forum such as this to allow physicians to relax with their colleagues in a comfortable environment and talk freely about their clinical experiences and problems without the worry of censorship and prohibitions about mentioning product and drug names, as can be the case when attending a meeting for continuing medical education credits.
As the course director of the meeting, Dr. Osher's ideas for the meeting have been constantly in flux, and this year's meeting was shaped by suggestions provided by attendees of last year's gathering.
"My philosophy has been to try many different ideas, some of which are based upon the comments of those who attended the inaugural meeting last year," said Dr. Osher, professor of ophthalmology, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, and medical director emeritus, Cincinnati Eye Institute.
"We've added optional video sessions, wet labs, new technology, 60 exhibitors, more challenging cases, and complications galore," he said. "Not everything will work perfectly, but no team will work harder to please you."
This attitude is apparently working, because this year's attendance was up by 33% over 2011.
Given Dr. Osher's reputation, the key word for this convocation was "innovation," which has characterized his career. So, it was not surprising that he invited some of the biggest names in ophthalmology to join him for this event: Richard J. Mackool, MD, director of the Mackool Eye Institute and Laser Center, Astoria, NY; Ike K. Ahmed, MD, assistant professor, University of Toronto, and clinical assistant professor, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; David F. Chang, MD, clinical professor, University of California, San Francisco, and in private practice, Los Altos, CA; Warren E. Hill, MD, in private practice, East Valley Ophthalmology, Mesa, AZ; and Michael E. Snyder, MD, voluntary assistant professor of ophthalmology, University of Cincinnati, and in private practice at the Cincinnati Eye Institute. Each of these innovators provided useful, practical insights into particularly difficult cases and management of often-unexpected complications.
Numerous exhibitors provided financial support for the meeting as did the Video Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
The meeting began on Wednesday, Jan. 18, with an optional session, sponsored by ISTA Pharmaceuticals, called "Wednesday Night at the Movies," in which the audience was provided with a sampling of the most interesting videos from the past 35 years. These included major innovations, anatomic discoveries, clinical advances, key surgical techniques, and humorous highlights.