AAO connects ‘Art + Science’ of ophthalmology in Chicago


Joint event to feature plenty of symposia, practice management programs, product innovations

Mix art and science together and what do you get? The theme for the 2018 meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), which is being held in conjunction with the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO). The combined event convenes Saturday, Oct. 27 through Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Chicago, and is officially themed “Art + Science.”

The theme was chosen because it connects to both Chicago and ophthalmology, said Maria M. Aaron, MD, secretary for the annual meeting. Chicago has a long history of art, showcasing the Bean sculpture and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as science, featuring the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry, she noted.

“And while ophthalmology is obviously a science, it’s the art that differentiates the virtuosos from the average; it’s what most ophthalmologists aspire to,” she said. “Our role as ophthalmologists is to practice the art of genuinely caring for the whole person and communicating compassionately. That’s what makes being a doctor a privilege.”

Dr. Aaron said the academy also plans to offer some art-related sessions at the annual meeting, including the Michael F. Marmor Lecture in Ophthalmology and the Arts, which will be Monday from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. In it, Howard Schatz, MD, will speak on the topic “In Search of Wonder.”

New this year

Dr. Aaron highlighted what’s new this year. There will be more of the increased Saturday programming including the International Council of Ophthalmology conference for ophthalmic educators, coding sessions, American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE) practice management master classes, and two Academy Café sessions on neuro-ophthalmology and cataract, according to Dr. Aaron.

“We’re offering eight symposia on topics, such as vision rehabilitation, neuro ophthalmology, and globalizing human resources; plus, the highly interactive, competitive Diagnose This PAAO lineup Live. And we’re offering more Skills Transfer labs on Saturday,” Dr. Aaron said.

Also new this year, will be the AAOE Practice Management Program on Friday, with two sessions: (Re)Focus on Remarkable Patient Care Experiences and Top Strategies for Successfully Running Your Retina Practice.

“These sessions are recommended for physicians as well as practice managers,” she said.

Hot topics

Dr. Aaron listed three spotlight sessions on hot topics this year:

  • Spotlight on Common Approaches to Ophthalmic Urgencies: Sunday, 10:15–11:45 a.m.
  • Spotlight on Cataract Complications: Pressure Cooker - Managing Nerve-racking  
  • Complications, featuring the Charles D. Kelman Lecture: Monday, 8:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
  • Spotlight on the Art of Patient Communication: How to Handle the Unhappy Patient: Monday, 2–3:30 p.m.

Of 55 planned symposia, she said the academy predicts these to be especially popular:

  • Medical Scribes in the EHR Era: Monday, 12:15–1:45 p.m.
  • Is This Optic Nerve Normal? Monday, 8:30–10 a.m.
  • Telemedicine in Ophthalmology: Improving Care for Underserved Patient Populations & Reducing Healthcare Costs, Monday, 2–3:30 p.m.
  • A Critical Evaluation of Top-Line Data: Glaucoma Papers That Will Change Your Practice, Monday, 10:15–11:45 a.m.
  •  Jewel or Junk: Evaluating New Corneal Technologies, Medications, and Surgical Procedures, Monday, 12:15–1:45 p.m.

Following are other planned meeting highlights:

Opening session

The opening session, starting at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, will feature the Jackson Memorial Lecture, given this year by Philip J. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, director and professor of ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.

His topic will be “Lessons Learned from Avastin and OCT: The Great, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” The Laureate Award will be given to Steven T. Charles, MD, clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Tennessee, who has developed many of the techniques and devices used by vitreoretinal surgeons worldwide.

Other awards to be given at the opening session:

  • Distinguished Service Award: Directors of Medical Student Education in Ophthalmology. Rukhsana Mirza, MD, will be accepting.
  • Special Recognition Award: Ophthalmology Section of the National Medical Association. Chasidy D. Singleton, MD, will be accepting.
  • Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award: David Heiden, MD, and William L. White, MD
  • Outstanding advocate award: Bradley C. Black, MD
  • International Blindness Prevention Award: Jacob Pe’er, MD
  • Strataatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education: Preston Blomquist, MD
  • Visionary Science Award: Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC)
  • Guests of honor: Wallace L. M. Alward, MD, Paul R. Lichter, MD, and Jeffrey A. Nerad, MD

EyePlay Experience

EyePlay Experience was a new feature last year, Dr. Aaron said.

“It was so fun, we’re doing it again this year,” she said.

Located in South Hall A, Booth 2581, this is a place to go to relax, energize, and stimulate your mind. There will be therapy dogs as well as bunnies and baby goats. There also will be seated massages, games, and a beer garden serving ale made with hops grown at McCormick Place. Attendees can also assemble hygiene bags for those in need and take a selfie with a giant #AAO2018 hashtag.

Orbital gala

The Orbital Gala from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday is a fun time to catch up with friends while helping a good cause. This year’s theme is the 1960s. Wear psychedelic prints while enjoying what the academy promises to be groovy entertainment, far-out food, and a silent auction at this 15th annual event that raises money for the new Museum of Vision. The gala will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center. Business or cocktail attire is appropriate. Tickets are $300 for ophthalmologists and their guests, with a discounted ticket of $150 available for young ophthalmologists.

Named lectures

Many of these lectures are held as part of a larger session.

Here’s the lineup:

Sunday 10:15–11:45 A.M.

  • Whitney G. Sampson Lecture, “Simple Limbal Epithelial Transplantation,” Kathryn A. Colby, MD, PhD
  • Ruedemann Lecture, “Choosing the Ideal Implant Size, an Ocularist’s Perspective,” Joseph A. LeGrand, Jr., BCO
  • Barraquer Lecture, “Lenticular Implantation and Refractive Eye Banking as a New Frontier in Refractive Surgery,” Ronald R. Krueger, MD

Sunday, 12:45–1:45 P.M.

  • C. Stephen and Frances Foster Lecture on Uveitis and Immunology, “The Eye Fights Back: Immune Defense in a Dangerous World,” given by Janet L. Davis, MD

Sunday, 2–3:30 P.M.

  • Robert N. Shaffer Lecture, “At the Technological Confluence of Glaucoma Clinical Care and Research,” Sayoko E. Moroi, MD, PhD

Sunday, 3:45–5:15 P.M.

  • Wendell L. Hughes Lecture, “The Evolution and Revolution of Oculofacial Plastic Surgery,” Don O. Kikkawa, MD Monday, 8:15 A.M.–12:15 P.M.
  • Charles D. Kelman Lecture, “Dealing with Damaged Zonules,” Robert J. Cionni, MD
  •  Jones/Smolin Lecture, “The Persistent Enigma of Adenovirus Keratitis: Viral Pathogenesis in the Cornea,” James Chodosh, MD, MPH

Monday, 8:30–10 A.M.

  • William F. Hoyt Lecture, “Unraveling the Enigma of Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy,” Joseph F. Rizzo III, MD

Monday, 2–3:30 P.M.

  • Zimmerman Lecture, “Retinoblastoma: Seeing the Big Picture,” Matthew W. Wilson, MD Monday, 3:45–4:45 P.M.
  • Dr. Allan Jensen & Claire Jensen Lecture in Professionalism and Ethics, “The Intersection of Liability and Ethical Professionalism,” Anne M. Menke, RN, PhD

Tuesday, 8:30–10 A.M.

  • Marshall M. Parks Lecture, “Evidence-Based Amblyopia Treatment,” Jonathan M. Holmes, MD
  • Arnall Patz Lecture, “Is All Cystoid Macular Edema the Same?” Alexander J. Brucker, MD

Tuesday, 10:15 A.M.–12:15 P.M.

  • Castroviejo Lecture, “The Ethical Basis of Clinical Research,” Alan Sugar, MD

Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology

The following sessions will be held jointly with the AAO and PAAO:

  • Symposium: Simplifying Open Angle Glaucoma Management…What Matters, Sunday, 10:15–11:45 a.m.
  • Symposium: Surgical Innovations in Retina Across the Americas, Monday, 8:30–10 a.m.
  • Symposium: Corneal Infections and Keratoplasty: Perspectives from the AAO and PAAO, Tuesday, 8:30–10 a.m. Also, the 32nd Best of the Academy in Spanish 2018 will be held Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This event will summarize the important presentations in general ophthalmology and all subspecialty fields from the AAO annual meeting.

New ophthalmic literature and instruments also will be objectively evaluated. The presenting panels will be composed of Spanish-speaking ophthalmologists. Advance registration is requested.

Exhibit hall 

Check out the large exhibition of ophthalmic technology, products and services in the exhibit hall. It will be open Saturday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Subspecialty day

Eight Subspecialty Day meetings will take place before the main meeting begins. Separate registration is required.

Details are at https://www.aao.org/annual-meeting/ subspecialty-day.

Friday only:

  • Refractive Surgery Subspecialty Day 2018: Better Together - Lens- and Cornea-Based Surgery

Friday and Saturday:

  • Retina Subspecialty Day 2018: The Art + Science of Retina + Vitreous SATURDAY:
  • Cornea Subspecialty Day 2018: What’s Tried, True, and New
  • Glaucoma Subspecialty Day 2018: A New Renaissance
  • Ocular Oncology and Pathology Subspecialty Day 2018: Hot Topics in Ocular Pathology and Oncology - An Update
  • Oculofacial Plastic Surgery Subspecialty Day 2018: Oculoplastics Real World: Real Cases, Real Lessons, True Learning
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology Subspecialty Day 2018: Winds of Change in the Windy City
  • Uveitis Subspecialty Day 2018: Uveal Blues in Chicago
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