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Academy brings innovation theme to Chicago in October


A preview of what to expect at AAO 2016 in Chicago!

Chicago-The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) will hold its annual meeting from Saturday, Oct. 15, through Tuesday, Oct. 18, in conjunction with Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO). Eight Subspecialty Days will be held on Oct. 14 and 15, and the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executive (AAOE)’s Practice Management Program will be Oct. 15-18. 

The theme for this year is “Innovate,” which describes the leading-edge research and developments that will be presented there, according to Jonathan B. Rubenstein, MD, secretary for the AAO meeting.

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The annual meeting is the best place to learn about these innovations and connect with the top innovators in our field. We hope that attendees will be inspired to formulate their own innovative ideas,” he said. “As this is our 120th annual meeting, it’s exciting to think about how much advancement has taken place over the years and how innovation has dramatically improved outcomes for our patients. Diseases that were once one-way tickets to blindness are now treatable thanks to research presented at AAO meetings.”

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He added that the theme also relates to the host city, as Chicago has a long history of being innovative.

Here are some of the planned highlights of the meeting:

Opening Session

The Opening Session will be held Sunday, Oct. 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. In addition to addresses from leaders of AAO and APAO, the event will feature the annual Jackson Memorial Lecture. This year’s lecture is being given by Douglas D. Koch, MD, professor at the Baylor College of Medicine Ophthalmology Department, on the topic Hiding in Plain Sight: The Enigmatic Cornea and IOL Calculations.” The lecture will address the current focus of improving IOL calculations in cataract and refractive surgery as well as shed light on new corneal imaging technology and IOL calculation formulas that are improving outcomes and promise more progress, according to the AAO.

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Also at the Opening Session, Matthew D. Davis, MD, will receive the Laureate Recognition Award. Dr. Davis is the Emeritus Director of the Fundus Photograph Reading Center, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1972 to 1979, he chaired the Diabetic Retinopathy Study, the first randomized multi-center clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute. The trial documented the value of photocoagulation in reducing the risk of visual loss from diabetic retinopathy, then a leading cause of blindness. To analyze the retinal photographs collected in the trial, Davis established the FPRC, which is an invaluable, international resource for researchers, according to the Academy. 

Opening Session (cont.)



Other awards being given at the Opening Session include:

-Guests of Honor: Stephen A. Kamenetzky, MD, James A. Loreto, MD, and A. Raymond Pilkerton, MD, FACS

-Distinguished Service Award: Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology

-Special Recognition Award: European Board of Ophthalmology

-Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award: Paul S. Bernstein, MD, PhD, and Benjamin W. Roberts, MD

-Outstanding Advocate Award: Donald J. Cinotti, MD

-International Blindness Prevention Award: Van C. Lansingh, MD

-Straatsma Award for Excellence in Resident Education: Steven J. Gedde, MD

-Visionary Society Award: David E. I. Pyott, CBE, MD(HON)

Named lectures


Named Lectures

In addition to the Jackson Memorial lecture, the Academy also many other named lectures planned:



-Marshall M. Parks Lecture: “Ocular Motor Misbehavior in Children: Where Neuro-Ophthalmology Meets Strabismus,” given by Michael Brodsky, MD. Cosponsored by the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

-Castroviejo Lecture: “Surgical Treatment of Presbyopia: The Journey from Corneal Refractive Surgery to Smart Intraocular Lenses,” given by Dimitri T. Azar, MD. Cosponsored by the Cornea Society and Sektion Kornea of the German Ophthalmological Society

- Michael F. Marmor, MD, Lecture in Ophthalmology and the Arts: “The Alchemy of Color in 19th Century Art,” given by Francesca Casadio, PhD, A.W. Mellon Senior Conservation Scientist with The Art Institute of Chicago

-Ruedemann Lecture: “Past, Present, and Future,” given by James V. Strauss, BCO, FASO. Cosponsored by the American Society of Ocularists

-Wendell L. Hughes Lecture: “Advances in Military Ocular and Combat Casualty Care: Translating Lessons Learned In War To Peacetime Practice,” given by Col. Robert A. Mazzoli, MD. Cosponsored by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

-Whitney G. Sampson Lecture: “Myth Busting in Refractive Surgery: Corneal Inlays for Presbyopia, and More,” given by Julian D. Stevens, MD. Cosponsored by the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists

-Straatsma Lecture: “Career Choices in Ophthalmology,” given by Steven J. Gedde, MD. Cosponsored by the Association for University Professors of Ophthalmology

- Jones/Smolin Lecture: “Trachoma, From Control To Eradication,” given by Thomas M. Lietman, MD. Cosponsored by the Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group

-Arnall Patz Lecture: “The Retina Specialist: Do We Practice Evidence-Based Medicine?” given by Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD. This lecture is new this year.

Monday and Tuesday



-Charles D. Kelman Lecture: Given Roger F. Steinert, MD

-Parker Heath Lecture: “Assessing Late Stage Physicians, The State of the Art,” given by Stephen R. Permut, MD, JD

-Dr. Allan Jensen & Claire Jensen Lecture in Professionalism and Ethics: “Ophthalmology Took a Stand!” given by Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS. Cosponsored by the Ethics Committee

-Robert N. Shaffer Lecture: “Glaucoma Population Management,” given by George A. Cioffi, MD. Cosponsored by Prevent Blindness

- C. Stephen and Frances Foster Lecture on Uveitis and Immunology: “Immunosuppression for the Uveitides: Current Status and Future Directions,” given by Douglas A. Jabs, MD, MBA. This lecture also is new this year.

-Barraquer Lecture: “Keratoconus: Progressive Management of a Progressive Disease,” given by Alaa M. Eldanasoury, MD. Cosponsored by the International Society of Refractive Surgery


-Zimmerman Lecture: “Changes in Diagnosis and Treatment of Orbital Tumors in 50 Years,” given by Zeynel A. Karcioglu, MD. Cosponsored by the American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists

-William F. Hoyt Lecture: “Can A Unique Little Specialty Show Us Some Pervasive Issues With The Old And New Models Of Healthcare Delivery?” given by Larry P. Frohman, MD. Cosponsored by the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society

Symposia, Academy Plus course pass



Here are several of the symposia that the Academy believes will be among the most interesting:

-Case-Based Corneal Conundrums: Review a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic dilemmas commonly encountered by anterior segment specialists. Sunday, 10:30 a.m.to 12:30 p.m.

-Clinical Dilemmas in Neuro-Ophthalmology: Who to Admit and Why? Hear discussion of the considerations for urgent hospital admission, imaging and treatment. Tuesday, 8:30 to 10 a.m.

-Areas of Controversy Regarding Cataract Surgical Preferred Practices: Join the debate on two hot topics: (1) Whether intracameral antibiotic is a superior postoperative endophthalmitis prophylaxis and (2) whether femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery results in superior outcomes at a reasonable cost. Audience members will listen to both sides and then vote on which argument they find the most persuasive. Monday, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Academy Plus Course Pass

New this year is the Academy Plus-a course pass that offers unlimited access to more than 350 Academy and AAOE instruction courses.

There is no need to plan ahead or preselect courses. You can float among all instruction courses at will. Individual tickets for Academy and AAOE instruction courses are no longer sold. However, seating capacities for course rooms is limited and seating is available on a first-come basis.

You can buy the pass when you register for the academy, or buy it at the meeting. You will not receive an actual separate “pass,” but will get an “Academy Plus” symbol on your badge that provides your admission. The pass is non-transferable.

Academy Plus does not cover sessions that require an individual ticket, including AAOE Practice Management Master Classes, AAOE Coding Sessions, Breakfast with the Experts, Skills Transfer labs, and Subspecialty Day meetings.

Subspecialty days


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Other highlights


Other highlights:

-Instruction Courses: There will be 250 presented. The Academy identified these as among the hottest topics;

-Management of Malpositioned IOLs

-Corneal Inlays for Treatment of Presbyopia

-iGlaucoma: The Latest Innovations in Glaucoma Therapy

-Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography in Retinal Diseases


-Panel discussion: A panel discussion, “Physician Payment under MACRA: Choices for Ophthalmologists,” will be moderated by Mike X. Repka, MD. The panel will include George A. Williams, MD, Cynthia Mattox, MD and David A. Glaser, MD. Learn more about the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which will affect up to 836,000 clinicians and allocate more than $1.2 billion in payment bonuses and penalties in its first year alone. 

-Skills Transfer Labs: A total of 57 will be offered this year, including these new ones:

-Laser Retinopexy for Retinal Breaks: Simulation Workshop   

-Smartphone Fundus Photography

-Advanced Suturing: Scleral and Iris Fixation of Posterior Chamber IOLs plus Intraocular Knot Tying 

-Breakfast with the Experts: These roundtables are an opportunity to combine a buffet breakfast with informative conversations. These will be held Sunday through Tuesday from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Purchase tickets when you register for the meeting for $30, or upon arrival in Chicago for $40. Seating is limited, so register early for best selection.

Although the scope of the meeting can seem large and intimidating, the ability to navigate the meeting content and the location of exhibits and sessions is greatly enhanced by the use of the Mobile Meeting Guide, said Dr. Rubenstein.

“This smart phone app has proven to be invaluable to me. There is no other ophthalmology meeting in the world that provides the wide breadth of content and the ability to meet and interact with local and international colleagues. I am really looking forward to this year's meeting and I hope to see my many friends and colleagues from around the world there,” he said.

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