Death, taxes, and long lines for registration: only one is avoidable

What to expect at this year's AAO annual meeting, plus how to get a head start.

Key Points

Online registration for the 2007 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) annual meeting closes Oct. 17. Those registering by that date still will need to pick up their badges and materials on-site, but they will avoid the long lines at registration. Sept. 12 was the last day to register and have badges and materials sent before the meeting.

The AAO is proud to bring the annual meeting back to New Orleans, a favorite venue for members. Registration numbers are consistent with the last time the meeting was held in the city, before Hurricane Katrina.

"While the Cornea Society has run many successful subspecialty meetings, the academy has never sponsored a 'Cornea Sub Day,' " said Michael W. Belin, MD, a program director for the event and president of the Cornea Society. "The academy approached the Cornea Society to co-sponsor the first Cornea Subspecialty Day because of the increased interest in both cornea and external disease and the rapid change in our subspecialty."

David B. Glasser, MD, and R. Doyle Stulting, MD, PhD, also serve as program directors. With representatives from other national and international societies-Eduardo Alfonso, MD; José L. Güell, MD, PhD; Marian Sue Macsai-Kaplan, MD; Yaron S. Rabinowitz, MD; and Donald Tan, MD, MBBS-they have organized a program aimed at corneal surgeons and comprehensive ophthalmologists with an interest in the anterior segment.

The course will be a comprehensive update in the field of cornea and external disease, including corneal surgery, ocular surface disease, infectious disease, inflammatory disease, and dystrophies. A special emphasis will be placed on surgical advances in cornea transplantation, and sections will be devoted to endothelial keratoplasty, lamellar keratoplasty, penetrating keratoplasty, ectatic disease, cornea infections, immune-related diseases, ocular surface disease, cornea imaging, and corneal dystrophies.

Among other highlights will be a presentation from Peter R. Laibson, MD, this year's recipient of the Dohlman Award for Excellence in Teaching and Education, and a summary of findings of the International Committee on the Classification of Corneal Dystrophies (IC3D).

The Refractive Surgery Subspecialty Day will have a new feature this year, Break With the Experts, to offer attendees more opportunities to speak with faculty. Instead of a refreshment break during Friday afternoon's session, participants will be able to take advantage of the 1-hour Break With the Experts. As with the Breakfast with the Experts roundtable discussions, this session will allow attendees to discuss their tough cases and burning questions with leading experts in the field. Up for discussion: phakic IOLs, ectasia, presbyopia, LASIK complications, nonograms, and surface ablation. At the end of the day, an expert from each group will convene on stage for a joint panel discussion of the pearls learned from each group, allowing all attendees an opportunity to benefit from the one-on-one talks.

And don't miss the opportunity to work with the AAO and your colleagues to help rebuild New Orleans.

As you know, New Orleans has two sides today: the thriving tourist areas-the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, and the Warehouse District-and the devastated outer neighborhoods seen on TV, including the Lower Ninth Ward, Lakeview, Gentilly, and New Orleans East. Residents in those latter neighborhoods still are struggling to put their lives back together.