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EyeCon 2023 empowers clinical engagement in a relaxed setting


Oluwatosin U. Smith, MD, shares why she is excited for the conference and why it is relevant for today’s ophthalmologists and optometrists.

In December, The Ophthalmology Times EyeCon 2023 will gather the nation’s leading ophthalmologists to share new data and practical strategies that clinicians can apply in their practices. The conference will take place from December 1 to 2 at the Marriott Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa in Sanibel Harbour, Florida.

Cochair Oluwatosin U. Smith, MD, from Glaucoma Associates of Texas in Dallas, recently spoke with Ophthalmology Times Group Editorial Director Sheryl Stevenson about how attendees will benefit from this year’s EyeCon 2023.

Video transcript

Editor’s note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Sheryl Stevenson: Dr. Tosin Smith, thank you so much for your time. What excites you about this year’s EyeCon meeting?

Oluwatosin U. Smith, MD: This year, I'm really excited about [the] meeting, not only because it's our third year into this process, but also because of the amazing topics we have lined up for our ophthalmologists. There are new things in certain spaces in ophthalmology, in the retina space, for instance, in the myopia space, there's always updates in the glaucoma space. These are topics that are constantly relevant to us in our clinical practice. It's exciting to always be able to gather to hear all the new things that we have in our different specialties, but also to be able to gather in a general ophthalmology segment, so to speak, and hear what's going on in everybody else's world. So, I'm excited for that, to have that opportunity to hear what my other colleagues are doing since all I do every day is glaucoma.

Last year's EyeCon was interesting because we had some of the keynote sessions where we had a joint session between ophthalmology and optometry. It was great to have co-sessions talking about things that we co-managed or things that we jointly saw in our different or individual practices.

It's going to be an interesting one this year because we will have a set out time in the first day of the meeting where we will have joint sessions talking about topics that are familiar to both groups. More and more so we have groups who have [a] combination of ophthalmology and optometry in their practices. There are many things that we see that we all have to deal with together. Not only do we know that the optometry colleagues refer us the cataract for cataract surgery, but also, they see patients with macular degeneration. With all the new things we have available for those patients, it'll be exciting to talk about that.

Myopia, I know is something that is becoming more and more relevant, and finally, we have ways of addressing that. So that's going to be a great topic as well.

As the aging population continues to burgeon in the country as people [become] older, glaucoma also is becoming something that everybody has to help out. Whether you're in general ophthalmology or optometry, there's plenty for all of us to take care of.

The importance of being able to monitor patients outside of the office setting is something that we all seriously think about, now. So, one of those topics that we will be dealing with is home monitoring of patients, or the ability for patients to monitor their own disease entities. It's exciting to see that there is some technology out there that has been approved for use.

There are several things that are in development, as well, to be able to provide that kind of care for patients both at home and to that relief to physicians at home. As we see more and more patients, we might get to that place where some of that care has to be provided virtually to a certain extent, but patients [will] be able to have a more wholesome monitoring of their disease rather than that just intermittent visits to the doctor's office to have either a pressure check or a visual field check or a macula scan done.

It's so exciting, the age that we live in now. So, that that will be an interesting session that we will hold in that joint session where everybody has an input in questions and as we discuss the things that are available to us in providing care.

I always say my year is broken up into into parts. For many of us, the summer [is] that rest period, then we get busy again, then we go into the holidays.

But, the thing about EyeCon is it provides that unique opportunity for you to, first of all, catch up with CME if you're a little behind with that. But, it's also in sunny Florida. No matter what we say, it's it allows us to get away from our routines and take some time out in December, somewhere that's warmer than where we will typically be, to take [a break] from taking care of patients and to actually learn about the new things available to us.

It's a combination of learning in a place where you can relax a little bit, I think the sessions are going to be broken out that way. But, it will also allow you to catch up with all the new updates that we have currently in ophthalmology that will then improve or enhance the care that you provide.

Stevenson: Is there anything else that you'd like to add that we haven't touched upon, regarding the meeting?

Smith: I would say for those of you who are not sure about what you're going to be doing on the first and second of December, plan to join us in Florida. This winter, plan to take a day or two off. Plan to bring your family because it's also a great opportunity for them to be out there enjoying the sunny Florida weather on the beach, while the rest of us learn for a couple of hours. Then most of all, plan to join us so that we can all enjoy a time of engaging in conversation about what we do every day.

Another thing that will be really exciting is to come and join the wonderful exhibits that we have. We have lots of members of [the] industry that will join us with their exhibits that we can partake [in] during the breakout sessions or during the break times. Some of them are things that you may have been wondering about, whether it's the companies that we normally would relate with, the bigger companies, [or] to smaller companies, whether it's in remote monitoring or new drugs.

It will be an exciting time. So definitely join us. It's the end of the year where you're wondering what to do with the extra dollars that you have or get a tax rebate. It might be a great time to come join us to look at the products available [and] also to decide what you want to add to your practice as the year ends.

To register for or learn more about The Ophthalmology Times EyeCon 2023, click here.

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