Optometry’s Meeting® 2023: Keep up with contemporary optometry through continuing education

February 9, 2023
What are you waiting for? Early-bird registration is now open for Optometry’s Meeting® in Washington, D.C., June 21-24. And that means you can get first dibs on continuing education and professional development at the premier event in our profession. Interested in a unique, interactive case history diagnosis workshop or working toward a micro-credential for paraoptometric surgical assisting? Enroll in the education at Optometry’s Meeting.
Optometry's Meeting Education

It seems no one walks away empty-handed from Optometry’s Meeting® 2023, given the wealth of hands-on continuing education (CE) and professional development at optometry’s premier meeting, June 21-24, in Washington, D.C.

Optometry’s Meeting® offers over 190 hours of expert-led CE and professional development across 136-plus courses, ranging in format from lectures to posters and more than a dozen hands-on workshops. Doctors and students can earn up to 37 credits, and paraoptometrics 31 credits, across the four days with top-notch speakers and topics. Further, this year’s meeting offers 22 hours of CEE/TQ, as well as over 40 hours of credits offered in an integrated, doctor-staff setting to promote coordination of care at the  126th Annual AOA Congress & 55th Annual AOSA Conference: Optometry’s Meeting at the  Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

The annual meeting of the AOA and AOSA also brings together optometric and industry professionals for networking and leadership opportunities, unparalleled learning and skills development, an expansive Eye Care Square exhibit hall and engaging entertainment and after-hours events.

“Our hope is that doctors, paraoptometrics and students walk away having learned about practical and contemporary topics that they can directly apply to their practices when they return to work after the conference ends,” says George Veliky, O.D., AOA Education Center Committee co-chair. “We carefully selected numerous courses that we hope can be attended by doctors of optometry, as well as their staff (paraoptometrics), and learn a new skill set or different ways to practice the profession, such as subspecialties. And learning alongside their paraoptometric staff, we hope, makes the transition from education to clinical practice more meaningful and more likely to be put into practice.”

The courses, workshops and professional camaraderie offered at Optometry’s Meeting have real-world applications, says Education Committee co-chair Bradley Lane, O.D., MBA, MEd.

"It’s great education,” Dr. Lane says. “But, when we gather together and break bread, camaraderie is built. That’s incredibly important for the profession."

Picking courses

Plenty of energy by the committee goes into the selection of courses for Optometry’s Meeting, with an eye toward helping doctors up their contemporary practice game, Dr. Lane says.

“We really start planning about 1½ years in advance,” he says. “We start with our call for courses when potential speakers can submit proposals for courses and outlines.”

“Our committee does its best to try and conduct an anonymous review process,” says Dr. Veliky of the selection of abstracts/outlines based on course content rather than curriculum vitae only. Beyond the review process, those same courses are reviewed by multiple committee members, so as to get differing opinions as to what topics or materials most stand out.”

Making selections isn’t easy because the committee identifies more courses than it has slots available.

“However, with the use of our alternate educational vehicles—such as [the AOA EyeLearn Professional Development Hub] and live or recorded webinars offered through EyeLearn—we now have the opportunity to offer these pre- or post- Optometry’s Meeting course events via EyeLearn and allow for the education to occur leading up to or after the conference. That really builds on the concept of year-round professional development, not just continuing education.

The committee also offers courses in different formats for the different ways doctors learn and out of convenience to doctors and paraoptometrics—some courses are designed for doctors and their paraoptometrics to take together.

“We try hard to think of unique ways to offer education to our attendees, trying to look beyond the ‘classroom’ or the one- or two-hour lecture,” Dr. Veliky says.

Most workshops run two hours in length at the conference, but the “Optometric Surgical Assisting for the Paraoptometric Technician” covers four hours of learning and can lead to micro-certification.

“Compared to my time in optometry school some 20-plus years ago, education has changed to some extent,” Dr. Veliky says. “Perhaps the concepts or foundations in science/medicine/pharmacology are similar but how the next generation of doctors best learn these materials has shifted a bit.

“So, we try to cater to these newer teaching methods and look for more unique ways to offer these topics/educational events, focusing on the delivery of the material and the experiences, so we’re not just being tied to sitting in classrooms or lecture halls,” he adds.

Innovative workshops

About that new “Optometric Surgical Assisting for the Paraoptometric Technician” workshop. Doctors of optometry are urged to enroll their paraoptometrics as AOA associate members in order to enroll them in courses and workshops.

In the course, paraoptometrics are educated and trained to be the right hand of physicians during office-based surgical procedures. It offers an in-depth, hands-on practical application in assisting in office-based surgical procedures. It is the practical component of a micro-credential that staff may earn when paired with the lecture-based content offered in  the AOA EyeLearn.

View a list of all the workshops being offered at Optometry’s meeting.

Course Description

Date

Primary Speaker

Introduction to Suturing:  A Hands-on Workshop for Optometric Surgeons

6/22/2023

Richard Castillo, OD, DO

Contact Lens Workshop - Para

6/22/2023

Shalu Pal, OD

Getting Started with IPL (Workshop): Beginners Guide to Intense Pulse Light for On-Label Dry Eye Disease and Other Off-Label Applications for Contemporary Optometrists and Paraoptometrics

6/23/2023

Jeffrey Michaels, OD

Understanding Your Craft- The Hows and Whys of Entrance Testing (Interactive Lecture)

6/23/2023

Sulman Hans, OD

Retina OCT Workshop: How to Scan How to Interpret

6/23/2023

Mohammad Rafieetary, OD

Visual Perceptual Testing Workshop

6/23/2023

Tamara Petrosyan, OD

ICD-10-CM Interactive Workshop

6/24/2023

Rebecca Wartman, OD

Anterior Segment Laser Lab

6/24/2023

Spencer Johnson, OD

Optometric Surgical Assisting for the Paraoptometric Technician

6/24/2023

Richard Castillo, OD, DO

Contact Lens Workshop

6/24/2023

Shalu Pal, OD

Ophthalmic and Neurologic Uses of Botulinum Toxin Workshop A

6/24/2023

Leonid Skorin, OD, DO

Ophthalmic and Neurologic Uses of Botulinum Toxin Workshop B

6/24/2023

Leonid Skorin, OD, DO


“Any formally trained surgeon understands that safe, efficient and predictable surgery is seldom a solo adventure,” says Richard Castillo, D.O., O.D., a practicing surgeon who will lead workshops on Optometric Surgical Assisting and Introduction to Suturing: A Hands-on Workshop for Optometric Surgeons. “It takes a well-trained team to attend to the myriad of nuances that can arise on the spur of the moment and consistently deliver successful outcomes for the patient. Well-trained paraoptometrics boost safety, efficiency, productivity and patient confidence, both in the optometric surgeon and the practice as a whole.  

“Paraoptometrics, as optometric physician extenders, are evolving along with the practitioners’ broadening role within today's ever more comprehensive primary care paradigm,” Dr. Castillo says. “The ‘contemporary practice’ of today is built on a service-based model. The ever-advancing scope of optometric practice, along with the diversity of service offerings now available in the modern office space, have helped define the expanding role of the paraoptometric as essential members of the optometric health care team.”

In addition, courses recommended for students are identified within the 2023 education schedule, including such courses as the “Ring of Silence” movie screening with panel discussion.

As medical professionals, doctors of optometry have a duty to actively watch for, report on and assist in the treatment of patients who are victims of human trafficking. Optometry’s Meeting will host a two-hour AOA CE Hour-approved course featuring the screening of the feature film, as well as an expert panel of legal and other professionals to discuss the signs of human trafficking and doctors’ responsibilities as medical professionals.

Learn more about the education offered at Optometry’s Meeting, including available education credits.

Begin your Optometry's Meeting® 2024 registration

Are you ready to register for the profession's premier annual event, June 19-22, 2024, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee? Open the registration portal below to begin your Optometry's Meeting experience today!

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