Real-World Ophthalmology: A new conference to help ophthalmologists starting practice

This conference titled, “The Top Ten Things I Wish I Knew Sooner,” is the brainchild of Lisa M. Nijm, MD, JD, who has had the foresight to help young ophthalmologists negotiate the choppy waters of a new practice.

Hindsight is 20/20, but now real-time sight can be too. And that knowledge applied in real time can eliminate regrets late.

A new virtual conference is debuting on Sept. 18 that can help solve the problems young ophthalmologists face before the problems even happen.

This conference titled, “The Top Ten Things I Wish I Knew Sooner,” is the brainchild of Lisa M. Nijm, MD, JD, medical director, Warrenville Eye Care, Warrenville, IL, who has had the foresight to help young ophthalmologists negotiate the choppy waters of a new practice.

The Conference Agenda

The program is wide-ranging and covers just about everything a new practitioner might run into in the next 10 sessions.

Session I, Things I Wish I Knew before Choosing a Fellowship, includes the following topics during its 45-minute run: Jumping into Comprehensive Cataract Practice; Sharpen Your Laser—Cornea & Refractive; Taking the Pressure Down—Glaucoma; Seeing More than Double—Neuro-Ophthalmology; Searching for the Fountain of Youth—Oculoplastics;Straightening out the World—Peds; and Come to the Dark Side—Retina & Uveitis.

Session II, Things I Wish I knew about Finding the Right Job, covers Finding a Job in COVID Times, To Join PE or Not PE? That is the Question on Private Equity; Who, What, Where and Why I Should Ask at the Interview; and Show Me the Money! Crushing Your First Contract Negotiation.

Session III, Things I Wish I Did Before I Left Residency, will shed light on The Secret to Finding a Mentor(Who Is Not in Your Practice); and Coding Mistakes to Avoid.

Session IV, Things I Wish I Asked about New & Emerging Therapies, will look at The New Frontier in Presbyopia; So Many Ways to Deliver the Goods in Cataract Surgery; The Amazing Race in Dry Eye Treatment; Dropping the Number of Drops in Glaucoma; A Lasting Impression: New Treatments for AMD; Eyes Wide Open; Putting Proptosis in Its Place; and When Mites Attack.

Session V, Things I Wish I Asked about New Technology in the Office, includes discussions on I’ve Got the Power! Biometry in the Real World; Melt the Meibum: What You Need to Know about MGD Procedures; Tell Me the Future: Genetic Testing for Corneal Disorders; Let Me Look into Your Eyes, Fundus Imaging; Meeting the Cornea Pump Iron: Crosslinking; and How to Cultivate Industry Relationships in Practice.

Session VI, Things I Wish I asked before Flying Solo in the OR, sheds light on Driving a Lamborghini vs. Ferrari: Utilizing Different Phaco Platforms; Leaving the Ivory Toward Behind: Working with New Scrub Techs/Staff/Scheduling; and Learning to LEAP: Listen, Empathize, Apologize, and Problem Solve.

Session VII, Things I Wish I Knew about Using New Technology in the OR, explains Near, Far, Wherever You Are: Refractive IOLs; Minimizing the Learning Curve for MIGS; Making Your Patients SMILE; Knowing Your Retinal Surgery Toolbox; Back to the Future: FLACS; and The Insider’s Guide to Effectively Working with Industry in the OR.

Session VIII, Things I Wish I Asked about Building a Practice, covers Developing a Lasting Referral Network; You Don’t Look Old Enough to Be My Surgeon & Other Great Compliments; and Keeping Your Staff Happy & Waiting Room Empty.

Session IX, Things I Still Have Questions About, addresses Putting Out the Flames Before They Become a Fire: Avoiding Burnout; Becoming a Shooting Star(Not a Falling One) on Social Media; and Cover Me, I’m Going In! Risk Management Pearls in Early Practice.

And Session X, The Things I Really Wished I Asked about Sooner, delves into Save Your Back, Save Your Career: Ergonomics Lessons; Don’t Let the Test Hit You on the Way Out: Acing Your Ophthalmology Boards; Learning on the Go: Getting the Most Out of Meetings; and The Money Mindset Talk You Wish You Had in Training.

All segments of the program run between 35 to 60 minutes and are followed by a question-and-answer session.

Other opportunities

Attendees have a chance to submit a question on any topic that will be answered at the meeting. The questions will be answered anonymously and can be addressed to a real-world ophthalmology faculty member; to Tamara Fountain, MD, President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and numerous others during a Fireside Chat; and to Richard Lindstrom, MD, who will field questions on the hot seat. Ophthalmologists can submit their questions online.

In addition, attendee also have the opportunity to nominate exemplary candidates in training or those who have been in practice for their first 10 years. The awards include Excellence in Patient Care, Remarkable Research, Exemplary Teacher, Incredible Innovation & Scientific Contribution, Inspiring Humanitarian, Exceptional Leadership, Extraordinary Mentorship, and Outstanding Professionalism & Ethics. A nomination form is available on the conference website.

The conference also will feature a chance to participate in the Real World Ophthalmology Scavenger Hunt.

The conference is scheduled to run from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm central time. Early sign-up is suggested because of limited seating in the virtual platform. The cost is free to ophthalmologists in training or in their first 10 years of practice. For more information, visit Real World Ophthalmology's website.

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