THE REAL VALUE OF CONTINUING EDUCATION

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When I returned from the 96th annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry in Chicago, I felt completely recharged. The continuing education covered the broad scope of optometry, ranging from behavioral science to primary care to surgery. This was the Academy’s largest meeting ever, with 7,692 registrants.

I’d like to share a few of my highlights:

Better pharmaceuticals and diagnostic instruments have created the opportunity for improved glaucoma care. Murray Fingeret, OD, FAAO, shared his wisdom about diagnostic technologies that have greater benefits at different stages of the disease.

Michael Cymbor, OD, FAAO, delivered an inspiring lecture about the 10 things he learned from setting up a glaucoma referral center in State College, PA. Never underestimate the work and diligence required to pioneer something new. The practice model works, and I suspect it will be replicated elsewhere.

Kelly Malloy, OD, FAAO, and Lorraine Lombardi, PhD, delivered an outstanding lecture on neuroanatomy. Lombardi has taught this subject for nearly 50 years at Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry. She made this mind-numbing, difficult content clear enough even for me to understand when I was a student.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) seemed to be everywhere and in almost every lecture. This technology made the “invisible visible.” OCT angiography will do that all over again and will become especially useful for managing patients with diabetes.

The list of highlights could go on, but here’s my takeaway: It’s really beneficial for professional development to immerse ourselves in the highest quality CE programs available. Let the collective wisdom of our fellow colleagues invigorate and stretch your thinking. I hope to see you at next year’s meeting in San Antonio, Nov. 7-10, 2018.

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