Article Date: 5/1/2004

aoa session review
10 " Don't Miss" Sessions at the 2004 Annual AOA Congress
BY KAREN RODEMICH, Managing Editor




1 The Winning Ophthalmic Rx for Profitability for ECPs

  • June 24, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

  • K. Hamada, O.D.


2 Medicare and HIPAA 2004

  • June 25, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

  • D. Mills, O.D.

3 Progressive Management Strategies for a Changing Contact Lens World

  • June 25, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

  • A. Juneau, and J. Rumpakis, O.D.


4 The Ultimate "How To" Contact Lens Patient and Management Symposium

  • June 24, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

  • C. Castellano, O.D.; P. Klein, O.D.; A. Epstein, O.D.; J. Schaeffer, O.D.; D. Seibel, O.D.; L. Sclafani, O.D.


5 Therapeutic Update

  • June 26, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.

  • R. Melton, O.D., and R. Thomas, O.D., M.P.H.


6 Handling the Managed Care Maze

  • June 24, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

  • H. Braverman, O.D., and P. Liane, O.D.


7 Low Vision for Primary Care Optometrists: Practical Applications of the Basic Principles, Coding and Documentation for Billing Low Vision Rehabilitation Services

  • June 24, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

  • K. Krug, O.D., and D. Siemsen, O.D.


8 Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation

  • June 25, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

  • T. Wilson, O.D.


9 Optometrists' Role in the Co-Management of Wavefront Guided Custom LASIK

  • June 25, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • B. Tullo, O.D.


10 Custom Ablation: A New Millennium of Refractive Surgery

  • June 26, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

  • M. Bloomenstein, O.D. and S. Morris, O.D.


You're planning for the upcoming American Optometric Association (AOA) meeting in June. Your time is limited, you need continuing education credits and there are scores of sessions available. Which lectures do you attend? Good question, but not to worry. Your colleagues (and our expert authors) have offered their input on which sessions you shouldn't miss, and we've conveniently categorized them into the following topics:

Please note that the AOA requires preregistration for all optometric courses. There is no guarantee that courses labeled "COPE Approval Pending" will be approved by the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education. You can check the updated approval status by visiting

Practice management

Irving Bennett, O.D., of Sarasota, Fla., already has his reservations for this meeting, and here are the two practice management courses he suggests:

"In these days when private optometry, particularly, is struggling with the competition of chains, mass merchandisers, managed care, ophthalmology, it's a shame that more management courses aren't offered to O.D.s," says Dr. Bennett. He explains that the reason for the lack of practice management courses is that CE credit isn't given for taking them. But he brings up a good point: "Which is more important: getting good practice management and business ideas and advice, or getting CE credit that you can get with other courses and at other places?"

Contact lenses

Continuing education courses that Deepak Gupta, O.D., of Milford, Conn., recommends for catching up on contact lens news, information and technology include:

Says Dr. Gupta, "My rationale is that both of these courses are geared at improving our overall contact lens skills and improving our retention/patient satisfaction rates. Many practitioners are really struggling with contact lenses and competing with online and mail-order retailers."

Primary care

Alan Glazier, O.D., F.A.A.O., of Rockville, Md., will be attending the AOA Congress. Here are the courses he recommends (and will try to fit into his schedule):

"What can I say about the Melton/Thomas lectures? They're always energizing, educational and fun," says Dr. Glazier.

According to Dr. Glazier, properly handling managed care issues results in higher net revenues, happier patients and happier staff. He says, "I wouldn't attend any optometric conference and not attend at least one lecture on managed care."

He also recommends that you consider attending L. Probst, M.D.'s course, "What We've Learned About Custom Laser." In fact, he says he wouldn't miss a chance to learn from this highly skilled and progressive M.D.

Lastly, Dr. Glazier suggests looking into R. Lindstrom, M.D.'s "Interocular Lenses" course.

Special services

Elmer Eger, O.D., of Trumansburg, N.Y., won't be attending the Congress this year, but he thinks you shouldn't miss the following two sessions:

According to its description, this course will use a case-based format to reacquaint the primary care optometrist with the basic concepts of vision rehabilitation designed to improve the patients visual functioning and to keep them as optometric patients.

This course will concentrate on the diagnosis and management of the stroke and head injury patient.


Paul Karpecki, O.D., F.A.A.O., of Kansas City, Mo., will be in attendance and recommends the following two courses:

This course will discuss the new changes and evolution of refractive surgery. We will discuss the basics of adaptive optics and how it will change eye care as well as wavefront principles and applications, including refractive surgery and optical devices. Dr. Karpecki knows Drs. Bloomenstein and Morris and says they do a good job covering this topic.

Plan wisely

This is just a brief sampling of what's available at the AOA Congress. Many more await your attendance. So consider the courses recommended here, browse the others and decide which best fit your needs and interest. For more information on this meeting or to find out what other courses are available, visit


AOA: What, Where, When?

WHAT: 107th Annual American Optometric Association (AOA) Congress

WHERE: Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Fla.

WHEN: Meeting ­ June 23 to 27, 2004; Exhibit Hall ­ June 24 to 26, 2004

Registration to this event includes the following:

  • tickets for Congress souvenirs
  • three days' admittance to the exhibit hall
  • Varilux Optometry Super Bowl XIII and reception
  • Presidential gala
  • and more.


Optometric Management, Issue: May 2004