Article Date: 1/1/2006

eyecare symposium
First Annual OM Symposium Scores High Grades

Attendees find Symposium on Contemporary Eyecare fills void in continuing education.

In a profession rife with meetings, does optometry really need another event? If the response to the first annual Optometric Management Symposium (OMS) on Contemporary Eyecare is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes.

Held during the first week of November at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Fla., the three-day meeting attracted more than 300 optometrists and vision care professionals who took advantage of:

The Optometric Management Symposium on Contemporary Eyecare attracted over 300 eyecare professionals to Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando.

21 continuing education credits

course material focusing exclusively on issues affecting progressive optometrists

top-rate speakers, presenters and industry sponsors

a first-class, family-friendly resort.

Co-course director Deepak Gupta, O.D., explained that the OMS drew a large audience because it brought together in one meeting all the pieces that contribute to a successful event. "I think the symposium will fill a vital need in the optometric community," he said. "O.D.s from across the country will be able to get a large number of high-quality CE courses and enjoy time with the family at Disney. They don't have to leave the family behind to attend a CE conference.

"In terms of the courses, the symposium updated docs on a wide variety of topics and it taught them how they can implement the new information and new technology in their offices."

Walter West, O.D., co-course director of the OMS, agreed that course content was a major contributor to the success of the meeting. "It was refreshing to see 300 optometrists present in the same lecture hall because they chose to be there, not because they were on a quest for CE credits," he said.

In addition to the program in the lecture hall, the sponsors — CooperVision, Bausch & Lomb, Carl Zeiss Meditec and Allergan — shared new insights and cutting-edge products with attendees. Their expertise didn't go unnoticed. Said one attendee, "The sponsored breakfasts and lunches were a nice surprise and contributed to quite an enjoyable experience."

A rewarding program

In the exhibit hall, optometrists experienced cutting-edge technologies firsthand.

Attendees said they found the educational program, the core of the meeting, to be most rewarding. OMS opened with a CE breakfast by Ron Melton, O.D., and Randall Thomas, O.D., on "Therapeutic Advances for the Management of Acute and Chronic Ocular Disease," which was sponsored by Bausch & Lomb. Dr. Gupta continued with "A Clinician's Guide to Diagnosing and Managing Glaucoma."

CooperVision sponsored the CE lunch, "Contemporary Management of Keratitis Sicca," which was presented by Robert Ryan, O.D. The afternoon continued with Drs. Melton and Thomas presenting "A Clinical Primer on Posterior Segment Disorders" and closed with "Leadership Strategies for Practicing Optometrists," presented by Dr. West.

Carl Zeiss Meditec sponsored the CE breakfast session on Nov. 5, "How Early Detection and Management of AMD Can Improve Visual Outcomes," presented by Joseph Pizzimenti, O.D., and Leo Semes, O.D. Joseph Shovlin, O.D., then addressed "A Complete Guide to Contact Lens and Anterior Segment Management." The lunch CE program, sponsored by Marco, was "Delegation for Greater Practice Profitability," by Dr. West. Susan Abramovitz, president of Ideopia, then led the workshop, "Marketing Your Practice Effectively."  

The Symposium featured many of today's industry-leading speakers, including Randall Thomas, O.D. (left) and Ron Melton, O.D.

The Sunday program began with a "Dry Eye Update," a CE breakfast presented by Mark Dunbar, O.D., and sponsored by Allergan. James Thimons, O.D., concluded the meeting with "The O.D.'s Guide to Surgical Management and Co-Management."

Bright future

Plans for the 2006 symposium have already drawn interest from eyecare professionals. Said one optometrist, "If you have high-quality speakers at a Disney location in 2006, I'm in. Very nice job!"

About the Symposium

The first annual Optometric Management Symposium on Contemporary Eyecare was produced by the Healthcare Conference Group of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (LWW also publishes Optometric Management.) The Conference Group has already begun plans for a http://www.healthcareconferencegroup.comsecond symposium, which will be held at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Nov. 2-5, 2006. The agenda and other details will be available at For more information on the next meeting, contact Heather Seasholtz, director of the group, at (215) 643-8073 or seasholtzh@

Optometric Management, Issue: January 2006