Perspective

Women in Ophthalmology to focus on leadership, diversity and science at Summer Symposium

Wanda Martinez, MD, PhD
Wanda Martinez

Featuring a half dozen unique wet labs, charity golf and breakfast with the experts, the Women in Ophthalmology 2019 Summer Symposium is slated for Aug. 22-25 at Coeur d’Alene Resort, Idaho.

The symposium kicks off with a keynote session featuring presentations and discussions that include “Diversity and Equality in Medicine: A Perspective from the AMA,” “Building Equality in Medicine” and a breakout session with “Chairs in Ophthalmology.”

New this year is the first Women in Ophthalmology Charity Golf Tournament, which will benefit Orbis International as part of WIO’s philanthropic international outreach, and making a return appearance on the program is the “Battle of the MIGS” and “Dry Eye” wet labs, among others.

“This meeting is special,” Wanda Martinez, MD, PhD, program co-chair and head of the abstract committee, told Healio.com/OSN. “It aims to help advance the interests of women in ophthalmology. Empowering female ophthalmologists to elevate their aspirations and gain the tools they need to meet the challenges of the future is the reason this meeting is so popular every year.”

Purnima S. Patel, MD
Purnima S. Patel

Professional development

Empowerment comes in the form of professional development, from over 20 hours of CME sessions, to mentorship, leadership and self-care talks, to skill development in communication training, workshops in negotiations and practice management.

“We also have two wellness activities each day ranging from yoga to Zumba to high-intensity cardio, program chair Purnima S. Patel, MD, said.

Unique, contemporary topics include a media training workshop as well as a special course for chairs in ophthalmology to develop infrastructural changes in their own institutions to promote more gender diversity, Patel said.

Ophthalmology debates will look at a problem not just from two different sides of the issue, but from the perspective of two different subspecialties, Martinez said. For example, a dry eye “problem” would be debated from a cornea and an oculoplastics point of view.

Camaraderie

“There simply is no other meeting with the level of support and encouragement that WIO enjoys,” Patel said. “We welcome all levels of experience from residents to senior ophthalmologists. The venue is beautiful.”

Martinez has attended the past five meetings. She said, “I put it on my calendar as soon as date and place are announced. The environment is relaxed, friendly and collaborative. I always learn more than I thought I would. Also, it is a cozy meeting so there is opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. Residents feel comfortable to reach out to possible mentors, and everyone is able to get great advice from other attendees.” – by Scott Buzby

For more information:

Wanda M. Martinez, MD, PhD, assistant chief of ophthalmology, Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, Gainesville, Florida, can be reached at email: wm_martinez@yahoo.com.

Purnima S. Patel, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, can be reached at email: patel.purnima@gmail.com.

Disclosures: Martinez and Patel report no relevant financial disclosures.

Wanda Martinez, MD, PhD
Wanda Martinez

Featuring a half dozen unique wet labs, charity golf and breakfast with the experts, the Women in Ophthalmology 2019 Summer Symposium is slated for Aug. 22-25 at Coeur d’Alene Resort, Idaho.

The symposium kicks off with a keynote session featuring presentations and discussions that include “Diversity and Equality in Medicine: A Perspective from the AMA,” “Building Equality in Medicine” and a breakout session with “Chairs in Ophthalmology.”

New this year is the first Women in Ophthalmology Charity Golf Tournament, which will benefit Orbis International as part of WIO’s philanthropic international outreach, and making a return appearance on the program is the “Battle of the MIGS” and “Dry Eye” wet labs, among others.

“This meeting is special,” Wanda Martinez, MD, PhD, program co-chair and head of the abstract committee, told Healio.com/OSN. “It aims to help advance the interests of women in ophthalmology. Empowering female ophthalmologists to elevate their aspirations and gain the tools they need to meet the challenges of the future is the reason this meeting is so popular every year.”

Purnima S. Patel, MD
Purnima S. Patel

Professional development

Empowerment comes in the form of professional development, from over 20 hours of CME sessions, to mentorship, leadership and self-care talks, to skill development in communication training, workshops in negotiations and practice management.

“We also have two wellness activities each day ranging from yoga to Zumba to high-intensity cardio, program chair Purnima S. Patel, MD, said.

Unique, contemporary topics include a media training workshop as well as a special course for chairs in ophthalmology to develop infrastructural changes in their own institutions to promote more gender diversity, Patel said.

Ophthalmology debates will look at a problem not just from two different sides of the issue, but from the perspective of two different subspecialties, Martinez said. For example, a dry eye “problem” would be debated from a cornea and an oculoplastics point of view.

Camaraderie

“There simply is no other meeting with the level of support and encouragement that WIO enjoys,” Patel said. “We welcome all levels of experience from residents to senior ophthalmologists. The venue is beautiful.”

Martinez has attended the past five meetings. She said, “I put it on my calendar as soon as date and place are announced. The environment is relaxed, friendly and collaborative. I always learn more than I thought I would. Also, it is a cozy meeting so there is opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. Residents feel comfortable to reach out to possible mentors, and everyone is able to get great advice from other attendees.” – by Scott Buzby

For more information:

Wanda M. Martinez, MD, PhD, assistant chief of ophthalmology, Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, Gainesville, Florida, can be reached at email: wm_martinez@yahoo.com.

Purnima S. Patel, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, can be reached at email: patel.purnima@gmail.com.

Disclosures: Martinez and Patel report no relevant financial disclosures.

    Perspective
    Lisa M. Nijm

    Lisa M. Nijm

    The Women in Ophthalmology Summer Symposium provides a unique environment where we focus on educating attendees on the latest scientific innovations and advancements in clinical practice. There are many opportunities to engage in creative wet labs and workshops to grow personally and professionally to reduce burnout and improve practice performance.

    This will be the third year in a row that we offer more than 20 hours of CME in one weekend to maximize the educational time of our physician attendees. We also have six wet labs that include a live injection aesthetics lab, a unique hands-on “dry wet lab” and the ever-popular “Battle of the MIGS,” to name a few. This is also the third year in a row we will be offering breakfast with the experts featuring a variety of clinical and leadership topics with renowned speakers from across the country. New this year we are featuring a separate section for chairs of academic programs in ophthalmology, focusing on increasing diversity. Finally, we are proud to announce a new WIO philanthropic venture — a charity golf tournament to kick off the meeting on Thursday, proceeds of which will be donated to Orbis International.

    It is our amazing attendees that makes this meeting so special. The combination of scientific and leadership development creates a well-rounded curriculum so our attendees can learn, make meaningful connections, and return to practice feeling rejuvenated and re-energized. We welcome everyone — I encourage both men and women in ophthalmology to attend and see for yourself. We do our best work when we all work together for the betterment of our patients and the profession. With the changing demographics and changing landscape in ophthalmology, it is important, more so now than ever, to encourage diversity and leadership in thought and opinion. The Women in Ophthalmology Summer Symposium is an incredible, collegiate environment to make those connections and work together to achieve that goal. We look forward to seeing you there.

    • Lisa M. Nijm, MD, JD
    • President, Women in Ophthalmology

    Disclosures: Nijm reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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