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
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.
“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: email@example.com.
Purnima S. Patel, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, can be reached at email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosures: Martinez and Patel report no relevant financial disclosures.