The annual Women in Ophthalmology Summer Symposium will take place in San Diego from Aug. 10 to 13 with a restructured format, new content and more networking opportunities, meeting chair Lisa Nijm, MD, JD, told Healio.com/OSN.
With more than 300 attendees registered, it is one of the largest meetings dedicated to empowering women in the field of ophthalmology, and the WIO is the only national organization for women in ophthalmology.
“Women represent about 20% of the field, but they are still greatly underrepresented in leadership roles such as practice ownership, speakers bureaus and research despite the growing ranks,” Nijm said. “The only way to help change that is to have a meeting that focuses on helping women hone their leadership skills and gives opportunities to network and collaborate with other leaders to achieve these goals.”
The theme of this year’s symposium is “A Leadership Development Summit: Educate, Inspire, Empower,” and content will cover leadership and development, technology and innovation, practice management, health and wellness, and health policy and government in the practice.
In addition to traditional content, there will be several hands-on leadership skills workshops that will allow attendees to apply the skills they learn.
“The goal is to offer curated content — the best of the best — that is not readily available at other meetings that will be of the greatest benefit to women ophthalmologists,” Nijm said.
In addition, the symposium will offer six wet labs including three of the latest glaucoma devices, phacoemulsification with premium lenses and an oculoplastics lab with live injections, as well as nearly 100 posters from residents describing original research and complicated cases.
There will also be three networking receptions for attendees, a “San Diego-style” kickoff, a dinner at San Diego Zoo Safari Park and a “Year of the Woman” reception featuring inspirational pearls from women leaders, Nijm said.
“No WIO meeting would be complete without the incredible networking. It’s one of the greatest things that we offer because it gives attendees the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other leaders in academia, private practice and industry,” she said.
Registration is still open for the symposium, and both men and women in the field at any stage of their careers are welcome. Registration and a detailed program can be found at http://www.wioonline.org/register/. – by Rebecca L. Forand