DEC 2013

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

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42 EW FEATURE February 2011 2014 December 2013 What's ahead in Vanguard Ophthalmology Society and a focus on two members by Ellen Stodola EyeWorld Staff Writer John Berdahl, MD, and Elizabeth Yeu, MD, are two founding members of the group for young, forward-thinking ophthalmologists AT A GLANCE • The Vanguard Ophthalmology Society was formed in 2009 with the idea to facilitate collaboration between some of the future thought leaders in ophthalmology. • Dr. Yeu was an original member of the society and has experience in both private practice and working with an academic institution. • Dr. Berdahl is currently the secretary of the Vanguard Ophthalmology Society and was a founding member. He is working with a number of new technologies in his practice. T he Vanguard Ophthalmology Society brings together key thought leaders in the field who are in the early stages of their careers. The collaboration facilitates discussion on new techniques, technologies, research, and other topics. George Waring IV, MD, FACS, assistant professor of ophthalmology and director of refractive surgery, MUSC Storm Eye Institute, and medical director, Magill Vision Center, Charleston, S.C., discussed being an original founding member, specifics of the society, and other key members in the group. Background The society, Dr. Waring said, was established in 2009 with 10 original founding members. The idea was to Monthly Pulse T he topic of the December Monthly Pulse survey was "What's ahead in 2014." EyeWorld asked members about their views on professional ophthalmic organizations. The majority of respondents (66.2%) felt it was very important to belong to a professional ophthalmic organization, while 26.5% found it somewhat important, 4.6% were neutral, and 2.3% and .5% found it not very important or not important at all, respectively. As for the continuing education provided by these organizations, 67.7% found it very useful, 26.3% found it somewhat useful, 3.2% were neutral, 2.3% found it minimally useful, and .5% found it to not be useful at all. Other hot topics for 2014 will be posterior corneal astigmatism and femtosecond laser technology in cataract surgery. For the former, EyeWorld asked members to define their understanding of posterior corneal find leaders in the young ophthalmology community "who represented the future of ophthalmology [and] to unite them to help foster and develop the advancement of our specialty through innovative thought sharing," Dr. Waring said. This included discussing topics related to research and development, future medical and surgical therapeutics, diagnostics and everything from devices to practice development, ethics, and philanthropy. With the 10 founding members, the group came together to establish society values and initiatives, as well as a mission statement "of promoting excellence and advancement in ophthalmology through a collaboration of future leaders in our field." The Vanguard Ophthalmology Society has now grown to more than 20 members, with a few new members elected each year by unanimous decision. "Part of the selection process is that it's geographically diverse and diverse in terms of practice patterns," Dr. Waring said. "We have people from top private practices in large groups, we have people from top private practices who started their own, we have [people from] top academic centers, but they're from all around the country." The Vanguard Ophthalmology Society primarily focuses on anterior segment surgery including cataract and refractive procedures, as well as glaucoma, cornea and external disease. The group makes a point to meet several times a year, with one standalone annual Vanguard Ophthalmology Society meeting and separate meetings at the ASCRS•ASOA and AAO annual meetings. The society is not only facilitating discussion and interest from those within the group but from industry as well. "It's unified all of us and there's strength in numbers," Dr. Waring said. "But with the diverse interests and backgrounds, there's a tremendous wealth of information internally but also available to others, and we've all taken the responsibility to help guide the future of this industry, like our mentors are doing now and did before us." The group is targeted to those in the first part of their career—doctors who have been in practice for less than 15 years after completing all training. Once a member has been in practice for 15 years, he or she would effectively become an alumni of the group and help bring in the next generation. Dr. Waring said there are several initiatives and focuses that those in the Vanguard Ophthalmology Society have recently been looking into, including analysis of IOL outcomes, therapeutic drug studies, and collaborating with existing societies. He noted that advanced technology devices are of particular interest to those in the group. "A lot of us are Keeping a Pulse on Ophthalmology astigmatism (PCA), and the results were mixed. A majority (47.0%) responded that they do not have the equipment to measure PCA but think it would be useful to have, while 7.9% said they don't have the equipment and don't think it would help them in practice. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they measure PCA and find this information useful, while 12.1% said they measure PCA but don't think the information is useful. As for femtosecond for cataract surgery, 40.8% of respondents said that they don't intend to use the laser for cataract surgery in the foreseeable future, but 26.1% plan to use one in the next three years and 16.1% plan to use one in the next 12 months. Seventeen percent of respondents are already using the technology.

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