Academy 2009 focuses on CE, research, exhibit

The American Academy of Optometry's annual conference, Academy 2009 Orlando, will be held Nov. 11 to 14 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center in Orlando.

The American Academy of Optometry's annual conference, Academy 2009 Orlando, will be held Nov. 11 to 14 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, FL. It promises an incomparable, distinguished mix of clinically pertinent continuing education (CE) courses and advanced research in the clinical and vision sciences.

The conference is estimated to bring in at least 4,000 attendees, including optometrists and PhDs in vision science, as well as optometry students and other professionals. Already, more attendees are registered for this year's event compared with last year's pre-registration.

In addition to abundant CE opportunities, those attending can browse the exhibition floor where the latest products, services, instrumentation, and eye-related resources will be prominently displayed.

» WEDNESDAY, 12 TO 2 P.M."Today's research, tomorrow's practice: Long-term deprivation and perception"

Speaker Mike May, who has presented at previous low vision symposia, will share how, in 2000, he had a corneal epithelial stem cell transplant, and then a corneal transplant, which allowed him to see. May will be joined by Ione Fine, University of Washington Vision and Cognition Group, who carried out tests to determine May's ability to perceive with his new sight and why. Nine years later, address the questions the new research raises.

» THURSDAY, 8 TO 10 A.M.2009 Monroe J. Hirsch Memorial Research Symposium: "Teaching the brain new tricks"

The symposium focuses on the cortex and how it responds to deprivation, including deafness and macular degeneration, particularly during adulthood. The symposium examines issues of cortical reorganization, recovery of function, blindsight, plasticity, effects of training on visual function, and rehabilitative technologies and strategies.

CE curriculum

The academy offers numerous 1- and 2-hour courses, with 35 hours of CE credit available for the taking, including:

» THURSDAY, 10 A.M. TO 12 P.M."How to be a contact lens hero"

In a stimulating format, hear cases, choose the treatment strategy, and then handle the consequences. Attendees will learn everything from common to compelling tips on choosing the most effective and most efficient approach to solving contact lens cases.

» THURSDAY, 2:30 TO 4:30 P.M."Extreme dermatology"

This course offers a comprehensive review of benign and malignant pathology that entails the skin of the eyelids and face. The presentation will focus on diagnosis and treatment of the lesions.

» THURSDAY, 11 A.M. TO 12 P.M."Neuroplasticity-A paradigm sea change"

A paradigm shift in how neuroplasticity is recognized has occurred. Current research and how it impacts diagnosis, prognosis, and management of patients will be explored in this session.

» FRIDAY, 4 TO 6 P.M."Pharmacists' greatest nightmares"

When practitioners make medication-related mistakes that can harm patient welfare, it can be a pharmacist's worst nightmare. Such errors may include prescription errors as well as prescribing drugs that lead to negative interactions or side effects. The presentation will address common prescribing errors and life-sight threatening drug interactions.

» SATURDAY, 12:30 TO 1:30 P.M."Sprint or marathon? Establishing a sports vision-only practice"

This course tracks the creation of a sports vision-only practice. Factors involved include identifying a suitable location, sourcing specialized equipment, setting up the clinic, developing testing and training protocols, networking within the local athletic and eye care communities, and creating awareness about sports vision through effective, targeted promotion.