Don’t forget to check out research posters

November 13, 2018
Benjamin P. Casella, OD, FAAO
Benjamin P. Casella, OD, FAAO

The American Academy of Optometry’s annual conference in San Antonio this year was a great meeting with world-class continuing education.

Being around such thought leaders inspires me to be better at all aspects of optometry in which I have a role. Of particular note is the fact that I am always grateful to catch up with old friends and colleagues. Truly, some of the best ideas arise in a hallway outside of a lecture or over a pint at dinner.

I had a chance to sit down with a colleague for a few minutes at Academy to discuss the chances, opportunities, and modalities currently available to publish original work.

Optometry publishing
As for peer-reviewed journals, there certainly aren’t many opportunities for doctors of optometry to publish relative to other doctoral level professions. The profession has several non¬–peer-reviewed journal such as Optometry Times and others.

The discussion was deadening at that point, but then my colleague asked me if I had been down to the poster section of the exhibit hall. I had not, and I embarrassingly admit that it was not at the top of my mind. I was an author on a poster during my residency, but I had essentially neglected this aspect of research ever since.

Related: Dialogue with lecturers at CE

Viewing posters
So, later that day, I walked down to the poster section and took a look. It wasn’t very crowded, and I scanned my badge on the way in and planned to peruse for a few minutes and then get back to whatever it was I was supposed to be doing at the time.

I ended up spending over an hour reading through different ideas, ranging from topics I was well versed in to topics which I found both highly interesting and downright esoteric at the same time. Some ideas were predicated upon aspects of the human eye and/or visual system with which we are already aware, while other ideas were truly de novo.

Many of these posters are authored by students and residents with faculty advisors, and I can think of no better way to begin to get involved with contributions to health care through research than starting with a scientific poster.

I am thankful to have discovered new interest in this modality of research publication, and I plan to spend considerable time to soak up conference poster sessions from now on.

In fact, I have plans to author a scientific poster, either alone or with a colleague or two, in the near future.

Read more from Benjamin P. Casella, OD, FAAO