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Don’t forget to check out research posters


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

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