Q&A: EyeCon 2022 sneak peek with Dr. Rafieetary

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Ahead of this year's annual meeting, Mohammad Rafieetary, OD, FAAO, offers a look at his presentation on diabetic retinal diseases and shares why the event shouldn't be missed.

The second annual EyeCon meeting—kicking off December 16-17, 2022, at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Florida, is almost here!

Eye care professionals will convene to discuss the latest advances in diagnostic tools and treatments and share their experiences. This year’s hybrid interactive conference will be co-chaired by Kelly K. Nichols, OD, PhD, MPH, FAAO, dean of The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, and A. Paul Chous, OD, MA, FAAO, a diabetes eye care specialist and owner of Chous Eye Care Associates in Tacoma, Washington.

Ahead of this year's meeting, Mohammad Rafieetary, OD, FAAO, spoke with Optometry Times®' Alex Delaney-Gesing on his upcoming presentation—titled "Lies, damn lies, and diabetic retinal disease," what he's looking forward to the most, and why this year's event is a "must-attend" meeting.

Related: Optometry Times®' Eyecon 2022 kicks off this December


See more and register here.

Editor’s note: This article has been edited for clarity
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What can attendees expect from your presentation?

In this session, I'm honored to be on the podium with Paul Chous, OD, MA, FAAO, who—by far—has more knowledge and expertise in the treatment of diabetes as a whole. We have this condition, diabetic retinopathy (DR), which many people go blind from that shouldn't, because we have effective treatments.

A lot of that is because of the misconceptions and myths, lack of education to the patient population. We are trying to not only talk about from the pod standpoint, what are some of the misconceptions in medical management or diabetes, but also, for me, what are the barriers? And what are the education problems that we have to address as eye care providers and particularly as optometrists, primary eye care providers, to prevent patients from going blind?

There are a whole host of things about, artificial intelligence, assessment of DR, that we still are not capturing 100% of these patients. What do we need to do? What do we need to tell diabetic patients? What do we need to tell the population as a whole, because a lot of people are diabetic that don't even know it. So these are the points we are trying to address in this session. And hopefully, we can make those points captured or understood.


Why is this year’s meeting a must-attend?

It's going be a fantastic educational opportunity, particularly in December, in sunny Florida, so you can't beat that. Come enjoy the environment, attend educational sessions, and absorb as much of that information as you can. It's a good opportunity for camaraderie, visiting, and we are happy to be at live events right now. Some come join us.




What are you most looking forward to at EyeCon?

I'm looking forward to, particularly, to be on stage with [Chous] because he's very dynamic; he's very passionate about this. He's passionate about diabetes and I'm passionate about diabetic retinopathy. So we're going to have a great session. And other sessions we are involved in include a panel discussion about what's really hot in the retina space. I'm very excited to be involved in the program