76th annual conference of All India Ophthalmological Society
(Left to right): Dr. Pradeep Sharma, Dr. Lalit Verma, Dr. Namrata Sharma, Dr. Ajit Babu Majji, Mr. Subroto Bagchi, Dr. K Premraj, Dr. Santhan Gopal, Dr. D Ramamoorthy, Dr. V Narendran, Dr. V Thangavelu
The 76th Annual Conference of All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) was held from 22nd – 25th February at Coimbatore. Under the able presidency of Dr. Santhan Gopal, honorary general secretary of AIOS – Dr Namrata Sharma, Chairman Scientific Committee, Dr. Lalit Verma and a core local organizing committee (consisting of Dr. D Ramamurthy as Chairman Organizing Committee, Dr. K. Premraj, Dr. V Narendran, Dr. Rodney Morris and Dr. V Thangavelu), the conference was one of the biggest ophthalmic events in Asia.
More than 8000 national and international delegates and over 700 top-tier national and international faculties participated at the meeting. Sixteen different halls hosted 327 scientific sessions. Over 170 trade sponsors and companies showcased latest developments in ophthalmic technology and equipment.
Pre-conference sessions on 21st February included post-graduate teaching by internationally renowned experts. X-file sessions taught students major and minor cases and spotters relevant to examinations. The Top 10 innovations were selected out of thirty-nine submissions in “Think Under the Apple Tree” with Dr. Prakhyat Roop winning for his new IOL model which he started designing from 3rd year MBBS. Another interesting innovation was the chromoviscotampo technique for macular hole surgery by Dr. Atul Dhawan.
The grand inauguration was on 22nd February by Chief Guest Mr. Subroto Bagchi, Chairman Odisha skill development Authority and independent Director, Mindtree. Padamashree Dr. P. Namperumalsamy, Chairman Emeritus, Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai and Dr. B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, Chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore were guests of honour. Dr. Ajit Babu Majji took over as the President of AIOS from Dr. Santhan Gopal. Life time achievement awards were conferred on Dr. K.P.S. Malik of New Delhi and Dr. B.K. Jain of Chitrakoot for their immense contributions to Ophthalmology. The AIOC 2017 Col. Rangachari award was given to Dr. Natasha Pahuja, CS Reshmi award to Dr. Vishal Agarwal and the ET Selvam award jointly to Drs. Natasha Pahuja and Vivek Gupta.
President’s Guest Lectures were delivered by Dr. Eugene De Juan and Dr. Gerard Lutty. The keynote address was given by Dr. Cathleen McCabe in the International Society of Bilateral Cataract Surgeons (ISBCS) session. Free papers, videos, e-posters, physical posters and current concept sessions were presented in different specialties. Sixty-two Indian ophthalmologists were honored as international heroes for their roles and awards in the international arena.
An interesting new programme was “Science and Fun in Ophthalmology” with 4 teams, each presenting a video, scientific paper and case presentation and participating in a quiz. The winning team and the runner up bagged Rupees 1 lakh and 50,000 respectively. The audience too had prizes and the interactive, fun spirit was high. Halls were also jam packed for Game of Thrones, Phaco nightmares, Courtmartial and the ever popular Ophthalmic Premier League. Another highlight was the stand-off between Russian and Indian Ophthalmologists in the Top Gun session.
Video Assisted Skill Transfer (VAST) courses and hands on training at wetlabs, Surgical Skill Transfer Course (SSTC) and Technology Skill Transfer Course (TSTC) were held on all four days. The Leadership Development Program taught various aspects of hospital administration.
Intense 0phthalmology discussion in the daytime was followed by relaxed evenings with fascinating cultural programmes including performances by the famous Bharathanatyam dancer, Ms Shobana. A Walkathon lead by Chief Guest Mr. Sourav Ganguly, affectionately known as Dada – a former Indian cricketer and captain of the Indian national team was a huge hit!
The next AIOS conference is planned at Indore in February 2019.