All India Ophthalmological Conference 2020
YOSI members with senior AIO officers at AIOC 2020
The AIOC (All India Ophthalmological Conference) which took place from 13th to 16th February,2020 at Gurugram will be remembered as the last big Indian conference that took place before an invisible enemy – the coronavirus – totally altered the landscape of medical conferences.
Immediately following the AIOC, the worldwide COVID-19 situation got worse and many big conferences such as the annual meetings of the Delhi Ophthalmological, Saudi Ophthalmological Society, ASCRS, AAPOS among numerous others were cancelled or rescheduled.
The pre-conference events commenced with the ‘Teachers in Ophthalmology’ program, where academicians and senior ophthalmologists met to discuss the current practices in resident training and the debate revolved around topics like ‘Soft skill training during residency,’ ‘Independent surgery vs supervised surgery’ and ‘Should Google be allowed in OPD?’
Another pre-conference interesting session was the ‘Think under the Apple Tree’ contest with innovators presenting their ideas and competing to win. Some interesting entries included the Omniglow -an add-on device to surgical microscopes for omnipresent red glow and the use of 3D imaging in ocular conditions. The award was won by Dr. Nilesh who presented a novel portable ‘Smartphone gonio-imaging device’.
The ‘EyeShala: Post-graduate teaching programme’ was conducted with a comprehensive series of lecture for residents by experts from all sub-specialities.
On 13th February, the actual conference commenced with instructional courses, symposia and other highlighting research and teaching from all clinical subspecialties. This year, emphasis was also laid on administrative and legal skills like ‘Considerations while setting up a private practice’ and ‘Correct approach to a medicolegal case’.
The popular ‘Ophthalmology Premier League (OPL)’ and the much awaited guest lecture sessions by Prof Harminder Dua, Dr Chee Soon Phaik and Dr Shin Yamane were attended in large numbers.
Skill transfer courses on newer technological and diagnostic modalities like smart phone fundus photography, corneal biomechanics and artificial intelligence in screening of diabetic retinopathy were conducted and wet lab courses such as those on suturing in keratoplasty, phakic IOL (ICL) implantation etc were available for hands-on training.
At the Young Ophthalmologists Society of India Pavilion, YOs were able to attend presentations on the changing trends in current practices and future of ophthalmology, new drug delivery systems like nanoparticles, anterior segment drug implants and femto-assisted drug delivery, career options after residency and the best sub-speciality fellowships.
The prestigious AIOS awards attracted some excellent entries. The Col. Rangachari award for best paper was won by Dr.Pukhraj Rishi for his work on ‘Proteomics based approach for differential diagnosis of ARMD subtypes’.
Dr. Shaifali Chahar and Dr. Chirakshi Dhull shared the ET Selvam award for best physical poster on ‘Misdiagnosis of misfolded protein: case series of primary amyloidosis’ and the ‘Role of UBM in paediatric cataract surgery’ respectively. The Best Video award was won by Dr. Deepak Megur for his video, ‘When Less Is Good’.
There was also on-site voting for the elections of the officers of AIOS and Dr. Mahipal Sachdev took over as the incoming President of AIOS.
Cultural events including dance and song performances on the gala night were very popular and included artists of Indian and international origin.
The scientific festival concluded on 16th Feb, with the official announcement of the next meeting at Kolkata in February 2021. We Indians are looking forward to that meeting in the hope that it will pass as uneventfully as AIOC 2020 and that the uninvited entity , the coronavirus, will have been conquered by then.