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Wednesday / May 25.
HomeminewsSpecsavers Inaugural Clinical Conference a Class Act

Specsavers Inaugural Clinical Conference a Class Act

The first Specsavers Clinical Conference was held in Melbourne on Friday 18 May. With 21 CPD points on offer it was a jam-packed day of presentations from world-class clinical speakers.

There were seven speakers in all, and as long as the day was, the attention of the pundits was held until the end.

Specsavers ran a polished clinical conference and it would be fair to say they have raised the bar on the way in which conferences should be held. It was all class, from the moment you were greeted at the door of the Sofitel, right through to the farewell drinks. There was a buzz of excitement and anticipation from delegates and discussion during the breaks was very positive.

There was no questioning about who was running this show. The green spectacle logo was omnipresent – across the stage, on the walls, on nametags, lanyards, pens… No matter what you think of the organisation,
one fact you can’t ignore is they know who they are and what they’re about.

Specsavers ran a polished clinical conference and it would be fair to say they have raised the bar on the way in which conferences should be held.

Clinically and Customer Focussed

Specsavers Professional Development Manager, Peter Larsen, welcomed delegates declaring: “we have the mandate to be clinically and customer focussed. We can affect change and are proud and excited about the journey to come”.

Professor Jonathon Crowston, from the Centre for Eye Research, kicked off proceedings by outlining the latest thinking on glaucoma as one of a group of conditions affecting the dendrites that connect the eye to the visual cortex. Among other points, he highlighted that although IOP is important, it is not just about the pressures and that visual assessment and monitoring of the optic nerve is crucial in diagnosis.

Professor Jamie Craig of Flinders University, Adelaide, reviewed the latest imaging technology and how it can assist in the diagnosis and monitoring of glaucoma and other retinal conditions, especially age related macular degeneration.

The day’s third speaker was Dr. Alex Harper from the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital who presented on a variety of retinal conditions and used case histories to demonstrate how optometrists can use their skills, particularly assisted by retinal photography, to more accurately assess and diagnose these conditions and refine referral criteria. Dr. Harper also reviewed the benefits and limitations of the latest treatments for these patients.

In a two-part presentation Professor Mark Gillies from University of Sydney outlined the latest thinking and research therapies available to treat diabetic retinopathy and the advantages and limitations of laser, intravitreal therapies including anti-VEGF and steroids. He also introduced the audience to the clinical features of a new condition: Macula Telangiectasia, along with the latest research into the causes and possible future treatment of the condition.

In an entertaining presentation Professor Charles McGhee, Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at Auckland University, reviewed the condition and treatment of keratoconus while Dr. Robert Paul from the Western Australian Eye Laser Centre used case histories and videos to outline complications seen in LASIK Kerarings.

In the Conference’s final talk, Professor Nathan Efron from the Queensland University of Technology gave a lively presentation on the evaluation of comfort in the selection of contact lenses.

Positive Feedback

Using keypads, delegates were able to gain CPD points by answering questions at the end of each presentation. They were also asked to rate the day, with over 74 per cent scoring it 9 or 10/10! One delegate said the content was “really relevant” and the speakers “great”. Another (Nigel from Western Australia) said
it was “the best day of CPD I have attended in 20 years”.

With this endorsement Peter Larsen announced that the SCC will become an annual event, which, in 2013 will be held in early June in Sydney.

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