When we arrived at the Leonardo City Hotel in London on November 1st after a long trip down from Edinburgh, we were so pleased to run into UKISCRS Society Manager Gill Wood. She’s so incredible to work with (as ever!) and never fails to bring an energy and enjoyment to the meetings she manages.
Her enthusiasm was matched only by the brilliant programme we were enjoying for the three days. With a little added humour, here’s what Gill had to say leading into the event:
The opening day's BVI-supported sessions focused on the next generation of young ophthalmologists, with an insightful ‘Update on Keratitis’, chaired by Johnson Neo, Sunil Mamtora and Mario Saldanha, in which Lana Fu, Dan Sibley and others zoomed in on keratitis variations and management, backed by Q&As. Following that, delegates were treated to personal insights into ‘Why You Should Do Private Practice’ by Romesh Angunawela, Alastair Stuart, Bernie Chang and Andy Turnbull.
Later in the day, the YOP Social kicked off just after 17:00 and we were able to connect with all the young ophthalmologists in attendance, some of whom we’re already familiar with and some that we’re certain we’ll be working with in the future.
Following the earliest of the morning sessions, we managed to catch Eye News co-editor and UKISCRS President Elect, David Lockington, who introduced some of his highlights for the following two days.
Paul Ursell and David Lockington introduce…
Current UKISCRS President Paul Ursell joined David to introduce the second round of sessions while welcoming the Hellenic Society of Intraocular Implant and Refractive Surgery (HSIOIRS), the official scientific body of Greek ophthalmic surgeons specialising in cataract and refractive surgery, to the meeting.
The United Kingdom and Ireland Society of Ophthalmic Professions parallel event was busy as always all throughout the day, introduced by UKISOP President Rebecca Turner and populated by the beautiful minds of ophthalmologists, scientists, educational directors, oncologists and more.
A huge congratulations went out to Neda Qurashi, who won the UKISOP award for her presentation on a methodical approach to ocular biometry. Discovering that there was little-to-no literature on interpreting ocular biometry in a minimal way, Neda offered just the need-to-know details about biometry interpretation, in order, and the relevance of topography in cases of uncertainty, as well as red flags.
After breaking for lunch and joining the main symposium for Paul Rosen’s Lifetime Achievement Award, UKISOP got straight back into their workshops, rotating between myopia mapping, cataract dry-eye lab, blepharitis and dry eye management and the Oculera VR Visual field analyser.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Rosen
Did you know that Paul Rosen has performed over 25,000 cataract procedures? Not only is he the past President of both ESCRS and UKISCRS, he is currently the Chairman of Trustees for the former and a Trustee of the latter while continuing as a medical editor for Eurotimes. An author of countless papers and UK-wide guidelines, it’s easy to see why he was awarded this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
His awardee lecture, aptly titled ‘TBC...’, offered an overview of his enriching career, the societies he’s been affiliated with, his work overseas in the Falkland Islands and more. Following the talk, he was briefly interviewed by David Lockington, who brought his usual charm and humour to the conversation as they dug a little more into Paul’s opinions on some of the topics covered.
Ridley Eye Foundation Award Lecture
We were so pleased to listen to Alastair Wood, CEO of the Ridley Eye Foundation, and be brought up to speed on the exciting and careful work of the foundation. We even sneaked away from our stand for a little bit to listen in on Professor John Marshall’s award lecture, ‘See what everyone has seen, but think what no one has thought: Innovation’, concluded by Sir Harold Ridley’s son, Nicholas Ridley. Read more about the Ridley Eye Foundation here or in our ‘international’ issue.
The GALA Dinner
The GALA dinner was, if you’ll excuse the pun, an absolute ball. The food was incredible, as were our neighbours at the table from Bausch + Lomb and the entertainment from David Lockington, Gill Wood, Paul Ursell and the wonderful singing of ex-UKEGS President, Philip Bloom.
As expected, we all ended up dancing around the ballroom floor, hands to the shoulder in front, before dispersing out into London for the remainder of the night. A huge thanks goes out to Gill and the UKISCRS Society for putting on such a great show.
As the morning floor was a little quieter than the previous day, we managed to stretch our legs a little and explore the free papers, videos and ‘Innovations In Industry’ sessions. It’s always great to see delegates who we have published in Eye News conducting sessions and giving lectures – it brings about a sense of community.
This is why we were delighted to see Bita Manzouri and yesterday’s lifetime achievement awardee, Paul Rosen, chair talks on start-ups, ideas to investment, AI in triage and ‘How to bring an innovative idea to fruition’ from an international selection of professors, surgeons and scientists.
We also ran into Alastair and Laura again from the Ridley Eye Foundation, whose achievements and projects in Nepal were being discussed the day before. One of the best takeaways from meetings like this is the future editorial content – everybody has a story worth telling, but the Ridley Eye Foundation have many. It was fascinating to sit with Alastair and Laura to hear about their upcoming projects in a little more detail and we’ll be seeing more of them in future issues of Eye News.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Professor Dan Reinstein
Following the hugely successful career of Paul Rosen on Thursday, this second award was given to pioneering LASIK surgeon Dan Reinstein. Together, we celebrate his 30+ year career which has been entirely dedicated to laser eye surgery and has seen Prof Reinstein contribute to numerous publications, over 1000 lectures and develop techniques and technologies which have become industry-standard nationwide.
Another award well deserved and heightened by his characterful, journeying lecture, ‘Three decades of unwavering determination, generous collaboration, and the joyful journey to knowledge: Advancing and elevating the field of refractive surgery together’. As it was the day before, the turnout was great, and hats off to Milind Pande for a wonderful introduction.
EyeSi Competition and ‘BEAT THE PRESIDENT’
Get set. Ready. Go! It’s competition time and everybody had their eyes trained on Haag-Streit’s EyeSi virtual reality simulator competition, during which delegates needed to complete for the best score. #nopressure
Featuring the incredible ‘Top Five’ – Anna Song, Benjamin Blackburn, Hugo Whyte, Rajen Gupta and Pavel Sharma – each moved through the simulation with precision, all the while being championed and encouraged by Paul Ursell.
The results: Anna Song was up first and stole the show with a whopping 89%, followed closely by Benjamin (86%), Hugo (79%), Rajen (73%) and Pavel (63%). A massive congratulations to both Anna and her peers on the stage.
Eye News signed off
After a cracking few days in London, Linda and I were well and truly knackered. Our hands were shaken out, or minds stocked full of editorial ideas and academic insight, and our moods uplifted by the wonderful community of healthcare professionals and industry figures that we met over the three days. As always, we felt welcomed as if we were delegates, and were reminded of how warm and friendly the ophthalmic community is.