Last year I used two of my hard-earned vacation days to attend the inaugural meeting of Millennial Eye Live in Austin, Texas. The meeting was unlike any scientific conference or medical meeting I had ever attended, and as soon as it was over I was already making plans to attend this year’s meeting in Hollywood.
Here are Five Reasons Why I’ll be at Millennial Eye Live in Hollywood!
1 – All-Star Ophthalmology Faculty
Millennial Eye Live is not organized by a board of trustees who have been practicing ophthalmology for thousands of years, but is run by a group of up-and-coming, (dare I say “hip?”), leaders in the field. Among the meeting faculty are George Waring IV, who initially impressed me when I was interviewing for residency and continues to do so, inventors like Ike Ahmed (read: the Ahmed Segment), and about two dozen innovative, pushing-the-envelope ophthalmologists succeeding in various academic and private practice settings, including Steven Dell, William Trattler, Damien Goldberg, Robert Weinstock, Neda Shamie, Gary Wortz, William Wiley, Preeya Gupta, and MANY more).
2 – Financial interests? No problem! Do share!
I always find it ridiculous when speakers must disclose every conceivable financial interest and participants are kept isolated and quarantined from industry representatives. The reality is that medicine is not practiced in a bubble, free from all types of industry influence and potential bias, but to the contrary, device and pharmaceutical companies play an important role in the practice of medicine. At Millennial Eye Live, industry sponsors are available to answer questions or demo their products, and are even given a few minutes at the podium to share what’s new in their arena. The leaders in ophthalmology are often those early adopters that participate in clinical trials or new device development, and at Millennial Eye Live, these very leaders take the podium, sharing their experiences and teaching others how to successfully work with industry to invent, perform clinical trials, seek FDA approval, and bring to market the cutting edge devices and drugs which will be game-changers in tomorrow’s ophthalmology practice.
3 – Meeting content you actually want to hear!
If you’re anything like me, browsing the two-inch thick meeting program at large, formal ophthalmology meetings can be like deciding what to eat at a fast-food restaurant. “Well, I’m here and I’ve gotta eat, so I guess I’ll go to boring lecture A and dull symposium B…if only there were presentations I WANTED to hear.” Well, you can put down the value-menu cheeseburger, because this meeting has the content you crave. Check out a few of these presentation titles on the meeting agenda, including: “The Future of Presbyopia,” “Glaucoma…The Old Kid on the Block,” and “What’s Hot, What’s Not.”
4 – Don’t know anyone? That’s ok! Soon enough you will!
As I mentioned previously, last year I attended Millennial Eye Live as a first year resident. I didn’t know a single person at the meeting, but I didn’t mind…I was there to observe and learn as much as possible, even if it meant introducing myself…alot! Fortunately, the meeting is designed as one big, weekend networking and social event. Microphones are placed every 2-3 seats throughout the meeting room, and audience participation is not only welcome, but expected. Between sessions and in the evenings, participants share dinner and drinks, and before long, many have the chance to meet, chat, exchange info, and connect. And if you don’t know anyone, come say hi, tweet, or email me, and let me know you’re coming!
5 – No need to hide your smartphone, tech and social media is encouraged!
At last year’s meeting, Millennial Eye Live chair George Waring IV shocked everyone when he pulled out his smartphone, took a selfie on the stage, and tweeted the pic to his followers using the #MELiveAustin hashtag. Dr. Waring informed everyone that if they weren’t already on Twitter, that he expected them to sign up right away, as Twitter would be a main tool for audience participation at the meeting. He was right. During breaks and even in the middle of podium presentations, the live Twitter feed could be viewed from the Millennial Eye digital app and on the projected screen, as meeting participants shared the best (and most comical) moments/pearls of Millennial Eye Live. A total of 728 tweets from 104 individuals were published using the hashtag #MELiveAustin. This year’s meeting will undoubtedly have an equally strong social media presence, and this year, I am thrilled to be invited to share my thoughts with #MELiveHollywood on online content creation and social media in a duly-titled presentation, “Let’s Get Social!”
These are just five reasons why I’ll be at Millennial Eye Live 2015 in Hollywood, but this list is nowhere near complete. Please share…why will YOU be at Millennial Eye Live this year?
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