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Get together: following the launch of the new CET cycle, the College of Optometrists' conference, Optometry Tomorrow, offers practitioners an opportunity to get ahead in their professional development.

OPTOMETRY TOMORROW 2013 is set to be the biggest ever annual conference hosted by the College of Optometrists. Taking place on March 17-18 in Nottingham, the conference will have more seminars, lectures and workshops on offer than ever before, with something of interest for all optometrists, whether they're new to the profession or have been practising for years. Being the first College conference in the new CET cycle, it offers optometrists the chance to earn between 10 and 15 interactive CET points over the two days.

On the agenda

The conference includes seminars on a range of eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, myopia and dry eye. There are also more practical sessions available on clinical decision-making, techniques for effective eye examinations for young children and 'five things you can do to ensure your ophthalmologist writes back to you,' which is being presented by Wendy Newsom. Ms Newsom has been working in optometry for over 20 years and is now a lead Moorfield's optometrist, based in Bedford Hospital.

Speaking about her forthcoming session at the conference, Ms Newsom said: "Good communication between primary and secondary care is essential in providing timely and safe referral of a patient with a suspected eye condition. The ability of an optometrist to refer a patient accurately will depend on their experience and an up-to-date knowledge of eye conditions, on their ability to take a good history; conduct an eye examination, and interpret the results."

Her session will teach optometrists how to build "good communication links to ophthalmology and GPs to improve the referral pathways in their local area ... and improve the patient experience." Other sessions include 'one in 10: eye care and dementia,' which explores the relationship between dementia and eye sight, and 'grease and economic stability--lids and blepharitis in practice,' which will teach optometrists all they need to know about eyelids.

As well as these practical sessions, there will also be a range of research posters on offer to update optometrists on the latest optometric research. The posters will demonstrate the direct impact of the researcher's work on optometric practice.

Rewarding excellence

At the conference, the College will be recognising work that has had a significant impact on research and scientific knowledge, or on clinical practice in optometry, in related fields of vision care. The inaugural Arthur Bennett Prize has been awarded to Dr Jeremy Guggenheim, who will be giving a lecture on 'The paradox of myopia.' The session will explore why some children develop myopia while others don't, and will look at the findings of some of the latest research in this area.

Speaking ahead of his forthcoming lecture, Mr Guggenheim said: "Twin studies show conclusively that refractive error is largely determined by genetics. Epidemiological studies documenting the tsunami-like rise in the prevalence of myopia in parts of Asia show conclusively that refractive error is largely determined by non-genetic, environmental factors. Bizarrely, as this lecture will discuss, both of these viewpoints are probably correct."

Industry on hand

As well as a range of seminars and lectures, attendees will be able to meet representatives from a large number of organisations and companies from across the eye care sector, including Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Alcon and Topcon, who are taking part in the trade exhibition. Delegates will be able to try out the newest optometric equipment and find out about the latest eye care innovations.

For further details about the conference visit www.optometrytomorrow.org
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Title Annotation:PREVIEW; continuing education and training
Publication:Optometry Today
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 8, 2013
Words:572
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