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OTEurope discusses meeting highlights, support network from the industry and the future with society president, Professor Gabriel van Rij.
"Today, the society's mission is to become the central point of European Ophthalmology primarily through education and communication, and also by fostering closer collaboration with sub-speciality societies and supranational organizations within Europe and beyond," said Prof. Gabriel van Rij. For more information visit http://www.soe2011.org/
To achieve this modern day goal this year's event, the Joint SOE/AAO Congress, will offer delegates a full overview of the latest information from all subspeciality groups. "It is a very high quality meeting because the congress is organized by members of the Scientific Committee through the speciality societies and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). A worldwide contingency of speakers and delegates alike will be representative of more than 70 countries at this year's meeting," Prof. van Rij added.
There is massive support from the industry for the SOE congress, which is one of the reasons its success continues to grow. However, there have been rising levels of concern that there are too many ophthalmology events happening during the course of the year.
With this in mind there is a need to provide a valuable service to congress attendees. Prof. van Rij said, "We have more and more to offer our patients. Great advances in patient care are occurring, which is a trend that has been noticed within the industry. This joint congress between the SOE and AAO has not only enabled more sub-speciality societies from both sides of the Atlantic take part but has also ensured there are contributions from global key opinion leaders, making this the best educational opportunity in the world with something for everyone available."
Additionally, as in previous years, the society will be nurturing the future of the ophthalmology community through a special programme for young ophthalmologists. "The Congress is simply the culmination of our ongoing effort to engage with and to continue to help young ophthalmologists," Prof. van Rij added. "Each year the SOE offers 80 Educational Travel Grants for East European ophthalmologistsintraining. Each National Society chooses a clinician/researcher per year under the age of 45 to deliver the annual SOE lecture, who will receive a Diploma and a free registration for the next Congress of the European Society of Ophthalmology."
The SOE also sponsors several Young European ophthalmologists to take part in the European Leadership Development Programme (EuLDP).
"At the Congress there is a special YO lounge for exchange of ideas and information about fellowships, carreer building and so on. The programme includes EBO sessions on how to pass exams and what can the EBO do for you. A representative of the EuYOs is included in the governing body of the SOE (SOE Board)," said Prof. van Rij.