I love a conference. The chance to drop into multiple presentations to hear about ongoing research, new treatments for eye disease and different approaches to managing challenging patients. Not to mention the opportunity to meet up with new and old friends.
Late last year I attended the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmology’s (RANZCO) 50th Annual Scientific Congress in Adelaide. Among several fascinating sessions was a breakfast symposium, sponsored by Allergan and featuring neuroscientist Dr Fiona Kerr. Dr Kerr spoke about the power we all have to connect at a deeper level via gaze and touch. Her main focus was on the superpower that you have as eye care professionals to change the behaviour of patients via these means, in an effort to prevent, slow the progression or treat eye disease.
You could have heard a pin drop in the room as Dr Kerr spoke about the positive chemical reactions she has observed occurring (via brain scans) when people look each other directly in the eye as they communicate…
You could have heard a pin drop in the room as Dr Kerr spoke about the positive chemical reactions she has observed occurring (via brain scans) when people look each other directly in the eye as they communicate… and the extraordinary behavioural change that can result. Her presentation was a great reminder of the need to push the keyboard or screen away whether we are speaking with patients, colleagues, friends or family. Interestingly, she said that as a consulting health professional, you will enjoy as much of a ‘chemical rush’ as your patients do when you use your gaze as a communication tool.
You can read all about your superpower, and how you can harness it to achieve treatment compliance, in our lead story.
Speaking of conferences, it’s exciting to see the details coming through on O=MEGA19, in Melbourne from 19–21 July. Bringing together the largest clinical conference and trade exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time, this international event is an excellent example of what can be achieved when industry leaders work together to meet the needs of the eye care sector and community as a whole.
I’m looking forward to seeing you there.