Where do I start? The 2012 OPS Annual Program was my first ever
OPS meeting. I did so much, learned so much, met so many wonderful people and
had so many educational & networking opportunities, that it’s hard to
narrow exactly what to talk about. So I have to start at the beginning.
(Sarah Moyer, CRA, OCT-C)
I attended RIT and graduated in 2005 with degrees in both
Advertising Photography and Biomedical Photography. I worked as a professional
portrait photographer on the east coast for six years. Last year in 2011,
things changed. My boyfriend was offered a job to work as a contractor at
Apple. Yes, that Apple. So we jumped at the opportunity and moved to Silicon
Valley in California. I struggled to find work with a high end portrait studio
and struggled even harder to start up my own business in a new city, 3000+
miles away from my old clients. Thankfully, I found a job posting as a
receptionist for a group of Retina Specialists. I was hired and within a month
my role of receptionist had already started to shift to that of Ophthalmic
From my time at RIT, I felt that everything I learned was in
preparation for my CRA. With that certification, comes not just a pretty piece
of paper and bragging rights, but the proof that I am a competent and accomplished
ophthalmic photographer. So I joined the OPS and got myself back on track. But
there is only so much a person can do with a book in front of them.
When I got the paperwork in the mail for the Annual Program, I
knew I had to go. Flipping through those pages and looking at the tremendous
variety and substance of courses offered, I knew that I had to attend. But in 7
years, I had already fallen so far behind my fellow RIT grads. To put it into
perspective, two of my fellow classmates were teaching at this meeting.
And here I was just starting out. Silicon Valley is a very expensive place to
live and RIT is a very expensive school to go to. So I couldn’t afford to fly
across the country, stay in a ritzy hotel, plus pay for the classes that I
wanted to attend. My only option was to apply for the Johnny Justice, Jr.
Scholarship Award. You could not believe my joy and amazement when I got the
call that I had won! It was a little nerve wracking and I have to admit that I
had tremendous amounts of butterflies in my stomach and a serious case of stage
fright when I stood up in front of all of the attendants at the awards
presentation Friday evening. But I would do it again and again for the
educational opportunity that winning the scholarship afforded me. Thanks again
to the committee for choosing me! I am that much closer to getting both my CRA
and OCT-C certifications.
(Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS)
I had an ambitious course load that I wanted to take at this
year’s meeting and I think in the end I attended over 25 credits worth of educational
classes and workshops. From the basics of OCT and FA to advanced
interpretation, fundus autofluorescence, retinal surgical videos, anterior
segment OCT’s and FA’s, diagnostic B-scans, wide angle imaging and learning
about different disease processes like diabetes and myopic degeneration. It was
an amazing educational opportunity that I can never replace. I never learned
about OCT scans in school, since it was just an emerging technology, so I
decided to concentrate on that and took as many courses involving OCT imaging
as possible. I attended classes and workshops on SD OCT, descriptive
interpretation of OCT, anterior segment OCT, 3D OCT, all the way to Master OCT.
(Amy Goldstein, BFA,
I tried to fit in as much as I could into the 5 days that I was in
Chicago. I went to the "Friends of the OPS” lunch with another newcomer and met
with Paula Morris and Kirsten Locke, the then current President and the soon to
be future Vice President of the OPS respectively. I got to chat with these
lovely ladies about myself, them, the OPS organization, work, being an
ophthalmic photographer, certification, life, you name it. What a great way for
a newbie like myself to get to know all about the OPS while getting some
seriously good advice for my future as an ophthalmic imager.
One of those fellow RIT grads that I mentioned earlier, Sarah
Moyer, invited me to attend a meeting for the Professional Development
Committee. The PDC is a great way to get your toes wet in the OPS. Speaking of
getting your toes wet, we ran down the rainy streets of Chicago to the nearby
Marriott Hotel and had a great chat. I found out all about the PDC and what
they do. Starting in January, if you check out our Facebook page, you just
might see me helping to organize some of the great activities that we have going
on there! In addition to running the OPS Facebook page, the PDC is responsible
for the OPS blog (that you are reading right now!) During the Annual Program,
they organized activities like the Personal Photo Night and the Photo Scavenger
Hunt. They also help out with special projects that other OPS Committees need
more help with.
(Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS)
Beside the tremendous education that I received from attending
these classes, the highlight of my trip was the amazing speeches on new and
emerging technologies given during the Scientific Paper Sessions, not to
mention the Donald M. Gass lecture on Azoor, given by Dr. Heckenlively. It is
truly astounding to think about how far ophthalmic imaging has come and where
it might be going in the future.
The 2012 OPS Annual Program was an amazing educational opportunity
for me. The friendliness of everyone I met was encouraging, not to mention the
level of knowledge from all of the teachers and presenters was outstanding.
Again, thanks to the JJJSA committee for making it possible for people like me
to attend. Next year’s mid-year meeting is being held in San Francisco, which
is only an hour away from where I live. You better believe you will see me in
attendance, getting my knowledge on!
Amy Désirée Goldstein, BFA,
BS, has been working at Northern California Retina Vitreous Associates in
Mountain View, CA as an ophthalmic photographer for over a year. When she isn't
photographing eye balls, she enjoys hiking, yoga, meditation, kung fu and