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My First OPS Meeting

Posted By Amy Goldstein, Friday, December 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, December 14, 2012

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 Photographer.

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, BS)

 

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 crocheting.

Tags:  AAO  blog  Chicago  education  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  JJJ Award  Johnny Justice Jr. Scholarship  Meaningful Use  PDC  Professional Development Committee  Travel 

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Permalink | Comments (3)
 

Comments on this post...

...
Paula F. Morris CRA FOPS says...
Posted Friday, December 14, 2012
Thanks for the nice blog, Amy. Welcome to the OPS - we are delighted you found us and look forward to seeing you at many more educational programs where you can expand your knowledge and network with wonderful colleagues. The PDC is an amazing group of cool, dedicated, brilliant folk like yourself, so it is an excellent choice for jumping in and getting involved! It can be just the beginning of long service!
Permalink to this Comment }

...
Robert W. Cavicchi, CRA, FOPS says...
Posted Friday, December 14, 2012
Amy,

What a pleasure to read about your first OPS meeting. Almost as pleasnt as watching you introduced/accept your JJJA schoalrship in Chicago.
Welocome to the profession, the OPS and as a friend.
Hope to see you get more involved in the Society as your career moves forward.
Thanks,
bob
Permalink to this Comment }

...
Tom Reeves CRA COT says...
Posted Monday, December 17, 2012
Great post Amy! It was a pleasure getting to know you and a joy to read your writing. Best wishes in all your future endeavors!
Permalink to this Comment }

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