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ICOP is Coming!

Posted By Paula F. Morris, CRA, FOPS, Friday, January 10, 2014
Updated: Thursday, January 9, 2014

It’s 2014, and there are those of us – I am of course including me- who are happy to see certain events of 2013 move into history. Some events of last year were life changing, some were life threatening, some were delightful, and some were mundane at best.

And of course, some years hold more promise of adventure and delight than others: personal milestones, extraordinary occasions, and reunions with old friends. For me, 2014 is one of those special years! 2014 is an ICOP year!

ICOP, the International Conference on Ophthalmic Photography, is truly an extraordinary occasion. Traditionally, this meeting only happens once every 4 years, (although we had a blip in the schedule because of the global financial crisis in 2010 so the meeting was held one year later in 2011), and it is a wonderful combination of educational program, building community with international colleagues, and in some cases, adventures in new locales. ICOP meetings have been a partnership between the OPS and ophthalmic imaging societies from other countries since its beginning.

There is a draw and a charm to the idea of meeting with international colleagues, and having the opportunity to speak face to face about the delights and challenges of our profession. It is always surprising – and exhilarating - to learn about different cultures and at the same time discover that human nature and the frustrations of ophthalmic imaging are the same everywhere!

It makes me smile when I think that the first ICOP I attended was in Toronto, in 1994, and ICOP 2014 will be in Toronto again! Twenty years later, I can’t wait to see if the subways are still as beautiful, (seriously – white and light blues tiles), the neighborhoods are still as diverse, and the pubs are just as friendly. And that is before I ever step into the meeting! ICOP meetings themselves are a grand mix of education, intellectual sharing, laughter and fun.

 Toronto 1994

Since 1994, it has been my pleasure to attend ICOP Edinburgh, ICOP Adelaide, ICOP San Francisco, and ICOP Oxford. Each had its own delights and special memories – often related to the "cutting edge” topics that were presented. At my first ICOP, I was privileged to make a presentation in the name of the OPS Fellows with Csaba Martonyi and Paul Montague. The topic:”The Ethics of Digital Imaging”. The issues: could/would digital angiographic images be manipulated to show pathology where none existed? Would medical digital images hold up in a court of law? Would digital images be as secure as negatives? These questions may seem laughable now, but they were serious considerations in 1994, just after the infamous Time vs. Newsweek magazine cover photos where Time manipulated a raw image of a mug shot to a darkened and menacing image of O.J. Simpson’s face vs. a much lighter, less threatening, unaltered version that Newsweek used.


Each ICOP meeting has been unique and exciting and compelling – that wondrous new technology called Optical Coherence Tomography was a hot topic in both Edinburgh and Adelaide, as was the re-emergence of ICG angiography as a digital application instead of infra-red film. San Francisco had wonderful presentations on the "new” anti-VEGF drugs and the use of OCT imaging in treating AMD. And Oxford featured presentations on handheld instruments for retinal imaging and retinal oximetry. Each meeting was filled with exciting presentations. So many opportunities to learn about ophthalmic imaging on a global perspective!

And now ICOP Toronto, 2014, offers just as much promise, and more! Because this meeting will be in North America, in the beautiful city of Toronto, Canada, it will be as easily accessible as any other OPS annual or mid-year meeting, (as long as your passport is in order if you aren’t Canadian!) And for just that reason, because many ICOP attendees will hold dual certifications by both OPS and JCAHPO, the Board of Education is applying for CECs from both organizations!

Ophthalmic imagers have an affinity for each other – we have so much in common. We are by nature inquisitive, artistic, technologically inclined, and good communicators – all traits necessary for succeeding at our craft, no matter where we practice it. Ophthalmic imagers make friends with other imagers easily. It is little wonder then, that some of my favorite folks live "across the pond” in any direction, and my family and I have enjoyed the hospitality of ICOP friends in Canada, England, Scotland, China and Australia! OPS meetings have opened doors for me in so many ways – ICOP meetings have expanded my horizons even further.


I am pretty excited about ICOP Toronto and all the wonderful things it has to offer. I’m sure everyone else is too.

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Denice A. Barsness, CRA, COMT, ROUB, CDOS, FOPS says...
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014
Last time I was in Toronto for the ICOP meeting I learned I was pregnant with my son Thor, who is now a freshman in college.

O' Canada! has it been that long?

Denice Barsness
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