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
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.
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.