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Discovering the OPS

Posted By John Hensel, Monday, December 12, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, December 21, 2016

There have always been two sides to me, the artistic and the scientific. As a professional photographer and artist based in Boston, I have passionately pursued my artistic side. Yet I've always found myself spending much of my leisure time reading about science, and imagining what it would be like to make a contribution in that field. So I was delighted to come across the field of Ophthalmic Photography. It offered the opportunity to apply my photographic knowledge to the pursuit of medical advances and to do something good in the world. I was so intrigued that I took the plunge, signing up for the OPS Annual Program to learn all about the field and see whether it could be a good fit for my passions (to make a long story short it was all that I hoped it would be!)

In prepping for the conference, I found the OPS Lending Library as well as the OPS Website to be wonderful resources that allowed me to learn the basics of eye anatomy and ophthalmic photography as I eagerly anticipated getting to the conference to learn more. Sarah Moyer Armstrong was extremely helpful, thorough and informative in her responses to my inquiries on course selection. With Sarah's advice I took the Crash Course, as well as intro courses and workshops on Fundus Photography, Fluorescein Angiography and OCT-A as well as the stunning course "Best of the Best". Upon meeting Sarah at the conference, her warmth, encouragement, and introductions were invaluable. I cannot thank her enough.

 

Myself with Sarah Moyer Armstrong, CRA, OCT-C, FOPS at the OPS Business Meeting (Photo by Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS )

 

Crash Course Class of 2016. It was a lot of fun! (Photo by Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS)

 

As a "newbie" I was amazed at the generous amount of hands-on and small group training, not to mention the one-on-one interactions I was able to have with experts in the field; a special thank you to Bob CavicchiSarah Moyer ArmstrongHouston Sharpe IIIHoang NguyenJim Soque and many others.

I also especially appreciated the combination of lecture courses with associated workshops as it satisfied my curiosity on the science/context/history and how it related to the "how to".

 

 Great Hands-on Training with Instructor Adeline M Stone, COT, CRA, CDOS (Photo by Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS)

 

There were also the fascinating special events such as the Scientific Paper Session and the reception where I was warmly welcomed by my instructors, fellow students, and committee members. I felt excited by the potential to join this community of highly engaged photographers.

And for a fun break and mixer, there was the photo scavenger hunt! Here is my team, literally embodying the OPS!

 

My Scavenger Hunt Team.  (Photo by Chuck Hamm, CRA, OCT-C)

 

Lastly, one particular highlight I will always remember… the incoming President Michael Kelly took the time to give a lecture in the Crash Course. He spoke of the fascinating detective work that goes into imaging difficult cases. I was intrigued by the iterative methodology of combining techniques and subtly altering standard methodologies to get to the bottom of unusual cases. He was speaking my language, and of my dreams to use my photographic knowledge to make a contribution to medicine/science and to helping patients.

 

Thank you Michael Kelly, FOPS (Photo by Alan Frohlichstein, CRA, FOPS)

 

I take my hat off to the incredible all-volunteer effort that produced a conference that was well organized, educational, welcoming, and inspiring. Thank you!

I also have some exciting news since returning home from the conference. I will be beginning my first Ophthalmic Photographer position at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in January, 2017! I can’t wait!

 

Bio: John Hensel has a BA in visual arts from Oberlin College. Currently he is a professional photographer, business owner, and artist living in Boston, MA. He is very excited to begin a career in ophthalmic photography!

Tags:  2016  AAO  blog  Chicago  education  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  Professionalism  Special Events  Study  Travel 

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Permalink | Comments (3)
 

Comments on this post...

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Amy D. Goldstein CRA OCT-C says...
Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Congrats on the new position at Mass Eye and Ear! It was great meeting you at the Annual Program and welcome to the wonderful combined world of art and science that is ophthalmic photography!
Permalink to this Comment }

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James Soque CRA OCT-C COA FOPS says...
Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Congratulations on your position at the Mass Eye and Ear infirmary John. You'll have some big shoes to fill there, but we all have faith in you after meeting you at the Chicago annual program this past October. Please keep us all apprised as to your "lessons learned" and good luck in your endeavors. It was a pleasure to meet you.
Permalink to this Comment }

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John Hensel CRA OCT-C says...
Posted Friday, December 23, 2016
Thanks Amy! It was wonderful getting to meet you, too! 2017 cannot come fast enough, I’m excited to start!

Thanks James! There is so much for me to learn, I cannot wait to start. I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted.
Permalink to this Comment }

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