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Welcome to the Ophthalmic Photographers' Society Blog! The posts on this blog are authored by a myriad of individuals in Ophthalmology. Posts are not always authored by those directly affiliated with the Ophthalmic Photographers' Society and opinions may not be those of the OPS; however, all posts are submitted to a review process and have been approved by the OPS before being posted. Comments are open to the public. New posts are added every Friday, so make sure to check back often!


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Who What Where and Why of the Board of Certification

Posted By Denice Barsness, CRA, COMT, ROUB, CDOS, Thursday, June 11, 2015
Updated: Friday, June 19, 2015


In this age of social media, webinars and computers on your wrist, there is still a profound value in face-to-face collaboration. To this end, the BOC met in Ann Arbor on April 24 and 25 to work together on a series of projects demanding board attention. For those of you who are unsure about the role of the Board of Certification, this board was founded in 1978 with the mission of creating a nationally recognized certification (the CRA) and for the continuous maintenance of all certification programs. Out of collaborative efforts such as these was born the now defunct COPRA, and the majestically current and relevant OCT-C exams. These exams don’t happen in a vacuum. There is no agency to vendor out the continuous evolution that our programs demand. It takes the dedication and hard work of the members of the BOC in partnership with the Board of Directors and the collaborative efforts of many to keep our CRA and OCT-C current, viable, and desirable.

At this meeting the CRA Guide was examined and modified, work was done on the application database, policies and procedures were edited for application of electronic methods to the testing procedure(s). Section chairs met in small groups to brainstorm the streamlining of many facets of the exam process. Discussions were conducted on how to improve the application procedures to include electronic scoring of performance exams to expedite the outcomes. The Election committee met to discuss upcoming elections and means to attract qualified, dedicated and ambitious OPS members to the board. Methods to post CEC approved meetings on the website in a more efficient manner were discussed.

Plans for upcoming CRA examination in Ann Arbor June 26 and possible venues for 2016 were reviewed. The production of the CRA and OCT-C examinations are the prime directive of the BOC. Their "care and feeding” occupies the majority of BOC business throughout the year.

Serving on a board is a lifelong bonding experience. The contributions of all boards to the society are immeasurable, as are the relationships and friendships that spring from giving back to a professional organization. As a member of an OPS board, in some fashion, for the past 33 years I can certainly attest to that! I urge everyone out there in OPS land to consider how you can impact your professional world - and make some mighty fine friends in the process!

Denice Barsness, CRA, COMT, ROUB, CDOS
Past president, OPS
Current BOC member

Tags:  Ann Arbor  blog  BOC  education  Educational Meeting  Meaningful Use  Professional Development Committee  Professionalism 

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Posted By Denice Barsness, Friday, December 19, 2014
Updated: Friday, December 19, 2014

Who knew that $12.00 an hour could bring tears of joy to a future Don Wong award winner?   It could and it did to this young gal, fresh out of high school where she had fallen in love with photography while hiding out with the other lost souls in the school darkroom.  

At 22 with no career prospects, no health insurance and juggling three jobs to support her toner habit, she took a chance on Henry Ford hospital and Mark Croswell (past BOD member) took a chance on her.   She showed her mettle by braving the public transportation system of inner Detroit to get to work when her car broke down ( and you think YOU have a tough time getting to work!  )  Under Mark’s kind mentoring she built up her resume, her portfolio, and her resolve to make a name for herself in ophthalmic photography.   Several years later she landed a position at the Kellogg Eye Center where she worked as a Ophthalmic Imaging Specialist for just over two years and then moved on to the Director of Ophthalmic Ultrasound at the same University.  

While I’m sure it is daunting to walk the in the footsteps of Csaba Martonyi and Richard Hackle, she’s proven that it’s Girls Rule at Kellogg Eye.   She’s racked up several impressive certifications, awards and was even a member of the Board of Certification.    She is also a founding member of the inaugural Professional Development Committee.    In her spare time she finished her bachelor’s degree and went on to her Masters of Public Health at the University of Michigan.   After work you could find her working as a volunteer tutor or training as a disaster relief volunteer for the Red Cross.   I first met Alexis in 2011 while watching her run away with the best Scientific Session presentation.  I predicted from the audience that this OPS member would walk away with the award, and I was right!

She loves to travel and is currently serving in the Peace Corps with her husband.  She relocated January of 2014 to a small island called Maewo, part of the island nation of Vanuatu.  Her poise and command of the podium went well beyond her years and her trajectory speaks to her hard work and tenacity.  I predict we haven’t seen the best of Alexis yet.

Check out her website ( )to see some of the amazing projects she is involved with!

Tags:  blog  education  Interactive  New Life  PDC  Peace Corps  Professional Development Committee  Travel 

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How Was Your Trip?

Posted By Rachel A. Hollar CRA OCT-C, Friday, October 24, 2014

Good Morning Readers!


Another wonderful AAO meeting has just come to an end and we all would love to hear about your experiences over the academy week.  


Chicago is an amazing city! What did you see or do while in the city? Did you take any picture? Have any fun stories? 


For many of us, it was our first meeting. What did you think? Did you have any trouble finding your classes? Did you make new friends? Was this your first time being surrounded by like-minded photographers? 


Many of us were active participants at this event. Some spoke during lectures, others assisted with workshops, others still helped coordinate events and others took pictures. What was your experience? Was this your first time participating in that way? What did you do and why? How did the experience effect you and what would you say to others considering the same?

Please do not hesitate to submit your story to this blog - we want to hear from you!

To submit your stories for this blog, contact me, Rachel Hollar, at (In the subject bar please reference the OPS Blog or AAO Chicago 2014.)

I am happy to answer any questions you might have about writing for the OPS Blog and look forward to reading about all of your experiences.

Tags:  AAO  blog  Chicago  education  Educational Meeting  Interactive  PDC  Professional Development Committee  Professionalism  Travel 

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A Moment to Reflect

Posted By Paula Morris, Friday, October 10, 2014
Updated: Thursday, October 9, 2014

Personal satisfaction is the most important ingredient in success”
Denis Waitley

I have been composing a course for the OPS annual program, and the process has led me to consider the things about my job that bring me satisfaction. I think it’s a good thing to stop and “check in” with yourself occasionally to consider how things are going, and look for the positives instead of always measuring by the negatives – which I am wont to do more often than not these days.

A common theme amongst ophthalmic imagers is how busy we are each day! There is hardly time to take appropriate bio breaks or keep up with all the data entry, study submission, and paper work that is an integral part of the job. One problem is that there are SO many things affecting work flow that are often out of our control: size of clinics, length of clinics, complicated patients, complicated patients bunched up into single clinics, having to travel to satellites – all things that can add to the stress and pressure of an already demanding job.

So when you have a chance to catch your breath during the day, where can you go, what can you to do relax a bit and enjoy the fruits of your labors? Something that is fun but work related that will be seen in a friendly light by management?

How about sitting back and admiring some of the amazing images you have been taking in the course of patient care! What about that fascinating fluorescein sodium angiogram you did this morning of ampiginous? Or the super cool OCT you did last week of vitreomacular traction? You should talk about them with your physicians (remind them of what a truly talented imager you are), but also share those images with your colleagues! You can think that an image is amazing, but it is always nice to hear someone else say it as well. Discussing images and patients with each other is a great way to expand knowledge about all aspects of serving ophthalmic patients.


To me, the recognition of a job well done is very satisfying. Outstanding imaging is what we do and being able to share those images outside of the database, and perhaps beyond the physician that ordered them, is a great way to gain recognition and feel good about your talents and abilities. And at the meeting in Chicago we will have the opportunity to learn just how to do that!

It has been SO gratifying that the American Society of Retina Specialists sought out the OPS and approached us with a unique collaboration a few years ago– soliciting outstanding images our members produce for submission to the ASRS Image Bank. There has been information about this opportunity on the OPS website, but now that link is active and you as an OPS member have access to their site and can learn more about the Image Bank project. And even easier, a representative of the Image Bank will be in the OPS meeting registration area on Friday to answer your questions about this unique program and how you might participate. One more cool thing to check out during our annual program.

Armed with a laptop and internet access, the Image Bank rep can tell you more about this opportunity and show you how to upload images. Why not stop by if you have a chance and see if this is a project you can participate in!

Check it out! See you in Chicago at the OPS annual program!

Tags:  AAO  American Society of Retina Specialists  blog  Chicago  Educational Meeting  PDC  Professional Development Committee  Special Events  Travel 

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Posted By Noelle Pensec, Friday, April 25, 2014


ICOP couldn’t come to Toronto at a better time: May brings spring weather and exciting events to this vibrant city. One of the biggest events in the city this time of year is the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography festival. This festival, an annual Toronto event throughout the month of May, is the largest photography event in the WORLD and a premiere Canadian cultural affair. CONTACT features over 1500 artists and 175 venues across the Greater Toronto area.



CONTACT 2014 features thirteen Primary Exhibitions, hosted at various galleries and museums. There are nine Public Installations of photography which exhibit photographs in high profile public areas. However the Open Exhibitions were the original spark to this festival and are its driving force. CONTACT was founded with an open call for all to participate and display photographic work alongside established professionals, a great opportunity for emerging artists. The Open Exhibitions are hosted at over 140 locales including community centers, educational institutions, restaurants, bars, cafes, retail stores, and many other locations. Many of these Exhibitions are found along Queen Street, the city center of music, fashion, and visual arts. Of the Open Exhibitions about thirty are selected as Featured Exhibitions.



One of the CONTACT 2014 Featured Exhibitions may be of special interest to the self-professed “stereo geeks” among us. Double the Pleasure, Triple the Fun is a collection of historical stereo photographs hosted at the historic Campbell House Museum. The exhibit features stereographs dating back to the 1850s and a collection of historical and contemporary stereo viewers with which to view them. Campbell House has agreed to extend their hours beyond their posted closing time of 4:30pm on Saturday, May 3rd (just after ICOP concludes!) to accommodate ICOP attendees. Just three stops on the Subway from the ICOP venue! For more information about the exhibit, click here. RSVP here for the After-ICOP event!


Visit the CONTACT website for more information. The interactive map is a great guide to the various exhibitions throughout the city. Take advantage of this exciting event during your Toronto stay!

Tags:  blog  Contact  education  Educational Meeting  ICOP  Interactive  Mid-Year  PDC  Professional Development Committee  Special Events  Stereo  Toronto  Travel 

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