Everyone is a winner at the EURETINA Congress – The Olympic Games for retina specialists

Colin Kerr

Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017

And so, it begins.
EURETINA has returned to the beautiful city of Barcelona for the third time. Barcelona was the venue for the 2nd EURETINA Congress, which was attended by 200 delegates in 2002. In 2005, when the congress returned to Barcelona, there were 850 delegates in attendance. This year the society expects to welcome up to 5,000 delegates from more than 100 different countries for the 17th EURETINA Congress.
This year’s congress will provide delegates with a veritable feast of activities with 11 main sessions, 41 instructional courses, 31 international society symposia, 392 free papers and 909 posters. To find out what is on, go to the EURETINA Programme and also make sure to download the EURETINA app from the App Store
or at
You won’t be able to attend every session, so it’s important to plan your day in advance. To learn more about EURETINA and the services it provides to members, make sure to visit the EURETINA Resource Centre at Booth 119 in the Exhibition Hall.
Wi-fi is available free of charge throughout the congress centre on the EURETINA network (password: EYELEA2017).
Delegates can also join in the conversation on social media by visiting the EURETINA Facebook
page and by following us on Twitter
And don’t worry if you miss some of the sessions you had hoped to attend. Reports on the major sessions will be published in EuroTimes and also on the EuroTimes website at
All of the presentations can be accessed on EURETINA on Demand, which is free of charge to all EURETINA members, and the EURETINA player will provide exclusive video interviews with some of the key opinion leaders attending the congress. Also make sure to visit, an online space that allows EURETINA members to learn in their own space and time.
My good friend and colleague Dr Leigh Spielberg once observed that the conference centre at a major ophthalmological congress is like an Olympic village, with superb facilities, food and drinks and support staff for the doctors, who have come to give their best performances.
But unlike the Olympic Games, EURETINA is not a competition,
and everybody who attends the congress is a winner.
For some delegates, especially the younger delegates attending their first congress, the experience can be daunting.
They may wonder if they will ever reach the level of expertise of some of the key opinion leaders who will discuss the cutting-edge technologies and therapies that are helping to advance our understanding of the retina and the treatment of patients.
I suggest they consider these words of wisdom from the great Irish writer Samuel Beckett.
In one of his last works,
Worstward Ho (1983), Beckett wrote:
“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Beckett’s work is often misinterpreted, but it is possible to argue that what he is suggesting here is that there is no such thing as absolute success or failure.
We can only do the best we can and if we do not succeed in meeting all of our goals, we should always reflect not only on the journey, but the destination.
Enjoy Barcelona!