Editorial: Re-inventing gatherings

EuroTimes Editorial December 2020/January 2021 Volume 25 Issue 12/Volume 26 Issue 1

Sorcha Ni Dhubhghaill

Posted: Thursday, December 3, 2020

Sorcha Ní Dhubhghaill

It is 2020, and we’ve all had to re-invent gatherings. ESCRS is no exception.
The old adage that ‘you can’t be in two places at once’ suddenly no longer applies. Over the course of the weekend at the ESCRS Virtual Congress, there were four live streams and Q&A sessions. And you can watch all of them. Because anything you missed live is available online for you to peruse at your own convenience.
The congress officially opened on the Friday afternoon and one of the standouts was the Ridley Medal Lecture by David F. Chang. It was an amazing and humble presentation given by one of the world’s best surgeons on how we can learn about efficiency, safety and sustainability in cataract surgery from the incredible work in Aravind Eye Hospital. I can’t look at disposable instruments the same way since!
This was followed by a great session on dealing with the traumatised cornea. At the same time, I was speaking at a really engaging ESCRS/WSPOS session about paediatric intraocular lenses. Normally I would have to miss the parallel sessions but with the virtual platform I could just watch what I missed.
Bruce Allan’s approach to corneal perforations was a real “must see” for me. Another standout moment was the Heritage Lecture, this year given by Theo Seiler. He walked us through the history of Laser Vision Correction and to hear it from someone so key in its development and seeing how far we have come from the “horrors of the past” was a treat.
But the sessions I keep coming back to are the instructional courses. The density of information here meant that it took me a few views to absorb it all. It’s like having a library at your disposal. Tricky surgical approaches are easier to learn when you can slow the presentation down and for me the course “Strategies and techniques for IOL exchange” really benefited from this.
So while the congress is officially over, its remains online until the end of 2020. Make use of it in your own time because it really is a superb way to absorb all the material.
That being said, it would be nice to see each other in person again in 2021.
Sorcha Ní Dhubhghaill is Professor of Anterior Segment Surgery at Antwerp University Hospital (UZA) and a Consultant Surgeon at the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery (NIIOS)