Today’s changing health care climate requires optometrists to be on top of their game. They must be able to diagnose and treat myriad eye diseases, while keeping up with new research, technology and therapeutics, not to mention knowing about emerging federal regulations. 

To that end, “Vision Expo West includes nearly 400 total hours of continuing education credits and 19 specialty tracks spanning the full scope of eye care—from clinical management of eye diseases and conditions, to practice management and profitability, to optical trends and technologies,” says optometrist Mark Dunbar, co-chairman of VEW’s conference advisory board.

Vision Expo West, held September 17 to 20 in Las Vegas, has a comprehensive lineup of 190 hours of clinically focused CE courses to help eye care practitioners stay ahead of the curve and bring their newfound knowledge back to their practices, Dr. Dunbar says.

"You ask it, we'll talk about it," says Mark Dunbar, OD, of the new, interactive, crowd-sourced learning courses at this year's Vision Expo West.

Have Your Say

The 2014 meeting features something new: crowd-sourced learning courses in which the audience directs the discussion. Attendees will connect to the speakers directly—via audience response system, text messaging and mobile polling—to share ideas and ask questions.  

“You ask it, we’ll talk about it,” Dr. Dunbar says.

Eighteen hours of these interactive courses are offered, including “Discussions in Posterior Segment and Retinal Disease,” presented by Dr. Dunbar and Steven Ferrucci, OD. This course focuses on posterior segment-related diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetes, peripheral retinal disease and pigmented lesions. 

Another highlight in the crowd-sourced track is “Anterior Segment and Contact Lenses,” presented by Louise Sclafani, OD, and Marc Bloomenstein, OD. In this course, the presenters share anterior
segment images and case histories with the audience. Attendees and presenters will jointly determine the diagnosis and craft the appropriate treatment plans, including alternative options.  

Global Contact Lens Forum

Also new this year at VEW: the Global Contact Lens Forum, which kicks off the meeting with four hours of free education that combines the latest scientific content with critical business strategies related to contact lenses, Dr. Dunbar says. 

Courses in this track include: 

• “State of the Contact Lens Industry in 2014,” which discusses GP contact lenses and if they are here to stay or passé, and whether the niche of specialty soft lenses and hybrids can continue to stand up to disposables. 

• “Specialty Contact Lens Practice—How to Make it Happen and How to Succeed” guides attendees on how to set up a specialty lens practice, the latest specialty contact lens designs and technologies, and myopia progression management with contact lenses.

The ‘Greatest’ Courses

The “Greatest” series is also a highlight in this year’s clinical lineup. Within this tremendous track, courses include:

• “The Greatest Anterior Segment Disease and Medical Management of Contact Lenses Course—Ever!” In this presentation, Jack Schaeffer, OD, Charlie Ficco, OD, and Dr. Bloomenstein discuss how new medical vision correction options also bring new complications. The trio offers management strategies for potential complications so attendees will feel comfortable diagnosing and treating even the most challenging cases. 

• “The Greatest Posterior Segment Disease Course—Ever!” by Drs. Dunbar, Ferrucci and Jerome Sherman, OD, will review unique cases and cover a wide array of retinal diseases.

Unique retinal cases and a wide range of topics will be covered in "The Greatest Posterior Segment Disease Course-Ever!"

More in Store

Another clinical course not to miss is the “Amniotic Membrane Workshop,” which is being offered for the first time, Dr. Dunbar says. In this course, Doug Devries, OD, offers a two-hour session/wet lab designed to give attendees a hands-on experience in placing amniotic membranes. Indications for clinical use, proper coding and billing will also be discussed.

VEW rounds out its clinical education with more than 25 hours on glaucoma-related topics, 10 hours on pharmacology, macular degeneration and nutritional supplements, 11 hours devoted to systemic disease and neuro, and more than 60 hours on business solutions. Additionally, 38 hours will be focused on technologies, from the latest advances in fundus imaging and OCT to breakthroughs in cataract surgery and corneal crosslinking.

  Attendees will learn how to treat corneal conditions, like this persistent epithelial defect, in the "Amniotic Membrane Workshop," a hands-on wet lab course. 

“There is truly something for every member of your practice at Vision Expo West,” Dr. Dunbar says.

For more information or to register, go to

CE: How to Provide Four-Star Service


For the first time at Vision Expo West, the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center will share its service delivery expertise in a two-hour continuing education course, “Radar On—Antenna Up: The Ritz-Carlton Method of Fulfilling Unexpressed Wishes and Needs.”

Dr. Dunbar explains: “We wanted to offer educational experiences that went beyond eye care but are valuable in our day-to-day lives. Who better to do that than Ritz-Carlton? Widely recognized as the gold standard in customer service, the Ritz-Carlton knows how to create an unforgettable experience.”