Attendees in the Sidney Marcus Auditorium awaited the start of the sold-out session, “Harnessing the Pluses of Technology.”
SECO 2012 was true to this year’s theme, delivering “Education Plus” to approximately 8,000 eye care professionals who descended on Atlanta in March for an unparalleled meeting they will never forget.

From education to exhibits to the more than 50 social and affiliate events, SECO 2012 offered an extra “plus” in every way imaginable for attendees to get the most out of their meeting experience. 

SECO designed an exceptional CE program this year, with nearly 400 hours of continuing education, special sessions, hourly lectures, hands-on workshops, and certification reviews for optometrists and allied ophthalmic professionals (AOPs).

Optometrists attending SECO 2012 had access to a world-class continuing education program, featuring 10 all-new educational tracks, 106 courses led by the world’s leading optometry experts, and 16 hours of free special sessions.

Course Highlights 
SECO 2012 also offered a big plus in technology, with interactive text polling and cutting edge courses––including the innovative and hands-on special session

“Harnessing the Pluses of Technology,” which provided audience members the knowledge to implement the latest electronic gadgets and programs in their practices. In this session, Justin Bazan, O.D., Nathan Bonilla-Warford, O.D., Leonard Press, O.D., Adam Parker, O.D., and Walt Mayo, O.D., explored how to more effectively use social media, online payment systems and electronic health records (EHR) software to provide better patient care, expand a practice and increase revenue.

The outstanding education continued for attendees with courses such as “Rapid Fire Retinal Rounds” featuring ophthalmologists Virgil Alfaro, M.D., and Eric Jablon, M.D., who discussed several recent advancements in retinal disease management, including some of the latest and most effective treatment options for macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion and neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

In the sold-out special session “Current Quandries in Glaucoma,” audience members emailed their questions to an all-star panel that offered expert insight into some of the hottest topics in glaucoma. Topics ranged from the importance of taking blood pressure in the diagnosis and management of glaucoma to the relevance of visual field testing for glaucoma patients. This memorable session featured experts Danica Marrelli, O.D., Murray Fingeret O.D., Daryl Mann, O.D., Michael Chaglasian O.D., and Kevin Lavery, M.D.

Another educational “plus” was the special session “What Lies Ahead,” which featured Michelle Welch, O.D., Ben Gaddie, O.D., and Richard Castillo O.D., D.O., who expertly tackled the topics of how primary eye care providers are becoming increasingly more involved in specialized diagnostic testing and advanced procedures.

Top-Tier Tech
As today’s technology continues to change at lightning speed, SECO stayed ahead of the curve by launching the first SECO iPad app, which offered attendees the unprecedented ability to manage course schedules and download free course handouts on site.


Virgil Alfaro, M.D., discussed treatment options for macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion.

Michael Chaglasian, O.D., Danica Marrelli, O.D., Kevin Lavery, M.D., Murray Fingeret, O.D., and Daryl Mann, O.D., presented the special session “Current Quandaries in Glaucoma.”
SECO also provided free Wi-Fi in public areas of the Georgia World Congress Center, allowing attendees the ability to download any updated course handouts and connect with the new social media station.

To ensure attendees accurately and easily tracked their courses, SECO also implemented a new verification of attendance voucher system, which enabled attendees to download or print their CE certificate within two hours of taking a course, thus making SECO the first optometric continuing education meeting to offer such a service. 

Optometry’s Marketplace featured approximately 300 industry-leading companies and offered yet another real plus for attendees who got firsthand looks at the latest products and technologies on the market. The exhibit hall also featured the Advanced Media Learning Center, including 100 multimedia educational posters, self-assessment exams, computers with Internet access and peer comparison surveys that continued the learning experience.

AOPs and Students
SECO also offered stellar learning opportunities for both AOPs and students during this year’s Congress. AOPs benefited from 208 educational course hours, with 124 of these course hours at no additional charge. From basic education to hands-on workshops to certification reviews, AOPs had the opportunity to expand and sharpen their skills.

Students also had a program custom-tailored to their specific needs, including a full-day of free education that featured these innovative courses: “Hot Topics: From the Classroom to Practice,” “Rational Prescribing and Prescription Writing” and “Glaucoma from the Classroom to the Exam Room.” Because SECO appreciates the time and effort required to attend optometry school, students who attended all three Student Education Program courses received a $100 cash stipend in appreciation for their participation.

Social Events
And finally, what would SECO be without the signature social events and networking opportunities that attendees have come to expect?

This year, SECO didn’t disappoint, starting off with the opening reception, optometry student party, and the AOP networking reception.

The Saturday Night Party capped off the festivities with a night of great music by Broadway-turned--country-star Laura Bell Bundy at the Georgia Aquarium.

For those of you who attended SECO 2012, the benefits of your experience will be reaped in your practice for years to come. On behalf of the continuing education committee, thank you for your attendance, and I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta in 2013!