Alumni-Meeting 2023

Exciting lectures at the alumni meeting of the Aalen Friends of Optometry e.V.

On the penultimate weekend of September, the annual alumni meeting of the Aalen Friends of Optometry e.V. took place in the auditorium and lecture hall building of Aalen University. Due to the storm disaster, where hail caused severe damage to the monastery grounds in Benediktbeuern, the event had to be moved to Aalen University at short notice this year. The continuing education weekend, which was awarded 6 COE (Continuing Optometric Education) points, was packed with exciting lectures and discussions, some of which were presented by top-class experts in the field of optometry who had traveled from the USA especially for the event.

Aalen. After the enthusiastic opening by Georg Scheuerer, chairman of the Aalen Alumni Association, the “Great Contact Lens Round” began on Saturday with the experts and graduates of the part-time Aalen master’s program: Christiane Schaucher, Bernhard Neuberger, Annette Pfund and Hendrik Edelthalhammer. In this opening session, interesting contact lens cases were presented and discussed within 15 minutes each. This was immediately followed by the presentation of Prof. Graham Erickson from the US Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, on the current state of “Management of Acquired Strabismus”. After the lunch break, his colleague Prof. Scott Cooper provided all relevant updates on “Laterality and Directional Perception” and “Perceptual Delays and Reading” in a very compact and easy to follow manner. Another inspiring highlight was presented at the end of the first day: For the first time, Prof. Lorne Yudcovitch (also from Pacific University, USA) and his wife, the owner of the optometric practice “Eye To Eye Clinic Wilsonville”, Rosiland Hursh, OD, presented and discussed interactively with the participants “Exciting cases from daily practice on the optic nerve and in the field of visual fields”. The case presentations were extremely informative and educational. Prof. Lorne Yudcovitch had already lectured online at the time of the Corona pandemic, so it was exciting for the participants to experience him and his wife in person this time as engaging and extremely knowledgeable speakers.

On Sunday, as in previous years, the first vice-chairman of the Alumni Association, Oliver Buck, took over the welcoming and skilful moderation of the day. In the morning, the two contact lens specialists Jenya Davelman and Arige Gideon Abou Said, who had traveled from Israel especially for the conference, presented current findings on “Rehabilitation of the ocular surface” and “Study results on pre- and postoperative follow-up of the epiretinal membrane”. After the lunch break, Dr. med. Jochen Wittibschläger, medical site manager of the Eye Center Dr. Berret in Buchen (Baden-Württemberg), an always welcome lecturer at the laboratory events of the part-time master’s program at Aalen University, spoke about “Glaucoma”. Following this, ECOO president and Aalen graduate, Dr. Matjaž Mihelčič from Slovenia, inspired the audience on the topic of “Anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.” A great conclusion to the continuing education weekend filled with compact knowledge was then provided by the “Great Round of Ophthalmic Diseases”, i.e. exciting case presentations by Master’s graduates Tom Köllmer, Damjan Žunić as well as the US-Americans:in Rosiland Hursh, OD, and Prof. Lorne Yudcovitch.

“Overall, the Alumni Meeting was an extremely enriching experience. The highly qualified lectures and discussions deepened my understanding of optometry and gave me valuable insights into the latest developments in the field,” summed up Jonathan Riecker, for example, who had just returned from his semester studying “International Optometry” at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, and took the opportunity to attend the alumni event of Aalen’s M.Sc. Vision Science and Business (Optometry) program.