Wednesday, May 21, 2008

EURETINA goes from strength to strength

EURETINA is celebrating its eighth year in existence with the Vienna meeting. There is a lot to be proud of and this organisation is going from strength to strength.

From what started as a small special-interest group a few years back, EURETINA has evolved into a truly international organisation.

There is no room for complacency and there are always ways in which things can be improved, so we’ll certainly be looking to build on this foundation in the years ahead.

There are several reasons for the growing success of the organisation. Firstly, there is the high quality of the congress itself, which has improved tremendously over the past three years. We are continually looking for new ways to make the experience even better for the delegates. For instance, the introduction of surgical-skills courses is attracting great interest. Furthermore, the scientific programme is of a very high standard and there is a broad range of topics to reflect the latest developments in the field.

It is also vital to stress that while we have excellent participation from the ophthalmic industry, with a first-rate exhibition and many sponsored symposia and so forth, the meeting is not industry-driven and has maintained its reputation for scientific credibility and independence. Another factor is that it is not only retinal specialists who are attending the meeting. Intravitreal injection has opened the door to a lot of new therapies and even general ophthalmologists are beginning to get very interested in the possibilities of these treatments. All of these factors together are helping to increase interest and helping the organisation to expand rapidly.

EURETINA has helped to fill an obvious gap in Europe by bringing retinal clinicians together in the region. After all, Europe is expanding at a rapid rate and it is particularly encouraging to see so many new colleagues joining from eastern Europe, now that the door has been opened to them to attend this kind of meeting. There is also a great thirst for knowledge and innovation in many of the new European Member States and I think that is helping to drive the interest in EURETINA as well.

* Jose Cunha-Vaz, president of EURETINA,in an interview with Dermot McGrath. The full interview will be published in the special EUROTIMES EURETINA Daily supplement which will be published on Saturday May 24th

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