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The ESASO Retina Academy will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, 14-15 November 2014, and will offer new and additional interactive clinically relevant sessions led by world-leading ophthalmologists. The two-day meeting will be run by a faculty of more than 40 experts with main plenary sessions on specific topics of the retina. These sessions will include presentations, prestigious Lectio Magistralis keynote lectures, debates between experts and two Retinamor interactive case study discussions.

I would like to reflect on this topic under four headings: Money, Quality, Safety and Measurement.

The ESCRS is inviting applications for its Observership Programme for young ophthalmologists who are starting or are already in surgical training. Oliver Findl, chairman of the ESCRS Young Ophthalmologists’ Committee said the observerships, now in their third year, were an important part of the ESCRS’s programme supporting trainees and residents.

In 2012, ESASO launched the ESASO Course Series – a compilation of knowledge and the essence of ESASO teaching transferred into print. Since then, it has released publications on Medical Retina, Surgical Retina and Cataract Surgery. This year, the series has been extended with a newly launched volume on Optical Coherence Tomography.

Trabeculectomy has remained essentially unchanged since it was first described by Cairns in 1968. However, bugbears such as sub-conjunctival fibrosis and failure as well as flap-related problems such as uneven flap; maceration/tears in the flap; irritation, foreign body reaction and rarely, abscess secondary to flap sutures; sealing of the triplanar flap etc, are problems associated with it.

For young and talented ophthalmologists who have completed residency training and are seeking to advance in their profession, the career ladder can seem complex and difficult to navigate. There are many opportunities to advance in the ophthalmic profession, however. More than 350 enthusiastic young ophthalmologists attended ESASO modules in 2013. While over 70 per cent of the participants hailed from Europe, 14 per cent came from Asia, five per cent from South America and four per cent each from the Middle East and Africa.

Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) is a new type of endothelial transplantation described first by Gerrit Melles in 2006. It comprises the transplantation of only the donor Descemet's membrane with endothelium unlike Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) which also transplants donor stroma. DMEK has major advantages over DSAEK in that it provides better vision as well as very low rates of graft rejection. As there is no stroma transplanted, there is also no induced hyperopia.

European-based clinicians and researchers are being encouraged to craft imaginative proposals in the field of cataract and refractive surgery for the 2014 ESCRS Clinical Research Awards. With the final deadline for Expressions of Interest set for 31 January 2014, the ESCRS sees the Clinical Research Awards as the ideal opportunity to support worthy projects in cataract and refractive surgery.

Roberto Bellucci MD is the incoming president of the ESCRS. He spoke with EuroTimes contributing editor Roibeard O’hEineachain about the evolving role of the ESCRS in promoting the advancement of ophthalmology in Europe and throughout the world. My involvement with the ESCRS dates back to the very early days of the organisation.

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