This past weekend, Alcon hosted 107 fourth year students from optometry schools nationwide for the Academy for Eye Care Excellence conference in Texas. Along with 10 of my ICO colleagues, I attended the conference and had a fun and educative weekend in Fort Worth.
I have never been to Texas before. When the opportunity came up, I was excited to participate. After confirming academic leave and flight reservations with Alcon’s travel agent, I was set to go and waited eagerly for the weekend to come.
When I arrived at the Fort Worth/Dallas airport, I was transported to the Worthington Renaissance hotel along with 8 other optometry students. Once we checked in, we received our information packets, name tags, schedules for the conference, and more details. During the evening, we had a nice dinner at the hotel and met all the other optometry students.
The first full day of the conference was held at Alcon headquarters. We were assigned seats and grouped according to our schools. Four lectures were presented in auditorium before and after lunch: ocular surface health, contact lens care, multifocal contact lenses, advanced contact lens surfaces, and advanced technology IOLs.
After the lectures on site, we had a workshop fitting volunteer patients with Air Optix multifocals, a tour of the manufacturing facilities where OptiFree and Clear Care solutions are made, a walk through the Alcon museum, and a mini cataract procedure. When evening came, we walked to the fancy City Club for a formal dinner together.
Our second day of conference was held within a huge hall in the hotel. The first presentation was on a patient-centered approach to contact lens and lens care management; we were thrilled when our very own Dr. Sicks took the stage. Afterwards, we listened to a lecture on ocular nutrition.
During lunch break, we filled up on nutritious food, then headed out for exploration. The hotel was located in downtown Fort Worth with Sundance Square at its center. The square was filled with restaurants, shops, bars, government buildings, art galleries and other attractions. We checked out the water garden, which was pretty neat!
Following lunch, we learned about HCP compliance and then visited the Fort Worth community eye clinic where we tried on Air Optix colors and Total Dailies One lenses. Dinner time brought us a Mexican-themed spread with fajitas, guacamole, and delicious flan, among other treats.
When Sunday morning came along, our weekend stay in Fort Worth had come to an end. I thoroughly enjoyed learning and having fun during the trip!