Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hawaiian Eye

Now if I were as savvy as Angelo, I would change the name of my blog to "Hawaiian Eye" for the next week. I leave for Hawaii early Friday morning to attend a conference, aptly named, "The Hawaiian Eye." It's the one professional conference I attend every year, and it rotates among Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. It's a great conference, bringing together about a thousand participants from around the world for a week of updates in all areas of ophthalmology. There is a concurrent Retina conference, which I attend, and an administrator's conference, which Russ, our CEO attends, and also a Nursing/Tech conference, which this year for the first time, two of our ophthalmic technicians are attending. They're scared to death -- island girls in the big city (actually, island girls on a bigger island. Mel and Emilly, you guys will be fine. If you get lost, just follow the setting sun back to Saipan.)

I like this conference for a few reasons. First, it's only four time zones away. I'm useless at the conferences in the mainland because of the jet-lag. I just don't bother going any more. Second, it's a relatively small conference. Some of the eye conferences have 15,000 participants and are just unwieldy. Third, it's laid back and relaxed. No one wears a suit. It's shorts, flip-flops, casual fare. You gotta love that, coming from Saipan. And finally, the folks from the Mainland are like so happy to just be out of the snow for a week, there is a jubilant air to the conference. Everyone is smiling. You don't see that much at medical conferences.

I'm always a fascinoma at these conferences. "You live WHERE?!" "Wow, I always dreamed of working internationally, but never did." "How did you do it?" "Can I touch the hem of your garment?" Those of us that are here, all know, that you just gotta let go of the rocks on the bottom of the river (vide infra... and if you don't know what that means, look it up. I've been wanting to use some Latin in my blog for a while and here's my chance.)

So, for the next week, I'll be reporting live from the Big Island.

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