by Caroline Cauchi, OD
Dr. Cauchi was recently invited to speak at the Orthokeratology Society of Oceania as well as meet with her fellow peers at the International Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control in Australia.
I have just returned from a very successful trip to Australia. This trip had several goals and I met all of them. First, to participate and oversee the testing for the honor of “fellow” in the International Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control (FIAO). A Fellow of the Academy represents the highest level of achievement and is the result of years of study and preparation. My major position in the Academy is as International Chair of Fellowship. This committee sets standards and policy for attaining fellowship. Since this was the first time testing has been conducted in Australia, I needed to be present. I chaired an international panel of examiners and after two days of testing, we granted the FIAO to 7 candidates.
This also happened to be the 12th congress of the Orthokeratology Society of Oceania where I was invited to deliver a presentation. I also had the privilege of introducing the seven new FIAOS to the meeting and the world. During this conference l attended numerous lectures gathering new concepts that I can use to help control advancing nearsightedness (myopia) in my younger patients. At this meeting John Mountford (considered one of the founders of orthokeratology) shocked the audience by announcing his retirement from practice. I was able to spend a few minutes with him and his wife discussing their plans for the future.
The 5th annual meeting of the International Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control (IAOMC) was held at the same time and as a member of the Board of Directors, I was one of the US representatives. The Board meeting adopted new policy rules for fellowship, future growth as the myopia epidemic becomes widely recognized and plans for future research.
My final goal was rejuvenation. My mom passed away at the end of July. She was my little sweetie and the loss was difficult. But with the duties of my practice and preparing for the trip to Australia I had little time to deal with this. So along with my husband and my brother, we took a few extra days to just have some fun. The Australians are fun, silly and love to tease. It helped wash away some of the sadness.