PAAO President’s Message

January 2021

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin

First and foremost, I would like to wish to you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year. Let’s remember all that we have learnt and put that to work in 2021.

By now we have come to realize that virtual learning is an important aspect of our daily work. We have learnt to embrace this new style and we can appreciate the positive aspects of what comes with this type of learning. Most notably, its great ability to reach many people at the same time, all over the world. This helps to strengthen our community, increase our communications, and extend our knowledge.

This past year, the PAAO held many webinars and we have many more to come this year. In 2020 for the very first time, the PAAO presented the VIS – Virtual International Symposium, which was attended by thousands of ophthalmologists in many different countries and it was a huge success.

We are working hard to continue to bring to our community around the world, interesting and exciting virtual learning and most importantly to stay connected to each other. We are very happy and proud to report that Lo Mejor de la Academia online event was attended by 4200 participants around the world. I am particularly grateful to Fernando Arevalo who organized and chaired the event. Once again, Fernando showed, as always, his competence and dedication to the PAAO. I am also very thankful to Eduardo Mayorga and Eduardo Viteri for their wonderful technical support.

With the expertise of Eduardo Mayorga, the PAAO is also creating a platform for our users where online content will be easily accessible all the time. In 2021, as you expect, many of our activities will be virtual including our Board meetings and Leadership Program.

Please keep in mind that our young and senior members can participate in our PAAO programs at a discounted rate and may pay in installments. Let’s continue to stay involved and in touch with each other. It is most important, now more so than ever.

On a final note, I am pleased to inform you that in our operations, we have been very careful to make judicious choices with our activities. We are always conscientious of the safety of our constituency. Even before the American Academy had announced that their 2020 meeting would be 100% virtual, we did not plan to have meetings in Las Vegas. We will be repeating this decision this year in New Orleans. We hope, with the vaccination campaigns rolling out in each country, to be able to have our normal meetings in conjunction with the AAO in 2022 in Chicago.

We thank our board members and our staff for their continued generosity of time and resources. Our staff will continue their exceptional work from their home offices. Like many organizations, the PAAO strives to provide a safe working environment for our staff as well as curbing costs.

We look forward to expanding our virtual learning, training courses and other virtual meetings. If you are interested in participating in any of these activities, please let me know at miguel.burnier@paao.org.

With affection and admiration,

Miguel

Miguel N. Burnier Jr. MD MSc PhD FRCSC
PAAO President