“In teaching, we learn,” says Asia-Pacific Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (APACRS) President Ronald Yeoh, MD. Dr. Yeoh speaks of teaching—and, thus, learning—as a valuable part of the society’s mission: to provide a forum for education, research, and skills transfer in anterior segment ophthalmic surgery in the Asia-Pacific region.
The society evolved from the Asia-Pacific Intraocular Implant Association (APIIA) founded by Prof. Arthur Lim to reflect the dynamic developments in cataract and refractive surgery at the turn of the millennium. In 1987, Prof. Lim foresaw the importance of these developments in Asia, and the society has since witnessed rapid growth under the leadership of recent Past President Graham Barrett, MD.
Taking inspiration from his predecessors, Dr. Yeoh is taking APACRS into a new era, beginning with the society’s 2016 annual meeting in Bali. In 2017, the society also participated as co-sponsor at the 2017 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery-American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASCRS•ASOA) Symposium and Congress in Los Angeles, California, prior to hosting a triumphant return to China for its own annual meeting in Hangzhou, where the society celebrated its 30th anniversary.
While the Asia-Pacific geographically represents about a quarter of the world, Asia is home to over half the world’s population. The society aims to address the continent’s cataract and refractive surgery needs, accepting the further challenge of the region’s social, economic, and cultural diversity. Meeting this challenge head on, the APACRS has developed various means to fulfill its function and guide its members along the path to enlightenment.
Among the tools the society has developed to achieve its goals is EyeWorld Asia-Pacific, an international anterior segment ophthalmology news magazine. The magazine keeps readers abreast of the latest developments in ophthalmology while hewing to a perspective that is always relevant to the particular needs, cognizant to the nuances of the Asia-Pacific region. Now in its 13th year, the magazine is read by over 30,000 ophthalmologists in 22 countries in the region, over 60 around the world.
In 2017, celebrating its 30th anniversary, the society also produced the APACRS Principles of Preferred Practice for Cataract Surgery and the APACRS Principles of Preferred Practice for Management of Ocular Surface. The two publications were developed by distinguished anterior segment ophthalmic surgeons from the Asia-Pacific to provide guidelines based on the latest medical evidence and expert opinion geared specifically toward ophthalmologists and ophthalmic surgeons practicing in the region.
APACRS maintains its website at www.apacrs.org. This resource is accessible to members wherever they can get online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to linking to the digital version of EyeWorld Asia-Pacific, the website offers news, important announcements, and a convenient biometry calculator utilizing various IOL formulae developed by Prof. Barrett: the Barrett Universal II formula, the Barrett Toric Calculator, the Barrett True-K Formula, the Barrett True-K Toric Calculator, and the Barrett Rx Formula. Prof. Barrett recently introduced a new feature to the online calculator: the Barrett K Calculator allows surgeons to input information from up to three different devices and automatically provides the mathematically correct combination of the data.
The website also features information on various APACRS awards, with listings of the APACRS LIM Lecturers and the APACRS Gold Medal and A.C.E. awardees, as well as programs such as the APACRS Young Physician Exchange Program and links to the Video Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, which provides additional learning opportunities via the best ophthalmic surgical videos, available in high definition for the highest level of detail.
As a mobile extension of the society’s digital presence, the award-winning APACRS Mobile App, first developed in 2013 for the 26th APACRS annual meeting held in Singapore from 11 to 14 July 2013, takes full advantage of modern technology to give its members a handy yet comprehensive, continuously updated alternative to printed program books. Activated in conjunction with the annual meeting, the app updates online but stores the information on the mobile device, allowing access to program information anytime, anywhere—even without an internet connection.
All the society’s activities culminate in its annual meeting. The society’s annual meeting features a carefully curated scientific program, tailored to and relevant to doctors in the Asia-Pacific. The program includes important practice information provided by a top-rate faculty from around the world.
The streamlined program is further supplemented by a small number of high quality MasterClasses, and features the Combined Symposium of Cataract and Refractive Societies (CSCRS). First held at the 18th APACRS Annual Meeting in Beijing, this joint symposium has become has become the most prominent session at the APACRS annual meetings. CSCRS represents an important collaboration and alliance of four major cataract and refractive societies in presenting perspectives from the four corners of the globe.
Held in different countries in the Asia-Pacific region but welcoming delegates and guests from all over the world, the APACRS annual meeting has become the most important regional meeting for cataract and refractive surgery and one of the most important educational events in the global ophthalmological calendar.
In addition to giving attendees the opportunity to network, a venue to meet new colleagues and renew friendships, the society at its annual meetings cultivates excellence by recognizing the outstanding work of ophthalmologists in the Asia-Pacific:
The APACRS Gold Medal honors ophthalmologists in the region for outstanding contributions to the practice in terms of service, teaching, or research.
The prestigious APACRS LIM Lecture, named for the society’s founding president, is delivered by one ophthalmologist chosen each year to share their discoveries and innovations with their colleagues.
The APACRS Certified Educator (A.C.E.) award recognizes ophthalmologists who have made significant contributions to the training of surgeons in the Asia-Pacific.
Through these and other activities, the APACRS continues to work in close collaboration with the region’s most prominent local organizations, bringing them closer together with international partners from elsewhere in the world to serve the cataract and refractive surgery needs of over half the world’s population.
Join the APACRS to enjoy membership benefits such as reduced registration fees at APACRS congresses, free subscription to EyeWorld Asia-Pacific News Magazine and more. Log on to www.apacrs.org for more information.