Ever wondered how Damon and Felix update their knowledge or skills?

They love keeping their skills up to date!

Recently, they attended their first face-to-face conference in three years – the WA State Optometry Conference in Fremantle.

We spoke to them about their experience:

How does it feel to be face to face again at a conference?

Felix shared “It felt great, and I really enjoyed meeting people and suppliers and participating in competitions.​

I saw people from my age group who recently opened their own practices.​

I met a Geraldton optometrist who drives a van once a fortnight, performing eye examinations in nearby towns like Dongara, Jurien Bay and Kalbarri.

They have been serving these areas for over 20 years!”

Damon agreed “It was so good to be back at an in-person conference.

The presentations were great and the networking at morning tea/lunch was terrific. Bring back in-person learning.”​

What is one thing that you learned that surprised you?

Felix: “Our practice has been set up with great technology and we can continue to explore the features of our equipment in more detail and help patients in more ways.”

Damon: “How much I missed in-person learning and mixing with my colleagues and industry representatives.”


How has the conference changed the way you practice?

Felix: “I learned how to problem-solve specialised contact lens designs (e.g. sleep-in lenses that mould your eyes overnight, or OrthoK).

This framework helps me to tweak the lenses better if they do not work as planned.”

Damon: “We have already changed the way we test for our visual fields. We use an alternative test to the one we have been using regularly.

This test gives us a better way to measure our patient’s central visual field. That is, the part that we see straight ahead, rather than the side.”

Tell us about a new technology you saw in action or any new equipment that caught your eye. What impressed you about this?

Felix: “I saw one machine that allows us to get several high-tech measurements all in one machine.

These measurements allow us to custom-design a pair of lenses.”

Damon: “One microscope (Heidelberg Slit Lamp) provides amazing, in-depth imaging.

Due to the detail and costs associated with this instrument, it is more for an ophthalmologist or researcher to utilise than an optometrist.

However, it was great to see it in action and know what is available for patients.”

What do you enjoy about visiting Fremantle?

Felix: “My family and I stayed for three nights, in the same hotel as the Conference. We enjoy walking everywhere in Fremantle.

The restaurants, markets, hotel, park, museum and beach are all within walking distance.”

Damon: “Fremantle is a great funky town that offers so much for everyone -from cafes, restaurants, art galleries, movies, the famous Fremantle Markets, and the general bohemian vibe.”

Any other comments about your Conference?

Felix: “It was great to win a small gift card from one of our suppliers, OPTOS.

The OPTOS instrument allows us to take a larger/wider photo of our retina (back of the eye).

Many of our patients have experienced the photos and have enjoyed the extra benefits the OPTOS instruments adds to care of their eyes.”

Damon: “I am very keen to attend my next presentation or conference in person.

It is such a great vibe and I loved seeing what I have missed over the past two years by learning through the virtual world.”

Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Felix and Damon. You can see that they enjoy staying up to date with their knowledge and skills, right?

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