Highlighting the Western Regional Conference: Optometry Through Different Lenses: Diverse Providers, Patients, and Practice Modalities

The Western Regional Conference (WRC) is a conference held annually by one of the three California schools hosted by AOSA leadership. Each year, the WRC rotates between the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry, Western University College of Optometry, and the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) at Marshall B. Ketchum University. In October 2023, SCCO had the opportunity to host the conference, inviting optometry students and pre-optometry students from the western part of the United States.

At the WRC, students took part in AOA+ Pop-Up Sessions providing hands-on education workshops, insight into residency life, and discussions on various practice modalities. In addition to Pop-Ups, there were countless networking opportunities, including an AOA+ Leadership Link luncheon with local doctors and a student night out. 

In 2024, the WRC will be hosted by Western University College of Optometry. Stay on the lookout for registration information from the AOSA. Below is a snapshot highlighting some of the programming taking place at WRC.

Featured speakers:
These doctors sold their practice modalities to the audience! An amazing and fun interaction to learn the difference between each type of practice modalities to prepare students for their future careers. 

Keynote Sessions:
The WRC kicked off with a warm welcome and background of MBKU from none other than Dr. Schornack, MBKU president. We heard from Dr. Theaker for a briefing on federal relations. To wrap up the morning, Dr. Contreras presented on the diversity, equity and inclusion relating to our optometry profession. 

Networking opportunities through pop up sessions:
Guests got the chance to not only sit through but also participate in a few pop-up sessions to learn about the InfantSEE® program, practice management, advocacy for our profession, and the need to know of residency. These pop-up sessions were great learning experiences in addition to networking with fellow students and doctors. 

A warm welcome to RMU for joining the optometry family at WRC.

A very special thank you goes to Tameen Ahmed, AOSA Trustee at Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University, for all her hard work in hosting this year’s Western Regional Conference. It was a great event, and we cannot wait to see you all next year!

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