Viva Las Vegas: VBS V

The VBS Notes section editors provide brief looks ahead at this year’s meeting of the Vit-Buckle Society.

By R.V. Paul Chan, MD; Anton Orlin, MD; and Aleksandra Rachitskaya, MD

The Vit-Buckle Society (VBS) will meet April 6 to 8, 2017, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. This is the fifth time the VBS has gathered for an annual meeting, and the second time in Sin City. Below, the section editors for NRMD’s VBS Notes column preview some of the upcoming meeting’s highlights: the Lifetime Mentorship Award recipient, the Keynote Speaker, and the Fellows’ Foray.

Lifetime Mentorship Award: Dean Eliott, MD

By R.V. Paul Chan, MD

The VBS Lifetime Mentorship Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated qualities all young retina surgeons should aspire to exhibit. This year’s award winner is Dean Eliott, MD, a surgeon who is the epitome of a great mentor.

Dr. Eliott’s dedication to and passion for advancing our field and training the next generation of retina surgeons are demonstrated by the amount of time he spends educating young retina surgeons in the OR, in the clinic, and from the podium, and by the amount of time he spends serving patients with the most complex pathologies. His youthful passion for retina and our profession is infectious; it is difficult to imagine a conversation with Dr. Eliott that does not leave one recharged with the sense of purpose that drove us to retina in the first place. He is a surgeon with high ethical standards, a moral compass, scientific curiosity, and a commitment to helping patients regardless of their conditions.

Dr. Eliott is defined as much by his quantifiable accomplishments as he is by his qualitative ones: The number of awards on his CV is high, but the way in which he has influenced a generation of surgeons is beyond measure. He acts as a fountain of youth that continues to flow with information and vigor. The VBS is honored to have our friend and mentor, Dr. Dean Eliott, as the recipient of the VBS Lifetime Mentorship Award for 2017.

VBS Keynote Speaker: María H. Berrocal, MD

By Aleksandra Rachitskaya, MD

The VBS is honored to present María H. Berrocal, MD, as this year’s keynote speaker. An assistant professor at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, director of Drs. Berrocal and Associates, and past president of the Pan-American Vitreoretinal Society, Dr. Berrocal has helped make previous VBS meetings memorable and full of remarkable insights about how to manage the most complicated cases that vitreoretinal surgeons encounter. Her dynamic presentations, both live and on the web, have established her as a guru for small-gauge surgical techniques and for successful outcomes with patients with diabetic retinopathy and tractional retinal detachment (TRD). Dr. Berrocal is a true mentor, and, thanks to her numerous online videos highlighting her elegant approach to surgery, she shepherds many retinal fellows through their most challenging TRD cases.

VBS Fellows’ Foray

By Anton Orlin, MD

A key component of the VBS mission is mentorship of current fellows and emerging vitreoretinal surgeons, and the Fellows’ Foray provides a means to achieve this. VBS meeting travel grants are offered to 20 vitreoretinal fellows who are selected through a surgical video competition by a group of judges in a masked, unbiased manner. The Foray, which takes place during the first night of the VBS annual meeting, is an open forum where the top eight vitreoretinal fellows present challenging surgical cases to a panel of experts. Each video presentation is followed by lively discussion. The VBS Fellows’ Foray has been a integral part of the VBS annual meeting since its inception, and we look forward to another outstanding night in Las Vegas this year.

From the BMC Archive

Video Summary of VBS|004
By R.V. Paul Chan, MD; Anton Orlin, MD; and Aleksandra Rachitskaya, MD
New Retina MD Volume 7, Issue 1 Find online at:


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New Retina MD delivers cutting-edge content to retina specialists in their first 15 years of practice. Each issue provides fresh insight from younger physicians plus established mentors on clinical and nonclinical issues affecting ophthalmologists in the earlier stages of their careers. NRMD features surgical pearls, clinical research endeavors, practice management, medical reimbursement and policy, continuing educational requirements, financial planning, innovations, and more.