The League of Extraordinary Ophthalmologists

The Ophthalmic Premier League educates, excites and amazes. Here’s what we learned in Las Vegas!

By Amar Agarwal

September 2016

Complicated case presentations are worth attending. They’re supremely informative, and the knowledge gained can make an impact at any point during a surgeon’s career. But they can be a little dry. That’s why I took a different approach:

  • Sixteen of the world’s best eye surgeons
  • Four-minute video presentations
  • Trash-talking – and costumes, and crucially...
  • A total PowerPoint ban.

This is the Ophthalmic Premier League (OPL). Something that’s as educational as the driest of presentations, but with as much fun as anything that would happen in the bars at the end of a long day. Where else can you see Boris Malyugin dancing in a pirate costume? Abhay Vasavada firing a ping pong gun at delegates? Richard Lindstrom in a wig? OPL.

Origins

Here in India, we have the Indian Premier League professional Twenty20 (T20) cricket league. For those who aren’t aware, first-class cricket (i.e. the big international and domestic matches) feature some of the best players in the world, and you’ll often see some of the best cricketing ever. But these matches consist of four innings, can take three or more days to complete, and it certainly isn’t all constant action. Instead of lasting three days, T20 matches last three hours. The cricketing is some of the best you’ll see – it’s considered to be a more “explosive” and athletic form of the sport, and everything is considerably less formal – players have been known to wear costume elements, moustaches, and poke fun at their opponents, thereby entertaining the crowd. It’s a serious competition, but also fun.

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