History - Midwest Ocular Angiography Conference (MOAC)

William F. Mieler, MD

The concept for a "Midwest Fluorescein Conference" was first discussed in the spring of 1988, while at an international trauma meeting in China. R Joseph Olk and I formulated the idea of discussing and sharing interesting and challenging fluorescein angiography cases, as there was no conference in the Midwest which met this purpose. Since we were both from northern Wisconsin, we decided to initiate a meeting in that part of the state.

The first meeting of the Midwest Fluorescein Conference was held in a small village just north of Sturgeon Bay, WI (Egg Harbor) in August 1989. The initial meeting had 35 participants, and the number of attendees steadily grew to 50 to 65 participants on an annual basis. We opted to keep the number of attendees limited, in order to encourage open, interactive discussion of each presentation at the meeting. Additionally, each attendee received a copy of each case, which then could be taken back home and utilized for teaching purposes.

The conference has continued on an annual basis, generally meeting during the first week of August (with several exceptions when we met in late June or July). A complete list of our previous meeting sites is outlined on our website. In 1993, we held our first meeting outside of the Midwest, when we met in the Grand Teton National Park, in northwestern Wyoming. Starting with that meeting as well, I have either hosted the conference by myself or shared it with a local individual in the area where our meeting occurred. Additionally, since 1993, the majority of our meetings have been held in the western part of the United States or in northwestern Canada. In 1996, the name of the Midwest Fluorescein Conference was amended slightly, and since that time, our organization has been known as the Midwest Ocular Angiography Conference, or MOAC for short. The cases discussed at the conference now incorporate all forms of imaging, including indocyanine green angiography, OCT, echography, and other ancillary tests as indicated. Finally, in 2002, our conference evolved from film-based to digital imaging, and this simplified the logistics of the meeting considerably.

As you can see, while there have been several changes over the years, the basic principle of discussing and sharing challenging cases has remained the same.

This past year in 2014, we held the 26th annual MOAC meeting in Victoria, BC, Canada, at the Fairmont Empress Victoria. The meeting once again was highly successful scientifically, and in addition, the participants enjoyed the beauty of the city of Victoria, and Vancouver Island in general.

As indicated on our home page, the 27th annual MOAC meeting later this year will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Hotel in Budapest, Hungary, July 15-18, 2015 (www.fourseasons.com/budapest).