YoungMD Connect Live

April 19-21, 2024

Austin Marriott Downtown

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A forum for the future leaders in ophthalmology.

YoungMD Connect (YMDC) Live is a 3-day meeting where individuals from all places and career stages come together to discuss what's up and coming in ophthalmology. Interactive education, expert faculty guidance, and supportive networking all take center stage, powered by the electric YMDC community and exceptionally dedicated mentors. Here's to the future!

Brought to you by Bryn Mawr Communications and YoungMD Connect.

For questions, contact us at

YMDC photo strip

Program Chairs

Ashley Brissette, MD, MSc, FRCSC headshot

Ashley Brissette, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Arsham Sheybani, MD headshot

Arsham Sheybani, MD

Jayanth Sridhar, MD headshot

Jayanth Sridhar, MD

Blake K. Williamson, MD, MPH headshot

Blake K. Williamson, MD, MPH


Zubair Ansari, MD headshot

Zubair Ansari, MD

Sarah Avila, MD headshot

Sarah Avila, MD

Matthew Brink, MD headshot

Matthew Brink, MD

Robert Chang, MD headshot

Robert Chang, MD

Saradha Chexal, MD headshot

Saradha Chexal, MD

Steven Dell, MD headshot

Steven Dell, MD

Vikram Durairaj, MD headshot

Vikram Durairaj, MD

Alison Early, MD headshot

Alison Early, MD

Kirk Hou, MD headshot

Kirk Hou, MD

Arjan Hura, MD headshot

Arjan Hura, MD

Cristos Ifantides, MD, MBA headshot

Cristos Ifantides, MD, MBA

Chirag Jhaveri, MD headshot

Chirag Jhaveri, MD

Shivani Kamat, MD headshot

Shivani Kamat, MD

Courtney Kraus, MD headshot

Courtney Kraus, MD

Diana Laura, MD headshot

Diana Laura, MD

Amina Malik, MD headshot

Amina Malik, MD

Zaiba Malik, MD headshot

Zaiba Malik, MD

Taj Nasser, MD headshot

Taj Nasser, MD

Lilian Nguyen, MD headshot

Lilian Nguyen, MD

Kishan Patel, MD headshot

Kishan Patel, MD

Cory Pickett, MSN, FNP-BC, CRNO headshot

Cory Pickett, MSN, FNP-BC, CRNO

Rachel Simpson, MD headshot

Rachel Simpson, MD

Dee Stephenson, MD headshot

Dee Stephenson, MD

Andrea Tooley, MD headshot

Andrea Tooley, MD

Rahul Tonk, MD headshot

Rahul Tonk, MD

William Trattler, MD headshot

William Trattler, MD

Zarmeena Vendal, MD headshot

Zarmeena Vendal, MD

Bennett Walton, MD, MBA headshot

Bennett Walton, MD, MBA

Jenny Yu, MD headshot

Jenny Yu, MD


Friday, April 19

2:00–8:30 PM | Registration & Badge Pickup

5:00–6:10 PM | YMDC Live Kickoff

Moderated by the YMDC Live Program Chairs

6:10–6:30 PM | Keynote Lecture

Cathleen McCabe, MD

6:30–7:00 PM | Industry Collaboration Panel

With representatives from Astellas, Samsara, and Tarsus

7:00–8:00 PM | Evening Reception, Austin Marriott Downtown

Saturday, April 20

7:00 AM– 5:00 PM | Registration & Badge Pickup

7:00–8:10 AM | Breakfast With the Experts

Mastering Med School | Sruti Rachapudi, MD, and Zahra Markatia, MD

Getting Real About Residency (Table 1) | James Winebrake. MD

Getting Real About Residency (Table 2) | Harris Ahmed, DO

Finding a Fellowship Fit | Sarah Bonaffini, DO, and Makayla McCoskey, MD

Starting Out in Practice | Caroline Wilson, MD

Oculoplastics: A Day in the Life | Vikram Durairaj, MD

Advocacy in Ophthalmology | Andrea Tooley, MD, and Aaisha Gulani, MD

Global Ophthalmology | Taj Nasser, MD

Lessons in Leadership | Rahul Tonk, MD; Supported by Dompé

What’s in a KOL? | Zarmeena Vendal, MD; Supported by Alcon

Technologies With Legacy | Ashley Brissette, MD, MSc, FRCSC; Supported by Alcon

Refractive Surgery Patient Communication 101 | Alison Early, MD, and Caleb Shumway, MD; Supported by EyeCare Partners

The Business of Ophthalmology Practice | Cory Pickett, MSN, FNP-BC, CRNO, and Carrie Jacobs, COE

Avenues for Research and Innovation | Arjan Hura, MD

Finding a Seat at the Table: Representation in Ophthalmology | Zaiba Malik, MD, and Dennis Akrobetu, MD

8:10–9:40 AM | Subspecialty Showcase

Moderated by the YMDC Live Program Chairs

Cataract and Refractive Surgery | Arjan Hura, MD

Glaucoma | Matthew Brink, MD

Retina | Saradha Chexal, MD

Oculoplastics | Sarah Avila, MD

Pediatric Ophthalmology | Courtney Kraus, MD

Global Ophthalmology | Cristos Ifantides, MD, MBA

9:40–10:00 AM | Clinical Development Session

Sponsored by Glaukos

The Art of the Patient Conversation: Introducing New Technologies | Blake Williamson, MD, MPH, and Matthew Brink, MD

10:00–10:25 AM | Break & Exhibits

10:30–11:10 AM | Outside the White Coat

Moderated by Blake Williamson, MD, MPH

Entrepreneurial Pursuits as a Practicing Physician | Robert Chang, MD

Founding and Managing Daily Practice | Ashley Brissette, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Nonclinical Paths in Ophthalmology | Zaiba Malik, MD

11:10–11:50 AM | Professional Society Overviews

Moderated by Jay Sridhar, MD

AAO YO | Andrea Tooley, MD

ASCRS YES | Cristos Ifantides, MD, MBA

VBS | Jay Sridhar, MD

CEDARS/ASPENS | P. Dee Stephenson, MD

ENIGMA | William Trattler, MD, and Sayena Jabbehdari, MD, MPH

Audience Questions

12:00–1:00 PM | Lunch Symposium

Sponsored by Bausch + Lomb

Rethinking Dry Eye Disease | P. Dee Stephenson, MD, and William Trattler, MD

1:00–2:20 PM | Common Cataract Complexities: To the Rhexis and Beyond

Moderated by Arsham Sheybani, MD

Pupillary Manipulation & Dilation and Managing Loose Zonules | Rahul Tonk, MD

Dens Lens Techniques | Alison Early, MD

IOL Exchange | P. Dee Stephenson, MD

Vitrectomy Techniques for the Anterior Segment Surgeon | Kishan Patel, MD

Salvaging Your Angle Surgery | Lilian Nguyen, MD

2:20–2:35 PM | Break & Exhibits

2:35–3:10 PM | Compassion for Clinicians

Moderated by Ashley Brissette, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Keynote: Compassion for Clinicians in Training | Laura Vater, MD

Panel: Clinician Well-Being: From Training to Practice | Cristos Ifantides, MD, MBA; Alison Early, MD; Andrea Tooley, MD

3:10–3:30 PM | Clinical Development Session

Sponsored by STAAR Surgical

What Would You Do? | Taj Nasser, MD

3:30–5:00 PM | Wet Labs, Skills Transfer, & Workshops (Medical Students & Research Fellows)

3:30–5:00 PM | Fellowship & Job Recruitment Mixer (Residents, Clinical/Surgical Fellows, & Practitioners)

7:00–9:00 PM | Evening Reception, The Edge Rooftop at the JW Marriott

Supported by Johnson & Johnson Vision

Sunday, April 21

7:00–8:00 AM | Breakfast

8:00–8:30 AM | Scholarship Recipient Poster Presentations

8:30–9:50 AM | YMDC x VBS: Pearls From the Posterior Segment

Moderated Jay Sridhar, MD; Supported by Alcon, Apellis, Astellas, Coherus, and Regeneron

Top 5 Lessons Learned in My First 18 Months as a Retina Attending | Diana Laura, MD

How to Be Successful as a Retina Specialist/Clinical Scientist | Kirk Hou, MD

The Changing Retina Landscape in Private Practice | Chirag Jhaveri, MD

The Retina I Need to Know as a Comp/Global Ophthalmologist | Zubair Ansari, MD

Case Presentations

9:50–10:10 AM | Break & Exhibits

10:10–11:40 AM | Navigating the Match (Medical Students & Research Fellows)

Moderated Jay Sridhar, MD; Arsham Sheybani, MD; and Rachel Simpson, MD

10:10–11:40 AM | Wet Labs, Skills Transfer, & Workshops (Residents, Clinical/Surgical Fellows, & Practitioners)

11:40 AM–12:20 PM | Career Insights

Moderated by Blake Williamson, MD, MPH

Startup Spotlight | Bennett Walton, MD, MBA

Panel: Practice Changeups: No One Size Fits All | Matthew Brink, MD; Shivani Kamat, MD; Taj Nasser, MD; and Sarah Avila, MD

12:20-12:30 PM | Closing Remarks

Moderated by the YMDC Live Program Chairs

*Agenda is subject to change


We have secured a block of rooms at the Austin Marriott Downtown over the meeting dates of April 19-21, 2024 at our discounted group meeting rate of $299/night (plus applicable taxes). This discounted hotel meeting rate of $299/night (plus applicable taxes) is available for reservations arriving within 3 days prior and leaving within 3 days after the meeting subject to availability at the time of your booking. Please note: the YMDC Live meeting dates are Friday, April 19 – Sunday, April 21, 2024.

Book Your Room

Accommodations and reservation modifications may be made online via the link above.

All individual rooms require a one night advance payment at the time of booking secured by a major credit card. Your reservation and any modifications must be received by Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 5:00pm CT. After this date, the hotel will release all remaining rooms for general sale and is no longer obligated to honor our group meeting rate. The hotel will determine if it can accept any further reservations based on a space- and rate-available basis at the group meeting rate.

Individuals may cancel their reservation without penalty no later than 5:00pm CT on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. All reservations are non-cancelable after 5:00pm CT on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. Any cancelations or no-shows after 5:00pm CT on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 will result in the forfeit of the individual’s advance deposit along with the remaining cost of the entire reservation which will be charged to the individual’s credit card on file.


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I wasn't sure how YMDC Live could top last year's meeting but you all did it again! What a unique and remarkable meeting experience filled with education, networking, friendship, and incredible transfer of knowledge.

Camila Albo, MD



YMDC Live would like to extend an invitation to current medical students, residents, and fellows to attend this unique meeting being held in Austin from April 19–21, 2024. To facilitate this educational opportunity, YMDC Live is offering support to applicants who qualify and submit an original research abstract to the YMDC Live Scholarship Program by February 1. A total of 65 spots are available, with a specific number of spots allotted to medical students, residents, research fellows, and surgical/clinical fellows.

More Information +

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Contact Us

For questions relating to the YMDC Live 2024, please contact us at

Bryn Mawr Communications Group, LLC dba Avenue Live, LLC

125 East Elm Street, Suite 400

Conshohocken, PA 19428

Stay Up to Date

Follow @YoungMDConnect on social media for meeting updates and to share your experiences in Austin!