In this video interview, we sat down with Dr. Fayiz Mahgoub who talks how and reasons why optometry students should attend optometry conferences.
Fayiz Mahgoub, OD, Chief Creative Officer at Defocus Media, shares advice for optometry students on ways to lower costs, and earn scholarships in order to attend optometry conferences.
Conferences can often be quite expensive, but Dr. Mahgoub has some great advice on how to attend them on a budget. He stresses the importance of applying for travel grants, which are offered both through schools and through the conferences themselves. Such grants often provide opportunities that are well worth the effort required to apply.
As an example, Mahgoub references a time when he applied for and earned the COVD student travel grant, which provides financial support for attending the COVD conference. It requires that the applicant write a summary and case report for an article, which Dr. Mahgoub says he enjoyed doing because it allowed him to learn about a topic he was less familiar with.
He also recommends traveling with friends, which will allow one to share expenses on things like lodging, and transportation. Attending conferences with friends tends to make the experience itself more fulfilling in general. As he says, “not only does that make the conference more enjoyable, but it also can help you make it much more affordable.”
All of these techniques can help to minimize one’s dependence upon student loans, which he views as one of the least desirable sources of funding. Dr. Mahgoub himself made a concerted effort to minimize his need for additional student-loan support. One of the ways he managed to do so was by working an additional part-time job while attending optometry school.
While at conferences, Dr. Mahgoub recommends paying attention to any new developments and opportunities. For example, wat a recent conference, he learned of a service that he describes as “the AirBnB of rental cars,” and this allowed him to procure a rental car for a third of the price he would have paid otherwise.