East of Ealing

“And Cain said unto the Lord, my punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid. And Cain went out...

Rite of passage

The Lakota Sioux people of Dakota have one of the best preserved Native American cultures in the United States and when people think of the ‘American Indian’ it is to the culture of the Lakota Sioux that people mostly turn....

Handover of power

Election time comes every five years in the United Kingdom. It is usually a time of excitement and trepidation as people wonder what will change, for whom and over how long, depending on which party might win power. Usually it...

No such thing as a free lunch

Rudyard Kipling was a very wise chap. He was in San Francisco towards the end of the 19th century and noticed that in some bars and saloons the house was giving away free lunches for every patron who first purchased...

Cura Te Ipsum – Physician, Heal Thyself

I wasn’t on call and my bleep went off. I knew without looking that it was the directorate office. Immediately my heart sank, for these calls were always about bad things. They never called to say “well done Gwyn you’re...

The focus group

I love conferences. Euretina I love above all others, and when it came to London in 2014 I was determined to attend. A few weeks before the conference was scheduled to begin a well-known pharmaceutical company sent me an email...

Turn up anytime

When I was starting off in ophthalmology my then boss had a standard spiel after completing a cataract case. It did not vary and I do not recall an instance of it not taking place. “The operation went well and...

Training the trainers

Learning phakoemulsification is a psychologically demanding process. Every ophthalmologist passing through the UK training system will almost certainly have many stories to tell of difficulties faced along the way; hideous disasters where lessons were learnt, as well as glorious triumphs...

The Irlen Experience

My father used to say that humanity is divided into those that see the world through a moral framework and recognise their place within it, and Tories. When a concerned mother came to the paediatric clinic bearing literature from the...

Les Misérables

I recently had the signal pleasure of undergoing Part 2 of the FRCOphth exit exam and could not help but wonder at how examiners could on the whole be easily categorised into certain subtypes which readers may find fascinating. This...

How to win presentation medals

Having been to many tens of thousands of ophthalmology registrar presentation competitions and seen the types of presentations that consistently impress the judges, as well as the ones that fail to make the grade, I feel it is my humble...

Life in the eye department

The crowd is gathering at the watering hole in the Serengeti that is Friday teaching at the Major Teaching Hospital. Would there be enough different species of consultant present or would there be insufficient numbers? If a critical mass of...