The writing on the wall

The Prophet Daniel tells a famous tale of how the tyrannical king of Babylon held a feast for all his top lords and ladies, and as the feasting grew to fever pitch a mysterious hand appeared from nowhere that started...

Keeping watch

Although it’s autumn, it’s not too cold and the slight breeze blowing up from the sea does not make me regret leaving my jacket in clinic. It’s a strange site; hundreds of hospital staff standing on either side of the...

In bed with Adnan Tufail

I used to like conferences. In fact, I loved them. When Euretina was in Paris in 2019 I met up with friends and colleagues, went out to bars and restaurants and took some time to see the Arc de Triomphe...

The tragedy of the commons

I am a big fan of the YouTube channel Extra Credits History, in which interesting historic events are explained in breathtakingly simple detail in 10 animated videos. I have watched every episode, including the ‘Early Christian Schisms’ and ‘The South...

Do we really need the College to be Royal?

It is taken for granted in this country that all the best medical colleges are Royal. That they have the royal seal of approval from on high and therefore must be the best. I have been somewhat confused for a...

Interspecialty referrals

Referrals between the many and varied branches of ophthalmology sometimes underline how sub-specialised we have all become nowadays. The old era when everyone was an ophthalmic jack of all trades is gone, for better or for worse, and instead of...

Phacogeddon

A trainee shortly to rotate to my firm was unhappy at the fact that she had only one phaco list in her timetable. She was a final year trainee with more than five hundred cataract extractions to her name so...

Choosing a subspecialty

It is quite worrying how many registrars reach the final years of training without choosing a subspecialty. Sometimes this is because they love everything and cannot countenance giving any of it up, but more commonly this is due to various...

Phaco nightmares

I am interested in the stressful nature of cataract surgery from the surgeon rather than the patient’s perspective. It is an issue that has quite literally kept me awake at night. Part of getting to grips with a problem is...

We are all Hadiza

When I worked as a registrar at Newport many years ago I remember a no-nonsense corneal consultant railing about the way the tragic case of Lucie Linforth was being reported in the media. Lucie was a toddler taken into a...

The pyramid

The first time I attended the Congress of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists was now more than 10 years ago, though I still remember the excitement of wandering down the aisles in the exhibition hall marvelling at the stands and...

The vitreoretinal priesthood

When I first started doing cataract lists, the consultant at the time, a Mr Brown from Carmarthen, used to say that phacoemulsification was more akin to flying a jet fighter for short dangerous bombing runs than a boring long haul...

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