The 2020 Milgram Experiment

Will ophthalmology recover from COVID-19? Learning Curve columnist Gwyn Samuel Williams shares his thoughts on the developing impact of the pandemic “It’s busy today,” the nurse in green chuckles. “There are six patients I think.” Six. This clinic is designed...

The other side

Adele sings a song called Hello, which is about a mythical phonecall she makes to an ex-boyfriend about how different life is now compared to when they used to date. The chorus line repeated many times is “Hello from the...

Covid-19

I am writing this on 21 March 2020, and I am pretty confident that by the time you read this that whatever I say will already be hopelessly out of date. Plus, it’s only really what I think, and I...

Trainee personality types

Over the past two years I have attended quite a number of medical educational seminars and ‘workshops’ and have been a bit shocked at how out of kilter with reality the world of education seems to be now. It seems...

The butterfly effect

One of the most fascinating aspects of being a consultant is seeing the workings of the machine that is medical training from the other side. For two years now I have taken part in the specialty recruitment interviews and it...

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...

The reps

Who are the reps? Every one of us knows the friendly face of the local randomprost eye drop representative or the nice man from that eye lubricant company. These company representatives travel up and down the region with a smile,...

It’s easy when you know the rules

As I was travelling along a deserted road on a Sunday last month I saw in my peripheral vision a disconcerting flash of light behind me. Much as I tried to convince myself that the flash was due to the...

Unconscious bias

Swansea University invited me to an Away Day. There was a whole day of lectures planned at a hotel conference suite just outside Swansea but due to clinic commitments I only caught the afternoon session; a ‘workshop’, on how to...

Specialty doctor interviews

I started my training as an ophthalmologist in the Wild West of Carmarthenshire where I did my first laser procedure, first phacoemulsification and first slit-lamp examination. All of these firsts were done under the tutelage of very skilled staff grade...

Is ophthalmology still a vocation?

People seem to be interested in medicine for different reasons. There does seem to be a spectrum in ophthalmology in which people range from ‘do it for the pay’ all the way to ‘do it for the patients’, with some...

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...