Virtual COVID clinics

The clinics at Ystradgynlais Community Hospital are a little different of late. The nurses are still there, I still get tea with custard creams and the letters I dictate are still all written up by the next day. But there...

Zoom

One of the side-effects of the coronavirus pandemic is that suddenly everything is now done on Zoom. In case anyone is fortunate enough to have no idea what this is, Zoom is an app that allows virtual meetings to take...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Move 78

The Soviet Union still existed throughout my formative years, along with a vague undefinable miasma of possible war that generated films such as Red Dawn and Rocky IV. My favourite film from that era was called War Games, in which,...

Effecting change

I took a picture of my new identity badge and sent it to everyone I knew. In fact, I put it up on Facebook as well. The two key words were ‘Consultant Ophthalmologist’ and let us ignore for now that...

The final step

Not long after securing my fellowship in London I was successful at interview for a consultant post at Singleton Hospital, Swansea. The interview took place before I had actually started in London and besides the basic things that are asked...

Will it change management?

Like most doctors I have read and am a fan of Samuel Shem’s House of God, with my favourite Rule being Rule 10: “If you don’t take a temperature you can’t find a fever.” If you don’t intend to treat...

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