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...

The Complainers

There she was. Sitting in the waiting room with her arms crossed, tut-tutting to herself and shaking her head mournfully every few minutes. We gazed at her from a safe distance while one of the nurses confirmed what we already...

The only thing to fear is fear itself

There is a song by the Amateur Transplants called ‘Finals Fantasy’ which describes in humorous detail how stressful clinical exams can be. Having not done any viva or objectively structured clinical examination (OSCE) style exams for many years indeed I...

Expenses

“How do I apply for expenses?” I asked one of the secretaries. The Royal Gwent Hospital was so far from home that I had been forced to rent one of their spartan on-site rooms in order to avoid a crippling...

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