Wednesday, September 8, 2010

EuroTimes is on Facebook

EuroTimes now has its own Facebook page. Make sure to visit us and let us know what you think of the paper.

ESCRS celebrates 20th anniversary of LASIK with new consumer website

Marking the 20th anniversary of LASIK and the European Year of LASIK, the ESCRS has launched “LASIK Safe in Our Hands” (, a consumer-oriented website dedicated to getting out the facts about LASIK surgery. The website is the centrepiece of a new campaign to address through education lingering concerns about the procedure held by many who have not had LASIK.

European patients who have experienced the benefits of LASIK surgery are nearly unanimous in their enthusiasm for the procedure. A staggering 98 per cent confirmed they would recommend it to someone else, according to an international survey conducted this spring by the well-known Opinion Health poll.

Even so, four out of five respondents who had not had LASIK still had concerns – even though 69 per cent agreed that eye surgery is a safe and well-established procedure. Of those expressing reservations, the greatest number, 30 per cent, said they needed more information. Another 24 per cent didn’t think they could afford it. Potential side effects were the major worry of 17 per cent while 11 per cent said they would not consider the procedure.

“LASIK can be a life-changing procedure, but these survey results show that people do not understand just how safe and effective modern LASIK is in the hands of a well-qualified and experienced laser surgeon. We hope that our new campaign will help bridge the information gap so that more people might benefit from good vision without glasses or contact lenses,” said ESCRS president Jose Guell MD, Barcelona.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dr Leigh Speilberg wins EuroTimes writing prize for young ophthalmologists

The winner of the 2010 John Henahan Prize is Dr Leigh Spielberg. The writing prize for young ophthalmologists is sponsored by EuroTimes on a specially chosen theme. This year’s theme was “The Outstanding Memory of My Residency.”

Dr Emanuel Rosen, the chairman of the judging panel, presented Dr Spielberg with his prize during the Young Ophthalmologists’ Forum. He said that the standard of entries had been very high, but in the end there could be only one winner.

“A physician colleague once commenting upon the importance of taking a detailed history observed that this aspect of medical management was an equally important principle in ophthalmology as in medicine in general,” said Dr Rosen. “He then went on to comment on an ophthalmologist colleague who achieved this end by asking of a patient ‘which eye?’

“Dr Spielberg’s account of his outstanding memory of his residency confirms that not only does he write very well and maintain the readers’ interest throughout his essay, but that as a budding ophthalmologist he shares empathy with his patient. He was meticulous in his documentation of the particular disorder and managed personal follow-up of his patient, an action not always possible in a busy ophthalmic department where care is shared amongst colleagues.

“Dr Spielberg is correct in recognising that ophthalmology is not only the medicine of the organ of sight but is dependent more than most medical specialties on diagnosis being mainly dependent on visual observations notwithstanding his recognition of the value of historical detail,” he said.

Dr Rosen also thanked the other members of the judging panel: Jose Güell, president of the ESCRS; Oliver Findl, chairman of ESCRS Young Ophthalmologists’ Forum; Sean Henahan, editor of EuroTimes; Paul McGinn, editor of EuroTimes and Robert Henahan, contributing editor of EuroTimes.

Dr Spielberg is an ophthalmology resident at the Rotterdam Eye Hospital in the Netherlands. Originally from Long Island, New York, Dr Spielberg studied medieval and ancient history at Yale University before completing his medical studies in Belgium. After medical school, he conducted two years of vitreo-retinal imaging and therapy research in the departments of ophthalmology in the Leuven University Hospital and New York Eye & Ear Infirmary. His interests include travel, photography, alpine skiing and medical writing.

“Participating in the EuroTimes John Henahan essay competition gave me the opportunity to write about the medical profession and the doctor-patient relationship in a freestyle manner for a select readership of ophthalmologists. I am very honoured to have been selected for this year’s prize,” he said after receiving his award. Dr Spielberg’s prizewinning essay will be printed in the October edition of EuroTimes.

ESCRS president Jose Guell highlights spirit of collaboration at Opening Ceremony

Welcoming delegates to Paris at the official Opening Ceremony of the XXVIII Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS), Jose Guell, president of the ESCRS, said that the success of this year’s meeting looks set to mark a new stage in the evolution of the society.

“On behalf of the ESCRS, I would like to say how pleased we are to be holding the first ever joint meeting of our own Congress alongside that of the European Society of Retina Specialists (EURETINA). Although both organisations have their own significant programmes, several joint symposia have been organised, emphasising the spirit of collaboration and cooperation between our two organisations for the benefit of all our members,” he said.

Dr Guell noted that joint meetings such as this year’s ESCRS/EURETINA one offers delegates a compelling proposition in difficult economic times and with an increasingly crowded ophthalmic calendar.

“At a time when we all have to choose carefully which congresses to attend, this model of offering delegates two complementary meetings seems very valuable, with almost 6,000 delegates registered for the ESCRS and around 2,800 for EURETINA this year,” he said.

Building on the success of this year’s joint meeting, Dr Guell informed delegates that next year’s ESCRS Congress in Vienna will take place in conjunction with the second EUCORNEA meeting.

“I hope that this collaboration of two subspeciality organisations that have such close links will also prove beneficial for our members and delegates,” he said.

At the Opening Ceremony Dr Guell presented the Ridley Medal to Dr David Spalton (see picture). Dr Guell also announced that the ESCRS Board had unanimously decided to elect Dr Peter Barry from Ireland as the next President of the Society, taking office at the beginning of 2012.

Japanese doctor wins ESCRS Video competition for ophthalmologists

Dr Junsuke Akura, Japan, was presented with the Overall Prize in the Annual ESCRS Video Competition from Dr Jose Guell. There were 120 entries for the competion and the judges chose Dr Akura’s video on “Advanced KITARO WetLab –Development of High Quality Artificial Lens for Phaco Surgery Training" as the outstanding entry.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Paris welcomes delegates to the 10th EURETINA Congress and XXVIII ESCRS Congress

Thousands of delegates have arrived in Paris, France, for the 10th EURETINA Congress and XXVIII ESCRS Congress.

In a special guest editorial in September's EuroTimes Béatrice Cochener MD, president of the French Society of Ophthalmology (Société Française d’Ophtalmologie – SFO) welcomed delegates to both meetings.

"Outstanding scientific programmes are planned, with numerous lectures, presentations, courses, posters and videos. Leading experts of these two sub-specialities (or “hyper”-specialities), will present the latest scientific knowledge in research and state-of-the-art of ophthalmology,” she said.

“This 'ecumenical' pursuit towards reliable standards of treatment in medical science, the importation of knowledge and skills through modern methods and the rational policy in affording care services, is an important point that ophthalmologists of different expertise are striving for,” said Prof Cochener.

EuroTimes is offering delegates a bumper 6o-page issue of Europe’s leading ophthalmology magazine. Eight thousand copies of the issue will be inserted in delegates' bags at the conferences.