Like many of you, at this time of year I have been taking advantage of the sunshine and having a break. July marks not only the summer, but also the end of the academic year. Students and schoolchildren enjoy their long summer holidays and perhaps summer jobs: as a student, mine varied from packing boxes in lorries to working in call centres to clearing dishes in a restaurant. It was a great way to meet the public and put me in good stead to communicate with patients from a variety of walks of life.
But some of our members have not had much time to enjoy the summer, as it also heralds exams. Around 350 of our pre-registration trainees have just sat their OSCE, the final assessments in our Scheme for Registration: The 16 stations in the OSCE are designed to let them demonstrate all the expertise they have gained during their training, and prove to the GOC that they are skilled enough to be trusted with the eye health of members of the public.
We are so proud of our profession, and the College works hard to support trainees so that they become optometrists who are able to provide the highest level of care to their patients. I am therefore delighted that 83% passed the OSCE and can now be welcomed into full College membership. I look forward to greeting you all at the College Diploma Ceremony in November.
The Diploma Ceremony is also an opportunity to honour those who have gone far beyond the call of duty for the profession and/or the College, and the Electoral College, made up of existing and past Presidents, recently made recommendations to the Board of Trustees on Life and Honorary Fellowships. Although we cannot divulge names at this stage, once again we have a number of people who are fully deserving of receiving their awards at the Diploma Ceremony, and inspiring the new entrants to the profession.