Take a breath of inspiration

A message from the President of The College of Optometrists.

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Welcome to the Winter edition of Acuity, the College journal dedicated to your professional development, increasing your clinical knowledge and building your career. 

In this edition, we continue to explore the increasing career diversity available to optometrists, and where these pathways can lead us. We interview Professor Shahina Pardhan, a researcher and educator from Anglia Ruskin University, and chart the impact of her work on the development of our knowledge base and in training the next generation of vision scientists and clinicians. If you’re inspired by her story, remember that there are a growing range of College-accredited higher qualifications available, and one may be suitable to help you in your career. 

Madeleine Bailey writes on the research into markers in the eye that may help in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, representing another example of the ways in which optometrists are involved in the broader aspects of healthcare, and how research can be translated from the laboratory to the consulting room. 

If you’re inspired by this story, remember there are a growing range of accredited qualifications available

The quality of the decisions we make when referring patients, or choosing not to refer them, is a vital aspect of our work. Kathy Oxtoby considers the impact of writing a high-quality referral letter. A good referral letter can play a huge role in building respect for our profession, and enhance optometrists’ knowledge as well as the patient experience. Conversely, we all know what a poor-quality letter can do! This article carries one CET point, and as we begin our next cycle, I would encourage you to revisit the pool of CET articles we have in our back issues, all accessible online. 

Rima Evans examines compliance issues around contact lenses and water, and what we should advise our patients to keep their eyes healthy. Many of our patients will be contact lens wearers and water-sports enthusiasts or swimmers, so appropriate advice to these patients is crucial. As we know, it can be difficult to persuade some patients of the importance of good lens hygiene and aftercare – especially in long-term wearers; I hope this article will help us to get the message across to our patients more effectively.

Acuity has become an essential read for me in my role as an academic optometrist. 

I hope that you are all finding Acuity useful in your area of practice too. Please get in touch with your feedback at editorial@college-optometrists.org

Professor Edward Mallen BSc PhD MCOptom
President, Council Member - Yorkshire and Humber

Ed graduated in optometry from Aston University in 1998, and completed a PhD at the same institution in 2003. He is now Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Science, and Professor of Physiological Optics at the University of Bradford. He also holds the position of Honorary Professor with the School of Health Professions, Plymouth University, and Visiting Professor at Aston University. Ed was appointed College President in March 2018.

Ed is the Ex Officio of the Education and Standards and Research Committees and the Lay Advisory Panel.

E: ed.mallen@college-optometrists.org