02. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

As part of my first clinical rotation, we have a journal club every Tuesday. We are encouraged to independently review journal articles and then present them in a coherent and clinically relevant way to our colleagues. In addition, we also present case studies that highlight what we have or could potentially encounter in our clinical setting.

So far it has been a useful exercise. We manage to fit it into our busy clinic schedule by presenting the topics during our lunch break. Although at first it seemed like a heavy task, it has turned out to provide a quick refresher of important clinical information and scenarios. It is not a bad tradeoff to once a week forgo sitting around during lunchtime and talking non-optometry talk. After all, this is a ‘clinical year’ and so we should seek out opportunities to challenge ourselves by analyzing and applying clinically relevant information. I like the concept of “Evidence Based Medicine” and so this is our chance to seek it out in an optometry related way. So far we have had presentations on the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus (CLEK) Study, AREDS study, Central Serous Retinopathy presentations, and Cataracts Classification reviews. The following are some of the case studies that were presented: Acute onset painless red eye, filamentary keratitis, hypertensive retinopathy, and visually significant cataract. All of the case studies were presented in a way that was supported with current literature on the natural outcome of the diseases as well as management recommendations.

During my studies at NECO, I had a public health class which prepared me to look at research and interpret results such as p values, sensitivity, and specificity, incidence, prevalence, mortality, etc. It all seemed very confusing at first but quickly made sense. In order to evaluate findings and their clinical significance, it is important to have an understating of such terms. I recently reviewed the Optic Neuritis Treatment trial. The study began in 1988, but the patients were followed up with many years later, with some of the final outcomes measured in 2008 as part of the Longitudinal Optic Neuritis Study. Although this trial took place a long time ago, the results are still referenced when managing patients who present with optic neuritis. It is important for us as clinicians to keep up to date on the latest treatment protocols for any disease and so an understanding of historical studies such as these are vital.

I often reflect upon what I learned during the didactic year and what I came away with wanting to apply in my professional life. An appreciation for “Evidenced Based Medicine” and the desire to seek it out is something that I gained during my studies at NECO and Iook forward to retaining.

On a tastier note, the other highlight of the past month was an ice cream pot luck we had at clinic. We had a great spread of various flavored ice creams and toppings. My personal contribution was Mint Chocolate Chip (the green artificially colored, but oh so satisfying one). There were waffle cones and the toppings consisted of: caramel, chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, strawberries, Oreo cookie crumble, and glazed cherries. It was a sweet and refreshing treat for all to enjoy while juggling the busy clinic day.