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Patron: Mr Bruce James

2B486909-3FFC-4853-AF20-67644FF34F1CImg100bruce-jamesI qualified from Oxford University in1982 and worked as a house surgeon at the Royal United Hospital Bath and house physician at the John Radcliffe, Oxford. After 6 months’ demonstrating anatomy in Oxford I became SHO to the medical eye unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. I moved to the Maudsley Hospital for 6 months neurosurgery and then a year as SHO in Ophthalmology at King’s College Hospital across the road. During this time I managed not to pass the general primary FRCS a number of times! Having at last succeeded with this exam I returned to St Thomas’ Hospital to join the junior training rotation which included a year at Kingston Hospital as a registrar during which I passed the second part of the FRCS. A month prescribing glasses (invaluable experience) and working as a locum followed while I organised a period of research back at St Thomas’ Hospital into the role of ocular bloodflow in the pathogenesis of glaucoma. This was subsequently accepted for a DM degree and I published several papers on the subject. As well as learning about how to undertake a research project, statistics and the difficulties associated with recruiting patients to studies, I also learnt how to write papers and present research findings at meetings. Although I have worked for most of my career in a district general hospital I still very much value the time I spent in research.

I was appointed a Senior Registrar to the Oxford Eye Hospital in 1991. It was during this time that I started to work with Professor Bron and Chris Chew on Lecture Notes on Ophthalmology; I have been involved with th book ever since. During my last year in Oxford I spent some time in the glaucoma unit at Moorfields Eye Hospital and at Tufts University in Boston. After 4 years in Oxford I was appointed as a consultant with an interest in glaucoma at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

As well as developing the glaucoma service at Stoke Mandeville I have also enjoyed a number of management roles including Lead Clinician for the eye unit, Clinical Director for specialist surgery, and Caldicott Guardian. I have represented the region on the RCOphth council. Together with my colleague Larry Benjamin I have published Examination Techniques in Ophthalmology describing the various clinical examination methods and tests that are used by ophthalmologists. I have also spent a short time working in Burma near Mandalay.

I am currently (as well as continuing with the clinical job) head of the Oxford Deanery School of Ophthalmology and an examiner for the final part of the FRCOphth part 2. I am just about to finish as chairman of the awards and scholarships sub-committee of the RCOphth. Additionally I teach medical students from St George’s International Medical School on a regular basis.

Would I do it again? Certainly! Ophthalmology is one of, or indeed the most rewarding specialties to  work in. I hope if you decide to follow a career in ophthalmology that you too will agree with me.





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