Time passes very quickly. Soon, as a clinical ophthalmologist, you’ll have to learn a good deal in a very short space of time. As a young, training ophthalmologist, you’ll be expected to know a huge amount about many different types of eye conditions. Clinical diagnostics and problem solving is a key part of clinical ophthalmology training. If you’re a trainee, and you want to improve your clinical skills and diagnostic capabilities, then you’re going to love the Masters course here at the University of Edinburgh. So come along with me… …and enjoy the ride! Just several weeks ago, as I was about to start clinic, I saw three patients in a waiting area. One patient, interestingly, had prominent creases in his earlobes. The lady sitting next to him clearly had an itchy tattoo – she was scratching her arm quite vigorously. And the third gentleman was using a magnifying glass, with which to read a magazine. One of Edinburgh’s most famous master diagnosticians was Joseph Bell. He inspired the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And here we are, in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, standing next to this beautiful oil painting, depicting an 1888 meeting of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Committee. The President of that time was Joseph Bell. He was a teacher and mentor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And in fact it was Bell who inspired the character of Sherlock Holmes. Vice President at that time was Argyle Robertson. You’ll know Argyle Robertson because he described the pupils of neurosyphillis. He also made major contributions to our understanding of angle-closure glaucoma and that time introduced the product from the calabar bean. And here we are, outside 11 Lothian Street, next to a plaque commemorating Charles Darwin. He studied medicine here in 1825. He went on to write one of the most influential books of all time, The Origin of Species, in which there’s a chapter devoted to the eye which he describes as an organ of extreme perfection and complication. Another great hero who also studied the scientific method was David Hume. And here we are next to the statue of David Hume, a leading figure of Scottish Enlightenment. He described many things, including in his Treatise on Human Nature, experimental method, the controlled experiments. He was a famous sceptic, but nevertheless recognised the importance of both science and human emotion in dealing with every aspect of our lives. One of my clinical research interests is retinal imaging. And the first person to present to the world the first colour photograph was James Clerk Maxwell. James Clerk Maxwell was a mathematical physicist. He described colour vision theory for the first time and in his left hand he holds the disc which he used to display this to the world. He also showed the world the first colour photograph. Imaging, colour photography, so important in terms of our clinical ophthalmology learning. Let’s just return now to the three patients I discussed earlier. The first patient, with creases in his ears, is known as Frank’s Sign. He was at high risk of myocardial infarction and arteriopathy. He also had Floppy Eyelid Syndrome and associated sleep apnea. The second patient, the lady with the itchy tattoo, turned out to have sarcoidosis uveitis, explaining her presentation as a red eye. And our third patient who used a magnifying glass in order to read, was a high hypermetrope. He experienced sub acute attacks of angle closure glaucoma and that was his reason for presenting with a red eye. So what is the trick behind becoming an expert diagnostician in clinical ophthalmology? Perhaps having some of the ingenuity of a Charles Darwin, or a David Hume. Some of the inventiveness of a James Clerk Maxwell, and some of the detective skills of a Sherlock Holmes. Why not hone your own clinical skills and improve and enhance and fast track your own learning by joining us on the Masters course. Indeed, why not become your own Master of Clinical Ophthalmology?