TBC Soosan Jacob

Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Anniversaries provide an opportunity both to look back on how things were, and forwards to the future. In January 1996, the journals of the ASCRS and ESCRS merged, the result of a farsighted recognition by the two editors, Steve Obstbaum and Emanuel Rosen, that the sum of the whole would be greater than the two parts.
Time has proved what a good decision this was, with the JCRS, as it became, constantly establishing itself as the prime source of peer-reviewed information on cataract and refractive surgery. 

Although a successful journal relies heavily on the hard work of the editors, it also needs the commitment and enthusiasm of an editorial board. When I recently opened my January 1996 volume, I read a list of names all of whom are the most distinguished and gifted pioneers of cataract and refractive surgery. 
It is a remarkably talented group and virtually all of them are still in practice and as active as ever 20 years later, which says something not only for longevity but also for the interest and enthusiasm cataract and refractive surgery generates in all of us. Looking through the papers in the first issue from January 1996, one realises that although things have changed enormously we are still faced with much the same problems. This issue contains papers on surgically induced astigmatism, surgeon factors affecting biometry, posterior capsular opacification, corneal endothelial cell loss with phacoemulsification, the clinical evaluation of a refractive multifocal lens and two-year follow-up results of a new hydrophobic acrylic (AcrySof!) intraocular lens (IOL) – the authors concluding that “implantation of a soft acrylic IOL provides a safe and effective procedure for small incison cataract surgery”. These are all as relevant today as they were 20 years ago.

The monthly JCRS has established itself by quality and hard effort as obligatory reading as we are constantly challenged to keep up-to-date and to offer our patients the outcome they need and desire. One of the great things about the JCRS is that it is a good ‘read’, because not only is there the science, both clinical and relevant laboratory, but also the reviews, papers on techninique (enormously enhanced by online video), the sometimes sharp correspondence (anterior segment surgeons are distinguished by their forthright opinions) and the consultation section of challenging cases which I like to read, make up my own mind about and then see how my management would compare with those of the review panel. 

JCRS publishes carefully considered and peer-reviewed data, and by its very nature there is a time lag between submission and publication. 
On the other hand EuroTimes, first published in February 1996, compliments this by up-to-the-minute reporting of events and meetings together with a wider and general overview of what is happening elsewhere in ophthalmology.
Our patients expect us to be familiar with what is happening in cornea, glaucoma or retina, either because it affects them or their friends and family. Our lives would be duller and less interesting if we couldn’t keep abreast of what our colleagues are doing. EuroTimes fills this gap and so becomes essential reading.