In this issue

News and updates

President's message
I look forward to my term as COS president with a great sense of privilege and anticipation. It is an honour to follow on 75 years of tradition and development of our national organization. I would like to thank Dr. François Codère for his steady leadership over the past two years. He and his capable board have brought the COS membership more than ever. We have many augmented programs and some entirely new initiatives in the works, which will further enhance the value of COS membership.

Medicine as a profession is facing many challenges in the age of modern health care delivery. Ophthalmology, in particular, has had its position as the highest level of expertise and authority in ocular disease challenged. Other health care providers are experiencing expanding scopes of practice, new-found confidence and heightened public exposure. Our patients, our medical colleagues, governments and the public at large are sometimes confused as to who we are and what we do.

In an effort to educate our stakeholders about our profession, COS has embarked on a rebranding strategy with Total Communications Group of Ottawa. We have adopted a new logo with the tagline "Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Canada." Our communications action plan includes promotion of the profession through various media (including print and web-based). A new COS website, launched this fall, will offer much more information for the consumer and greater functionality for our members.

Our CPD program will feature online and web-based learning opportunities for CME credit. For example, COS is working with the Canadian Glaucoma Society (CGS) in developing education modules built on COS's clinical practice guidelines on glaucoma. Members will be able to measure their own practice patterns against established guidelines for learning accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Look for this in the new year. Our latest COS guidelines on diabetic retinopathy were published in a supplement to the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology (CJO) and are currently being disseminated.

The CJO continues to grow, improve its impact factor and be a source of valuable information for our members and ophthalmologists internationally. Transitioning of its publication to Elsevier is complete, and this has proven to be a smart move from both a distribution and business perspective.

The foregoing is a small sampling of the activities underway at COS between our flagship annual meetings. I look forward to apprising you of matters as they unfold over the next two years and I encourage your comments and suggestions on what we can do to further enhance your COS membership.

Paul Rafuse, MD, FRCSC
President, COS

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Brief update from the executive director/CEO

Canadian Ophthalmological Society and Bill C-313: An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act (non-corrective contact lenses)
The Government of Canada will soon pass into law a bill that will require non-corrective (or cosmetic/decorative) contact lenses to be treated as class II medical devices under the Canadian Food and Drugs Act. This bill will bring Canadian treatment of decorative contact lenses, which are currently unregulated in Canada, closer to the situation in the United States, where since 2005 they have been considered medical devices that require a prescription from a licensed eye care professional.

In the early 2000s, Canadian Member of Parliament Patricia Davidson became aware of the dangers of cosmetic contact lenses through her work on the federal government's Standing Committee on Health. In 2008, Ms. Davidson proposed a private members' motion that would have seen cosmetic/decorative contact lenses considered as class II medical devices. In Canada, such devices must be approved and licensed by Health Canada, and distributors will require a medical device establishment licence.

Although her motion died on the order paper when Parliament was prorogued in 2008, Ms. Davidson did not give up. With the backing of COS, the Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Opticians Association of Canada, she presented a new private members' bill, Bill C-313, to Parliament in late 2010.

COS has provided a powerful voice on this issue, stating that the improper use of cosmetic/decorative contact lenses can lead to corneal injury, including microbial keratitis, corneal abrasions and neovascularization from hypoxia to the cornea. Damage to the cornea may lead to a need for corneal transplantation.

Bill C-313 is now working its way through the Senate on its way to receiving Royal Assent and being passed into law.

Warning on cigarette packages
COS worked with Health Canada to include warnings stressing the link between smoking and age-related macular degeneration on cigarette packages. Special thanks to Dr. David Maberley, president of the Canadian Retina Society and a member of the COS board, for serving on Health Canada's expert panel and to Dr. Sanjay Sharma from Insidermedicine for sharing this visual.

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Other key highlights

Outstanding 2012 annual meeting in Toronto
Our CPD program continues to expand, and our annual meeting is truly one of the best ophthalmology meetings in the world. The June 2012 meeting brought together more than 1,500 delegates in Toronto for five days of workshops, plenary sessions, surgical skills transfer courses and networking. Special thanks to Dr. Allan Slomovic and the CPD committee session chairs for all of their hard work in delivering a world-class ophthalmology meeting.

Revitalized website launches new era for COS

Proactive communications approach strengthens brand, underscores value of membership

After eight months of research and development, COS is pleased to announce the launch of our completely streamlined website at its new bilingual address to coincide with the 75th anniversary of our organization and World Sight Day on October 11, 2012.

The new site replaces with a bold, contemporary design that redefines the COS brand and highlights the skill and innovation ophthalmologists bring as leaders of the vision care team.

The approach for the new site was based on the results of a web audit of, analysis of other health care sites, stakeholder input through the COS membership survey, a CPD needs assessment and interviews with vision care professionals.

A variety of measures were taken to improve COS's web presence, including:

  • Total site redesign and reorganization - streamlining content and leveraging web best practices
  • Striking, compelling primary visuals using extreme close-ups - taking the concept of the COS logo a step further to showcase the beauty and complexity of the eye
  • Purposeful avoidance of home page images of "generic health professionals in white coats" - setting COS apart and not contributing to the public's confusion with other vision care providers
  • Strategic site architecture and navigation - allowing visitors to find information more quickly and easily
  • Increased functionality - enabling more efficient recruitment and retention of COS members
  • Stronger profile of COS leadership - emphasizing COS's place on Canada's vision care landscape, including advocacy activities
  • Clearer vision health information - increasing awareness and clarification of the role of ophthalmologists for patients and the public-at-large
  • One-click access to the three components members said they valued most - creating clickable graphics for immediate access to the annual general meeting microsite, the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology and clinical practice guidelines

The site content was reviewed for accuracy with input from staff, board representatives and peers. Careful consideration was given to securing high-quality translation to ensure that the French side of the new site mirrors the English, both in tone and functionality.

The launch concludes phase 1 of COS's website redevelopment initiative, which aims to leverage web technology to build the COS brand, expand the membership base, improve service to members, plus engage and inform the public about the role of ophthalmologists in optimal vision health for all Canadians.

Web-based enhancements anticipated in phase 2 of the initiative include:

  • An expanded and more dynamic CPD/CME section with increased opportunities and online access to accredited providers as resources and partnerships grow
  • An enhanced and more functional members-only area, including secure access to internal council and committee documents
  • A section dedicated to the new COS charitable foundation with the ability for site visitors to donate securely online
  • An investigation into the viability of creating and maintaining a "Find an Ophthalmologist" feature for the Canadian public

The result of this initiative is a fresh, modern and powerful online presence that redefines the COS brand and echoes COS's commitment to proactive communication with members, partners, the media and the public.

The new web address - - supports the distinct branding of the COS acronym in both languages; anyone using the old address will be automatically directed to the new site.

The "living nature" of the web allows this critical communications vehicle to evolve with COS. Ongoing site traffic analytics have been put in place to allow for course corrections and enhancements as needed in the coming months.

A news release to announce the new website to the general public and the media was also issued in October, with an emphasis on the vital role the ophthalmologist plays in the health care system and the health of all Canadians.

In addition to the public announcement of the new site, we also aim to post other updates regarding COS's news and advocacy activities.

We invite you to explore our new site at and we welcome all comments and feedback via the Contact page!

Jennifer Brunet-Colvey, MA
Executive Director/CEO

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Continuing Professional Development

Highlights of the 2012 COS Annual Meeting
With more than 1500 delegates in attendance, the 2012 COS Annual Meeting was a tremendous success. This 75th meeting allowed us to build on our past and move toward the future. An exciting education program and exhibition - including sessions on cutting-edge surgical innovations, state-of-the-art advances in ophthalmic diagnostics and evidence-based updates - presented new perspectives on ophthalmology.

Scientific highlights of the meeting included the COS lecture "IOL scaffold: managing PC ruptures and preventing nuclei from falling into the vitreous" by Dr. Amar Agarwal and the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology (CJO) lecture, "Neuroprotection in glaucoma" delivered by Dr. James Tsai. Look for Dr. Tsai's article and more in a special issue of the CJO, "The Best of COS 2012," to be published in February 2013. For more scientific and clinical highlights, please read the news reports prepared by CMA reporter Pat Rich on our annual meeting website.

Our skills transfer courses provided an exceptional opportunity for small-group discussions and hands-on learning. New workshops and symposia on topics, such as vision rehabilitation, retinal imaging and oculoplastics, added tremendous value for our meeting participants. This year, our wet labs once again offered unique opportunities for hands-on demonstration and practice, with courses on new techniques in corneal transplantation, iris repair and glaucoma imaging.

The Women in Ophthalmology symposium was another new initiative created to promote mentorship and camaraderie among women in ophthalmology. A presentation by Dean Catharine Whiteside of the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, entitled "Courage and creativity - envisioning the future," promoted discussion about work-life issues unique to women in the medical field.

The social highlight of our 75th meeting was the very special Welcome Reception at the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF). Team COS was honoured at centre ice with a special presentation to key groups of COS players who have made a significant impact on our organization over the past 75 years. COS guests had exclusive access to the HHOF, posing for pictures with the Stanley Cup and practising their slapshots in the Be A Player zone. View and download photos here.

The COS Celebration, held at the Design Exchange, was also a tremendous evening, where guests enjoyed a gourmet dinner and were dazzled by the acrobatic techniques of Zero Gravity Circus.

COS Awards of Excellence
COS congratulates the recipients of the 2012 COS awards for excellence in ophthalmic research. The COS awards recognize residents, fellows and medical students conducting original, innovative research at a Canadian university.

Paper presentations1st prize David Almeida, Queens University
Randomized controlled trial comparing nepafenac, ketorolac and placebo in preventing macular edema after uncomplicated cataract extraction
2nd prizeVivian Yin, University of Toronto
The effect of repeated topical fluoroquinolone use post intravitreal injection for neovascular age-related macular eegeneration (AMD) on ocular surface flora
3rd prize Laura Beltran-Agullo, Toronto Western Hospital
Faster visual recovery following Ex-PRESS than trabeculectomy: results of a prospective randomized controlled trial
Poster presentations1st prize Weerawat Kiddee, Toronto Western Hospital
Systematic literature review and meta-analysis of IOP elevation post intravitreal steroids
2nd prize M. Nour Haydari, University of Montreal
Living model for Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy
3rd prize Radwan Ajlan, McGill University
Risk factors affecting optic nerve head blood flow after therapeutic IOP reduction in patients with open angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension

2013 COS Annual Meeting
Save the date now for the 2013 COS Annual Meeting in Montreal, June 14-17 at the Hilton Bonaventure. Pathology and committee meetings are scheduled for Friday, June 14, with the rest of the program following on Saturday, June 15 through Monday, June 17.

Guest speakers confirmed to date include:

  • Sarah E. Coupland, MB, ChB, PhD, FRCPath, from the University of Liverpool; president, International Society of Ophthalmic Pathology; and president, European Ophthalmic Oncology
  • Bertil E. Damato, MD, PhD, FRCOphth from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, and president, International Society of Ocular Oncology
  • Robert H. Osher, MD, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati and medical director emeritus of the Cincinnati Eye Institute

More information:

Call for abstracts
Opens: Monday October 1
Closes: Sunday November 18, 11:59 pm ET

Submit your abstract on-line directly

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2013 membership renewal

Membership renewal notices for 2013 will be sent by email in early November.

Members who have yet to provide COS with an email address can contact Rita Afeltra, executive assistant and membership services, at [email protected]; otherwise, you will receive a print copy of the renewal notice by regular mail, and you are encouraged to submit your dues online as this greatly facilitates the renewal process. In addition, it's a perfect time to check your member information for accuracy, as the information you post on your member profile will be extracted for the 2013 online membership directory.

Currently, COS membership stands at 1119, an increase from 1078 in 2011. A robust membership base is essential to ensure a viable and effective national society and sustain its programming efforts on behalf of ophthalmology in Canada.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Rita Afeltra at 800-267-5763 ext. 300 or email [email protected].

Top 10 reasons to renew your COS membership

  1. Save by taking advantage of member rates for the COS Annual Meeting and Exhibition, the premiere ophthalmology event in Canada, including the opportunity for hands-on learning through surgical skills transfer courses
  2. Participate in great educational programs to earn CPD/CME credits
  3. Receive a free subscription to the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology
  4. Access the latest clinical practice guidelines
  5. Network with more than 1,200 Canadian ophthalmology professionals
  6. Gain access to COS's annual online membership directory - a complete listing of Canadian ophthalmologists and residents - and a complimentary subscription to Perspectives, the COS newsletter
  7. Get involved in helping to shape the future of health care policy in Canada
  8. Receive discounts on the purchase of patient information pamphlets
  9. Find your niche - the COS is affiliated with Canadian subspecialty societies
  10. Get the latest news and updates in ophthalmology
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Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology


Manuscript submission
Spring 2012 marked completion of the transition of the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology (CJO) to its new publisher, Elsevier. At the end of March 2012, the CJO transitioned to EES, Elsevier's in-house electronic manuscript management system. Authors now click on to submit a manuscript.

Change to CJO article types
Now that our Correspondence items are being published online only, the specifications for two types of articles have been changed to accommodate longer articles. Case Series submissions may now be 1500 words long with up to 30 references and a maximum of seven tables or figures. Correspondence items (or Case Reports) may now be up to 1000 words long with up to 15 references and five tables or figures. Please see the CJO instructions for authors for further information.

Cornea editors
The CJO is seeking cornea specialists who are interested in editing or reviewing articles. Please contact the editorial office ([email protected]) for further details.

Ophthalmology Advance
In August 2012, Elsevier launched a new ophthalmology web portal featuring the CJO. Ophthalmology Advance brings together the eight ophthalmology journals published by Elsevier in one web space. This site will greatly benefit the CJO by raising its profile and bringing us new readership and submissions.

Please visit

Please check the CJO website for updates and news.

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October 2012 issue highlights
(CJO web site)

New concepts concerning the neural mechanisms of amblyopia and their clinical implications
Amblyopia is a visual impairment secondary to abnormal visual experience during early childhood that cannot be corrected immediately by glasses alone. This review examines current understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying the characteristic deficits associated with amblyopia and novel therapeutic strategies.

Twitter as a tool for ophthalmologists
This review paper, which serves as an introduction to Twitter, surveys the peer-reviewed literature on Twitter and its various uses. Opportunities for using Twitter in ophthalmology are outlined, and a recommended list of ophthalmology feeds on Twitter is presented.

A comparison of hand- and foot-activated surgical tools in simulated ophthalmic surgery
A survey of 18 ophthalmology residents at the University of Toronto revealed that, during simulated intraocular surgery, foot- and hand-activated surgical tools appear to have similar performance characteristics and are equally well received by residents.

Understanding macular holes that develop after repair of retinal detachment
This case series reports the demographic and clinical characteristics, macular hole closure rates and best corrected visual acuity following macular hole repair. The study findings suggest that other pathogenic mechanisms besides vitreofoveal traction may be leading to these macular holes.

Pre- versus post-dilation changes in intraocular pressure: their clinical significance
The authors report that the use of pharmacologic mydriasis affects the reliability of intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements taken post-dilation in a group of patients. They conclude that stringent measurement of IOP before dilation is necessary when measuring and following IOP in all patients.

The Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology is your journal. Its content reflects the submissions received. We welcome articles from COS members, and we are also always on the lookout for expert reviewers and potential section editors. If you have questions or need more information, please feel free to contact the Editorial Office at [email protected].
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