President's message: Update from COS president, Dr. Allan Slomovic

COS President Dr. Allan Slomovic with Jennifer Gordon, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

A Season of Reflection and Change
The seasons represent a time of change and ushering in of a new chapter. With the arrival of autumn, I want to take a few moments to reflect on the success of the last several months and to share with you some of the activities that will pave the way for the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) between now and the end of the year.

The COS Annual Meeting, our flagship Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program, continued to exceed all expectations this year. The 2015 Annual Meeting in Victoria, BC featured 18 international speakers and brought together over 1,300 participants for four days of workshops, research presentations, plenary sessions, surgical skills transfer courses and networking. Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Buys, Chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC) and to all of the session chairs for their exceptional leadership in this regard. The 2014 Royal College Accredited CPD Provider Innovation Award was formally presented to the COS at the June meeting. A special article profiling the COS surgical skills transfer courses was also featured in the September issue of the Royal College's newsletter Dialogue. The AMPC met on November 8, 2015 and is already busy planning next year's meeting in Ottawa.

The 6th National CPD Providers conference hosted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) was held in Ottawa, September 29-30, 2015. Special thanks to Dr. Colin Mann, Chair, CPD, for attending this conference and representing the COS.

Planning for the 2016 Canadian Retina Society meeting is also underway, with a number of high profile retina speakers already confirmed to participate. For the first time, CRS will be hosting the meeting at the Fairmont Mont Tremblant, QC March 3-6, 2016. Thanks to Dr. Jim Whelan, Dr. Netan Choudry and Dr. Pradeepa Yoganathan for organizing what looks to be yet another successful meeting. We look forward to sharing the meeting highlights in our next newsletter.

Under the new Council on Advocacy, led by Dr. Phil Hooper, COS was very active on a number of national and provincial advocacy efforts between the months of July and September. Key advocacy efforts included: Bill C-313, An Act to Amend Non-Corrective Cosmetic Contact Lenses; the COS/Canadian Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (CAPOS) joint statement of support for the RCPSC report on early childhood development, as well as a number of activities in Ontario and Alberta. Please see the advocacy update below for more details. We look forward to sharing further updates as we begin to formalize the priorities of the Council on Advocacy in the coming weeks and months.

At the request of our members and several of our industry partners, COS also launched the Uninsured Services survey in September 2015. This survey will serve as an update to the 2009 study. Response rates for this year's survey were very high, tripling the number of completed responses received in the 2009 study. Thank you to Dr. Andrew Budning for his leadership in this regard. Thank you as well to all of you who took the time to complete the survey - your input is invaluable. The survey closed on October 15, 2015 and we look forward to sharing the formal survey results report with you at a future date.

COS continued to support our residents and young ophthalmologists with a special symposium at our Annual Meeting. The Canadian Ophthalmological Residents Society (CORS) also re-branded as the Council of Canadian Ophthalmology Residents (CCOR), under the leadership of their new President, Zale Mednick. An updated version of the Resident's page on the COS website is also in the works which will include links to job opportunities, fellowships and other helpful information. Special thanks to Dr. Mona Harissi-Dagher, Board Liaison on Resident Affairs, for all her efforts.

As we move into the last quarter of 2015, I also want to extend my thanks to Dr. Geoffrey Williams, Treasurer of the COS. His expertise in managing our financial portfolio has been invaluable to the COS and as members you can feel confident in Dr. Williams's leadership in this regard.

I also want to want to thank Jennifer Brunet-Colvey, our forward-thinking and inexhaustible Executive Director and CEO and the outstanding COS staff, without whom all of this would not be possible.

Looking ahead, I look forward to working with Dr. Guillermo Rocha, President-Elect, as the COS continues to focus on our growing membership, with 2016 renewal notices going out in November. COS will expand educational opportunities at the COS and at the CRS annual meetings by providing co-developed accredited symposia. COS is continuing to explore opportunities to work with industry partners to expand the scope and number of CPD activities based on member needs. COS will also continue to strengthen its ties with government as the recognized "go-to" resource for ophthalmology, with a Strategic Planning session on Advocacy held in October.

In summary, we are in excellent position, with increasing membership, outstanding educational events and a strong voice in advocacy. In 2012, we underwent a strategic planning meeting and I am pleased to report that we are making significant headway on each of our strategic priorities including: governance, education, financial management, membership, advocacy, communications/media relations.


Dr. Allan Slomovic MSc, MD, FRCSC

Back to top

Continuing professional development & education

Future of Medical Education (FMEC) CPD website launched!
FMEC CPD is a set of projects focused on ensuring that Canada's medical education system continues to meet the changing needs of Canadians now and into the future. Eight partner organizations are collaborating to develop a project strategy and business case to create a Pan-Canadian FMEC CPD Consortium. These organizations include the Association of the Faculties of Medicine of Canada, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Protective Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Federation of medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada, the Medical Council of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Collège des médecins du Québec. Visit the website to learn more and get engaged.

INSIGHT Programs - Cornea and Glaucoma
Visit our website to find an INSIGHT program near you.

INSIGHT Cornea consists of five accredited modules developed by respected Canadian corneal specialists. Cornea module topics include Ocular surface disease, Anterior segment lumps and bumps, and Corneal ulcers - immune, bacterial and viral. INSIGHT Glaucoma consists of four accredited modules developed by respected Canadian glaucoma specialists. Glaucoma module topics include What scares you scares me too - Challenging case studies, After the LPI, Imaging and glaucoma, and Glaucoma 101 - Things you cannot miss.

MOC Section 3 online education opportunities
You can now earn MOC Section 3 credits by participating in educational activities online.

Biometry U: Co-developed by the Canadian Cataract Institute and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society

Visiting Professor Online Rounds: Developed by University of Toronto, Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences

Back to top

Membership news

Membership renewal notices for 2016 will be sent by email in mid November. Members who have yet to provide COS with an email address can contact Rita Afeltra, Membership Manager, at [email protected]. Otherwise, you will receive a print copy of the renewal notice by regular mail, and are encouraged to use the Internet to submit your dues as this greatly facilitates the renewal process. In addition, it's a perfect time to update your member information for accuracy as the information you post on your member profile will be extracted for the online Membership Directory.

The current membership of the COS stands at 1,080 for the 2015 calendar. A robust membership base is essential to ensure a viable and effective national society and its programming efforts on behalf of ophthalmology in Canada.

Please contact Rita Afeltra, Membership Manager, with any questions or concerns at 800-267-5763 ext. 300 or by email [email protected].

Back to top

Advocacy update

We wanted to provide you with an update on some of our recent Advocacy efforts. We will continue to keep you updated on our work in this important area.

Uninsured Services Survey
On September 22, 2015, COS issued a member survey to update the valuation of select uninsured services in ophthalmology. In the coming weeks, COS will also be sending a letter to key members of federal and provincial governments to inform them of this study in order to proactively address the issue of patient complaints received by government regarding inconsistent billing of uninsured services across all jurisdictions.

Bill C-313 - An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act (non-corrective contact lenses)
On July 29, 2015, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced that Health Canada is advancing regulations that will require the same medical-device safety standards for non-corrective or 'cosmetic' contact lenses as prescription or corrective contact lenses. As medical devices, cosmetic contact lenses will now be subject to specific requirements for licensing, manufacturing, labeling, and instructions to improve their safety before they go on the market. COS President, Dr. Allan Slomovic was quoted in the news release issued by the Ministry of Health. Dr. Slomovic was also featured in a number of media interviews and in approximately 53 news articles, garnering 34.5 million media impressions. In response to the announcement, COS took the lead on developing a joint news release with the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) and the Opticians Association of Canada (OAO) expressing our support for this decision, which was issued on July 30, 2015. As a next step, COS will be following up with the Ministry of Health and Health Canada to offer assistance in the development of the new regulations relating to non-corrective contact lenses, set to come into effect July 16, 2016.

CAPOS/COS Joint Statement of Support for RCPSC Report on Early Childhood Development
On August 5, 2015, the Canadian Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (CAPOS) in conjunction with the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) issued a joint statement of support for the position statement on Early Childhood Development issued by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, in recognition of the pivotal role of eye and vision health in the development of children.

Strabismus Surgery Wait Times in Eastern Ontario
On August 18, 2015, Dr. Phil Hooper, Dr. Annick Fournier and Jennifer Brunet-Colvey met with Ontario MPP John Fraser (Ottawa South) regarding longer than average wait times for children's strabismus surgery at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). As a result of that meeting, MPP Fraser agreed to follow up with CHEO CEO Alex Munter as well as his colleagues at Queen's Park to discuss this issue. Of particular interest, MPP John Fraser was recently appointed by the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to lead the area of scope expansion for the province.

COS/EPSO - OAO White Paper Response
As you are aware, on May 29, 2015, COS and EPSO issued an initial letter to the Ontario government in response to a White Paper by the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO). A more detailed follow-up response is currently being developed to be sent to government in the coming weeks.

COS/CAPOS/EPSO - Letter to College of Optometrists of Ontario
On August 16, 2015, COS, CAPOS and EPSO issued a joint letter to the College of Optometrists of Ontario with regards to recent changes to the Optometric Practice Reference regarding Vision Therapy. In response to the letter, the College agreed to amend the changes to the Optometric Practice Reference regarding vision therapy.

Eye Physicians and Surgeons Association of Alberta (EPSAA) Meeting with Premier's Office - September 30th
Dr. Stephanie Dotchin and Dr. Vivian Hill (EPSAA) met with Marcella Munro, Stakeholder Outreach and Communications Manager, with the Premier's Office on September 30, 2015. As a next step, EPSAA will be preparing a briefing document for government on children's vision screening, which the province will review in advance of their spring budget.

Back to top

Communications and media relations

COS SSTC Profiled in the Royal College Newsletter
A special article profiling the COS surgical skills transfer courses was featured in the September issue of the Royal College's newsletter Dialogue. To read the article, please visit: An “eye” for innovation.

COS Partners with Canada Health Infoway for Digital Health Week
Patients, governments, healthcare associations and clinicians are working together to make care better today with digital health. From November 16-22, 2015, COS will be working with Canada Health Infoway to showcase digital innovation in eye health of Canadians. More about this campaign.

COS in the News
Over the last several months, COS members have been featured in several top-tier media outlets. Read some of the latest media coverage.

We need YOU!
Good media coverage relies on great medical experts and compelling patient stories. Are you interested in speaking to media on eye and vision health related subjects? Or, do you know a patient who has an inspiring story they would be willing to share? Then we want to hear from you! For more information, please contact: Rosalind O'Connell, Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at: [email protected] or by phone at: 1- 613-650-7489.

Back to top

Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology

CJO 50th Anniversary - Special Issue - June 2015
In honour of the CJO's 50th Anniversary, the journal will publish a special issue in June 2016 with the theme of 'Canadian Ophthalmology Practice and Education'. The call for papers was circulated over the summer and the deadline for submissions is November 2, 2015. The issue will publish articles intended to inform CJO readers about current issues and trends in contemporary Canadian and international ophthalmology education and practice. Please feel free to visit the journal website or contact the Editorial Office for further information.

New Submission System
On October 20, 2015 the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology migrated to a new online submission and publishing system, EVISE. EVISE is Elsevier's new, proprietary manuscript management system. The first time you submit an article or agree to review for the CJO after October 20th you will be prompted to create a new login and password for the EVISE system. EVISE is a web-based system that was developed based on user needs to make the submission, editing and publishing process easier and faster. For more information contact the Editorial Office or Elsevier.

CJO Phone Apps
It just got a whole lot easier to keep up with the most important advances in the science and practice of ophthalmology. CJO/JCO is now available for iOS and Android, bringing you the convenience of reading the journal from anywhere in the world with just a tap.

  • Stay ahead with alerts when new issues are available and read Articles in Press throughout the month
  • Enjoy Open Access and Open Archive Content without having to login
  • Accessibility support to assist the visually impaired
  • Interact with figures, tables, multimedia and supplementary content
  • Take notes, highlight articles and share via email and social media
  • Personalize your experience with My Reading List and save articles for offline reading

Download the CJO Mobile App on all your devices
Download from iTunes
Download for Android

CJO October 2015 Issue
The CJO October issue is now available online and (for those who receive the print issue) in your mailbox!

Back to top

Partner and affiliate news

COS Members Recognized with 2015 AAO Achievement Award
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) wishes to congratulate those COS members who were recipients of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2015 Achievement Award. The Achievement Award is decided by the Awards Committee and the Board of Trustees and awarded to individuals from around the world for their contributions made to the Academy, its scientific and educational programs and to ophthalmology.

We extend our congratulations to COS Board member and Chair, Annual Meeting Planning Committee, Dr. Yvonne M. Buys (Toronto) and COS members Dr. Clara C. Chan (Toronto); Dr. John C. Chen (Westmount); Dr. John T. Harvey (Hamilton) and Dr. Karim G. Punja (Calgary).

More about this award

AMI: creating a positive media experience for blind and partially sighted Canadians
We live in a visual world. More often than not people are discussing what they read in the newspaper, what they watched on television last night or their thoughts on the latest blockbuster film. But what if you were unable to access visual media in its traditional form? For Canadians living with significant vision loss, sharing in these everyday moments can be a frustrating experience.

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is a non-profit media company dedicated to making accessible media for individuals who are blind or partially sighted across the country by operating three broadcast channels each with a unique twist. AMI-tv in English and AMI-télé in French are the only two television channels in the world that offer open format described video (DV) on one hundred percent of the content, meaning the DV feature is automatic and already enabled. Described video is an added narrative that explains any key visual elements of a program for those living with vision loss, similar to the way closed captioning is used to make content accessible to those with hearing loss. Both AMI-tv and AMI-télé air a variety of programs including comedies, dramas, movies, and engaging original content with a focus on issues relevant to Canadians of all abilities. A second English channel, AMI-audio, combines articles from top national and international publications read by professional narrators with a variety of original programs covering health, business, entertainment and social issues.

The best thing about the AMI family of channels is that all three are included as part of the basic digital cable package with most providers across Canada at no additional cost. That means a potentially life-changing media experience is already available to your patients - they just need the proper information in order to access it. With your help we can make progress in ensuring that access to media in Canada is a right, not a privilege. AMI-tv is available on Rogers (888), Bell (48), Cogeco (555), Shaw (888) and Telus (888). AMI-audio is available on Rogers (196), Bell (49), Cogeco (596), Shaw (889) and Telus (889). AMI-télé is available on Videotron (26), Rogers (664), Bell (50) and Cogeco (65).

To learn more about AMI or to access additional channel listings please visit, call us toll free at 1-800-567-6755 or email [email protected].

Back to top

Related conferences and events

2016 World Ophthalmology Congress
The Scientific Program for the 2016 World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, is now online. More than 330 scientific sessions have been organized, and over 3,000 ophthalmologists, subspecialists, and medical professionals will be presenting at WOC2016, a dynamic educational event that covers more than 25 specialties and related topics.

Sessions, topics, speakers, dates, times, and locations for the February 5-9 Congress
More information

More information and a list of upcoming Canadian and international conferences and events.

Back to top