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Vol. 11. Num. 3.July - September 2018
Pages 133-200
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Vol. 11. Num. 3.July - September 2018
Pages 133-200
DOI: 10.1016/j.optom.2018.06.001
Milestones in the development of Spanish optometry
Hitos en el desarrollo de la Optometría española
César Villa-Collar
Universidad Europea de Madrid, Faculty of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Department of Pharmacy, Biotechnology, Nutrition, Optics and Optometry, Spain
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Optometry is a science in continuous development around the world and the Spanish case is truly significant. Over the last years its professional evolution and development has been noteworthy. The aspects to be highlighted in this editorial are three: an international congress, the success of the scientific publication Journal of Optometry and the Spanish Society of Optometry consolidation as a Scientific Society.

International congress (OPTOM)

The OPTOM’18 congress has recently been held in Madrid, an international congress on Optometry, Contactology and Ophthalmic Optics that has brought together more than 1300 professionals. The submission of oral communications to participate in the congress has not stopped growing in each new edition, which is convened every two years.

In the last four OPTOM Congress editions (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018) the number of free communications and in poster format submitted increased from 332 in 2012 to 632 in 2018. As important categories of the congress we must emphasize the importance of Ocular Surface and Contact Lenses, which went from 85 proposals to 169 in the mentioned period; Binocular Vision, Refraction and Visual Function, from 48 to 81; Primary Care and Public Health, from 22 to 57; Paediatric Optometry, from 8 to 43 and Basic Research from 14 to 69 (Fig. 1).

Figure 1.

Number of communications submitted to the Optom Congress. Total number and most important categories.

The scientific program of the last OPTOM congress included the presentation of the results of the latest scientific studies related to Optometry and that were developed in different formats: 4 plenary sessions, 18 monographic courses, 4 clinical courses, 150 oral communications, 8 conferences sponsored by outstanding companies from the optical sector and almost 300 posters.

Journal of Optometry

The Journal of Optometry (JO) is the scientific, peer-reviewed publication of the Spanish General Council of Optometry. The readership of JO includes optometrists, ophthalmologists and visual scientists, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students in these fields.

In 2017, 59% of manuscripts received for publication in Journal of Optometry, came from the USA (16%), Spain (14%), India (13%), the United Kingdom (6%), Australia and Canada (5% each). Consequently, Spain ranked second in articles submitted. In 2013, these same countries represented 32%, with the United States accounting for the same 14% and 9% for Spain (Fig. 2).

Figure 2.

Manuscripts received in Journal of Optometry. Main countries of origin.

Spanish Society of Optometry

A third important aspect that confirms the growing evolution of Optometry in Spain is the consolidation of the Spanish Society of Optometry, recognized as a Scientific Society in January 2018 by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality. Its main goal is to stimulate the development of the evidence-based optometry in all its specialties through research and continuous training of its members, enhancing the excellence of the professional practice of its members, helping to develop their skills and promoting at the same time a greater recognition of its professionals in the environment of health and society.

Among the many purposes and activities of the Spanish Society of Optometry is to bring together all optometrists who have an interest in developing research projects and promote scientific research in all fields related to optometry, as well as promote the participation of professionals in primary care services and establish relationships with other scientific societies, ensuring the professional prestige of optometrists and the deontological code of conduct.

As a culmination to this brilliant development of optometry in Spain due, among other positive circumstances, to these three major professional milestones, it's likely that the Journal of Optometry will become part, not too far, of the Spanish Society of Optometry as the official organ of scientific–technological communication; a new stage to apply what we have learned from our previous experiences and face a professional future based on the practice of evidence-based optometry.

Copyright © 2018. Spanish General Council of Optometry
Journal of Optometry

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