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‘Kanski’ Author Dr. Brad Bowling Shifts to Australia

mivision | 27 June 2012
Dr. Brad Bowling, co-author of the leading textbook, ‘Clinical Ophthalmology: A Systematic Approach’, used by the majority of ophthalmology trainees and a favourite of many optometrists, has moved permanently to Australia.

Aged 47, Dr. Bowling moved to Australia with his wife, who is an ophthalmic nurse and his two children, aged six and eight, to join Vision Eye Institute in the Sydney suburbs of Bondi, Hurstville and Drummoyne as a practising ophthalmologist and to continue writing for the profession.

Dr. Bowling wrote the seventh edition of ‘Clinical Ophthalmology: A Systematic Approach’ in collaboration with the original sole author, Dr. Jack Kanski. It is the second book they have worked on together, the first being a “small book” he says entitled ‘Ophthalmology in Focus’, which continues to sell very well, and has been translated into several languages. Dr. Bowling says ‘Clinical Ophthalmology: A Systematic Approach’ is colloquially known as ‘Kanski’ and perceived to be the ‘Bible’ to optometrists and ophthalmologists worldwide.

“If you could learn the whole book inside out you’d be extremely well versed in general ophthalmology,” he told mivision. “It probably contains too much detail for most optometrists but still they use it widely because it is extremely useful clinically. There are lots of pictures and they can read up on every aspect of every eye disease then assess what they need to do and whether a referral is necessary.”

‘Kanski’ is comprehensive. When Dr. Bowling used the second edition of ‘Kanski’ as a student, it contained just 300 pages, now there are 1,000. “It has grown and grown as we’ve addressed areas in greater detail, added new topics of information and, of course, treatments have moved a lot,” he said.

For the next edition, Dr. Bowling hopes to produce an extended online version of the book with substantial additional text, interactive Q and A sections and, of course, updates as required. For now though, due to technical limitations, the online version is the same as the printed one.

Dr. Bowling says he gets great satisfaction from producing a book that contributes to the health care of people around the world. “By writing this, and other books on ophthalmology, I can contribute to the care of so many more patients than I could ever see personally.

“Ophthalmologists around the world have taken their treatment cues from ‘Kanski’ for a generation and it’s an amazing privilege to be part of that. For instance, when my colleague Simon Chen was doing voluntary work in Cambodia recently, he emailed me to say the doctors he was working with there were using the book as their sole treatment guide. It was humbling. They couldn’t afford the book itself but were accessing an online version – and they followed it to the letter. That sort of thing gives me a real thrill,” he said.

' If you could learn the whole book inside out you’d be extremely well versed in general ophthalmology... '