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 International Optometrist Award 2021


We are pleased to announce that this year's winner of the International Optometrist Award of the Year is the young optometrist and ophthalmologist Dr. Colm McAlinden a prominent and prolific researcher from Swansea Bay University, Health Board and Visiting Professor at the Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University

It is also an honor that Dr. Colm McAlinden has accepted to be sponsor of this year’s students entry, so he will become Mentor of Class 2021-2025 at Facultat Optica i Optometria de Terrassa.



Colm McAlinden is one of the few who is both an Optometrist and Ophthalmologist. He originally graduated from Cardiff University with a first class honours in Optometry, followed by a pre-registration period at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. This was followed by a Masters and a PhD in Refractive Surgery. He then undertook a post-doctoral research fellowship at Flinders University in Australia before entering medical school, graduating in medicine and surgery (MB BCh) with elective periods with the Boston keratoprosthesis group at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard University and the Cornea Department at Hôpital de la Timone in Marseille, France. He undertook his medicine and surgery posts in Wales and Bristol, during which time he was awarded an MD for his research achievements. Following this, Colm entered Ophthalmology specialist training in Wales and has been awarded, by examination, the prestigious Fellowship status with both the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth) and the European Board of Ophthalmology (FEBO).

Colm is currently working within Swansea Bay University Health Board and is a Visiting Professor at the Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University. He has broad research interests including patient reported outcome psychometrics, cornea, cataract and refractive surgery, evaluation of ophthalmic instrumentation, public health and epidemiology. He developed the Quality of Vision (QoV) questionnaire which has become a highly utilised tool to evaluate outcomes in cataract and refractive surgery across clinical practice, research studies, clinical trials and regulatory approval studies including FDA and CE.

He is a prolific researcher, with over 145 publications in peer reviewed journals and numerous awards to his name. He sits on the editorial board for six peer reviewed journals including Eye and Vision. Despite his many achievements at yet a young age, he remains incredibly humble, approachable and down-to-earth.