Re: Advertisement for Doctors of Optometry

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 59, No. 3, April 2017, Page 147 Letters

I do not agree with Dr Dhanda that “all the eye health services provided by optometrists are provided by ophthalmologists and at no charge to the patient” [BCMJ 2016;58:548].

I have been working as a family physician in Nanaimo since 1982. For the past 15 years or so, the ophthalmologists in Nanaimo, Parksville, and Port Alberni do not provide refraction or give prescriptions for glasses for any patients referred to them by a family physician, and they will not see patients who are referred only for this reason.

Also, the waiting list for patients to be seen by an ophthalmologist is between 2 and 6 weeks, so optometrists are essential to provide eye care to my patients.
—Barbara Macleod, MD

Barbara Macleod, MD. Re: Advertisement for Doctors of Optometry. BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 3, April, 2017, Page(s) 147 - Letters.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply