I would like to thank the European Glaucoma Society for the opportunity to visit for 1 month a leading glaucoma center in Germany. I also want to express my gratitude to the head of my fellowship program Prof. Hoffmann and the whole team of the University Clinic Mainz.
During my stay, I was following specialists in the glaucoma clinic and learned how to manage different types of glaucoma. I visited the operation theater and I have seen all types of glaucoma surgeries. I followed patients during their postoperative period and learned how to deal with some complications. A highlight of my observership was an experience in pediatric glaucoma. Every Tuesday and Thursday I attended morning lectures, which were very interesting and useful. This observership was a great experience. Many thanks to Prof. Pfeiffer, Prof. Hoffmann, Prof. Schuster, Dr. Rezapour, and Dr. Strzalkowska for accepting me and for mentoring me during this period.
Maria Erokhina Eye Clinic Sulzbach, Germany (Augenklinik Sulzbach)
First of all, I want to thank the EGS for giving me this amazing possibility and generously supporting my Glaucoma Fellowship at the Eye Clinic, University Clinical Centre Ljubljana which is the reference glaucoma centre in Slovenia. I am very grateful to the Head of the Clinic – Prof. Dr. Mojca Globočnik-Petrovič, the Head of the Glaucoma Department – Prof. Dr. Barbara Cvenkel, and the EGS Secretary- Ilaria Caldareri for their help and support during my education.
I had the honour to be supervised by Prof. Cvenkel, a top glaucoma expert, who took time off her busy schedule not only educating me about glaucoma, but also facilitating and guiding me in getting involved in the glaucoma society. I would also like to express my special gratitude to her highly competent team Asst. Dr. Makedonka Atanasovska Velkovska and Dr. Tjaša Steblovnik for making me feel welcomed and sharing their best practices with me. Through guidance and close tutoring of Prof. Cvenkel I could deepen my competence in the diagnostic process and therapeutic management of glaucoma. Furthermore, I had the chance to work with lasers and become familiar with some new techniques for glaucoma surgeries and with the latest diagnostic equipment. Having the chance to operate glaucoma surgeries was also of great value as we discussed about surgical skills and different techniques. Moreover, given my interest in glaucoma research, the inclusion in research projects was very enthralling for me, as was the presentation on the 19th Glaucoma School, and the sponsoring of the EGS meeting in Athens in 2022. The eye Clinic in Ljubljana is a great place to study and practice ophthalmology. I was really impressed by the organization and efficiency with which things were get done. The staff is very friendly and helpful, whereas education of students and residents is done with great effort. There were interesting clinical and research presentations in morning meetings and continual medical education sessions every week. Overall, the fellowship at the Eye Clinic in Ljubljana was a life-changing experience. The gained knowledge and skills are truly incredible, whereas friendship with Slovenian colleagues is of greatest values. I had the chance to improve my Slovenian language skills and maintaining a strong collaboration with Prof. Cvenkel and her team. I highly recommend this department to any colleagues who intend to be trained for glaucoma. Thank you for the opportunity!
Prof. Assoc. Qëndresë Daka, FEBO University of Prishtina "Hasan Prishtina” Prishtinë, Kosovo
Dear members of the EGS and EGS Training Support Committee, This document serves as a summary report of my observational internship in the field of Glaucoma, which took place at the Ophthalmology Department of the Universitair Ziekenhuis (UZ) Leuven, in Belgium, under the supervision of Professor Dr. Ingeborg Stalmans.
I chose UZ Leuven hoping to encounter a place with considerable volume of glaucoma clinical and surgical activities, as well as a focus on basic and clinical ophthalmic research. That was precisely what I found. My typical “observational week” was roughly divided in 3 parts: 1 day dedicated to research, 1 day dedicated to surgery, and 3 days dedicated to clinical practice. On Mondays, the research day, I would spend time with and help Dr. Jan Van Eijgen, an ophthalmology resident pursuing his PhD studies in Glaucoma. In this context, I also got to visit the labotatory of KU Leuven’s Research Group Ophthalmology. Tuesdays would be dedicated to surgery, starting from 8 a.m. to around 5 p.m. I followed the activities of the ambulatory surgery rooms, which during a total of 4 dedicated days, allowed me to observe several surgeries, including 16 trabeculectomies, 3 XEN® stents, 4 Preserflo® microshunts, 1 PAUL® implant, 5 diode cyclophotocoagulations, 3 needling procedures, and 4 conjunctival procedures (e.g., re-suture, barrage sutures). It is important to state that this was a more varied and intense exposure than which I had in my institution, fulfilling one of my ultimate goals with this internship. I should also mention that outside the operating room, and throughout the rest of the week, I also got exposure to numerous laser procedures (e.g., YAG iridotomy and SLTs). During “clinic days”, I would be following the clinical activities of either Prof. Dr. Ingeborg Stalmans, Prof. Dr. Evelien Vandewalle, Dr. Sophie Lemmens, or Dr. Vincent Walgrave. These consisted of varied glaucoma consultations, from routine annual follow-up to postoperative consultations in several stages of the postoperative period. These were a great learning experience, as I got exposed to the postoperative stage of several types of glaucoma surgery, their potential complications, and their management (e.g., reforming of anterior chamber, laser suture lysis). I would normally follow the supervisor in his/her discussion and decision with younger colleagues, which would result in exposure to dozens of consultations every day. SUMMARY REPORT In conclusion, this internship fulfilled my learning goals and exceeded my expectations as to how a glaucoma clinic can work effectively, with a high turnover of patients and good quality of care. Last, but not least, it allowed me to establish connections and good relationships with colleagues from another country, something that is always very valuable. I could not be more satisfied with the experience and will recommend it to any colleagues interested pursuing the same path.
Emmanuel Rebelo Neves Senior Ophthalmology Resident Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra (CHUC) Praceta Prof. Mota Pinto Coimbra, Portugal
My name is Luisa Castro-Roger and I am a last year resident of Ophthalmology in Miguel Servet University Hospital (Zaragoza, Spain). I would first love to express my deepest gratitude towards EGS team for awarding me this grant, I am sure this enables so many people to broaden our horizons in glaucoma education.
My observership consisted in shadowing Dr Mercieca in Universitäts Augenklinik Bonn (Germany) during the month of September 2022. I have enjoyed the opportunity to the fullest, learning as much as possible during all the different surgical procedures I have been able to watch (like MIGs, XEN, Preserflo, trabeculectomy, deep sclerectomy, Paul Tube, different ways of dealing with tube exposures, etc). Most of the techniques Dr Mercieca taught me have been very useful for my day-to-day practice today. I could attend to clinical consultations with the whole glaucoma team too. Apart from clinics or surgery, I have been able to attend from clinical case discussion, journal club sessions or even histopathology laboratory teamwork. I was lucky to attend to a glaucoma surgery drylab with different specialists from all around Germany. I would also like to thank the glaucoma team and all the residents and rest of the staff in this clinic, that have been the most welcoming and heartwarming hosts that I could ever wish for. I deeply recommend this experience to both residents and young specialists, since it has been key in my formation as a future glaucoma subspecialist.
Luisa Castro-Roger MD
I express my deepest gratitude to the EGS Executive Committee and EGS President Prof. Fotis Topouzis for the EGS Travel Grant award and the delightful opportunity of observership at one of the leading European glaucoma centers. For the 1-month observership I chose Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Mainz.
On the first day of my education, the Head of the Clinic, Prof. Norbert Pfeiffer introduced me to the team at the morning conference. I also met the Head of Glaucoma Clinic, Prof. Esther Hoffmann. Difficult cases for discussion or up-to-date lectures on crucial aspects of ophthalmology were presented at these conferences. During my training, I was fortunate to take part in the examinations of patients in the glaucoma clinic, to observe rare and complex patients among adults and children. I also visited the operating theatre, where I could attend various surgical interventions for glaucoma, such as canaloplasty, trabeculectomy, bleb revision, phacoemulsification + goniotomy with Kahook Dual Blade, Ahmed glaucoma valve implantation, PreserFlo MicroShunt and XenGel stent implantation, trabeculotomy, phacotrabeculectomy, combined surgery for eye trauma etc. It was very useful and informative for me to observe the surgical treatment of glaucoma in children of different ages. Мainz also made wondrous impressions on me. The atmosphere of a cozy, quiet and comfortable city on the banks of the Rhine contributed to my education. The month of observership was very fruitful! I was very impressed and inspired for my further clinical activities in my homeland, Ukraine. I am grateful to the Head of Clinic Prof. Norbert Pfeiffer, the Head of Glaucoma Clinic Prof. Esther Hoffmann, senior doctors Joanna Wasielica-Poslednik, Alicja Strzalkowska; Dr. Jasmin Rezapour for teaching and sharing experience, as well as the Secretary of Clinic Anita Brill and the EGS Secretary Ilaria Caldareri for their help and support during my educational activity!
Dmytro Martynov, MD Head of Glaucoma department of the private clinic "Vasil Shevchik Eye Microsurgery", Chernihiv, Ukraine
I am Tornike Otiashvili, 4th year Ophthalmology resident from Georgia, Chichua Medical Centre ‘’Mzera’’. I was lucky to get EGS travel grant. I would like to express my gratitude towards European Glaucoma Society for the given chance. It is a great opportunity for young doctors like myself, to travel to different Top ophthalmology clinics in Europe and increase their Knowledge.
I have visited Rotterdam Eye Hospital. I am very happy that I had an opportunity to choose this clinic. It is a large Ophthalmology Clinic with fully functional departments. I was lucky to have supervisors like Dr. Peter De Waard, Dr. Hans Lemij and Dr. Chang Liu. What I liked the most was that,it is the University Hospital, full of residents and fellows, with best educational equipment in all the departments, including the OR and wet labs. But the most important part is that it is the best place for young doctors like myself for getting new updates and information. I have not even had to ask anything, a whole process was explained to me by those great doctors. It is a positive side of such educational centres. During my stay, I was in both the operating room and the glaucoma examination room. I had a chance to see a lot of operations done by very experienced doctors, had an opportunity to ask questions and get evidence based answers, about small details which I found different from what we practice in Georgia. That’s why I strongly recommend to try to get EGS Travel Grant at the last year of your study. I would like to say few words about the clinic itself. It consists of large, very well organised, friendly team, with full of humour and healthy relationships. At the end, I am very grateful to EGS for this opportunity as well as Rotterdam Eye hospital!
Dr Tornike Otiashvili
I'm Mustafa Kalaycı from Turkey-Antalya Training and Research Hospital Ophthalmology Department. Between 1-30 April 2022, with the support of EGS Travel Grant, I was an observer at the Ophthalmology Department of Mainz Johannes Gutenberg University Faculty of Medicine. First of all, I would like to extend my deepest regards to the EGS Executive Committee for having the chance to hold an observer program at the Ophthalmology Department of the Mainz Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Faculty during April.
I would also like to thank Prof. Dr. Norbert Pfeiffer, director of the Ophthalmology Department, and Prof. Dr. Esther Hoffmann, head of the glaucoma department, for accepting me into their clinic and allowing me to have a unique experience in glaucoma. The 1-month program was very well organized. On the first day, I was informed in detail about the program by Dr Jasmin Rezapour and she did not spare his support throughout the whole month. In the clinic, high-level surgical operations are performed by highly experienced surgeons with high-level surgical instruments in every field. In addition, polyclinic examination areas and hours are very well organized for both patients and doctors. During my stay, I was in both the operating room and the glaucoma examination room. In the operating room, I had the chance to observe a wide variety of operations performed for both pediatric and adult patients. In terms of pediatric glaucoma surgery, I had the chance to attend ab externo catheter-assisted 360-degree trabeculotomy surgeries with Prof Dr Esther Hoffman. I would also like to thank her for giving me the opportunity to observe his operational approach. I had the chance to observe the trabeculectomy surgery performed with a special suturing technique. An average of 4 trabeculectomy surgeries were performed per day. In addition, I had the chance to observe different procedures such as Ahmed glaucoma valve, needling, cyclocryodestruction many times. I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Alexander Schuster, who informed and taught me in detail during these procedures. In the glaucoma examination room, I observed the examinations of a wide variety of glaucoma patients from all over Germany. I must state that it is an excellent clinic where each glaucoma patient is handled in a very detailed and caring manner and the best treatment for the patient is determined. A well-established system is immediately apparent. Many thanks to Dr Alicja Strzalkowska for her help in the examination room. I gained a lot of new information both in terms of examination methods and surgical methods, and I saw surgeries that I could not find the opportunity to see in my city. In this respect, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and respect to all the professors and doctors in the ophthalmology department. I would also like to thank Ms Anita Brill, student secretary of the Mainz eye clinic, and Ms Ilaria Caldereri, EGS secretary, for their help and support.
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this unique opportunity.
Dr. Mustafa KALAYCI
First of all I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the EGS Executive Committee. I had the unique opportunity of attending an observership program at the Ophthalmology Department of Saint Joseph Hospital in Paris, France. During my stay I was able to take part and observe and assess different glaucoma patients, from simple to the more complex cases. I was fortunate enough to learn from experienced ophthalmologists and I am thankful for the guidance offered by Dr. Yves Lachkar and his team and the valuable knowledge provided by them. They were very attentive, considerate and inclusive and kindly responded to every question I had. A great addition was the weekly course Dr. Lachkar held for the residents.
Throughout the program I was exposed to a vast array of treatment options the department offered: from various laser treatments, including selective laser trabeculoplasty, laser peripheral iridotomy and laser suture lysis to filtration surgery procedures including trabeculectomy and deep sclerotomy as well as minimally invasive glaucoma surgery including Preserflo, Xen and iStent placement. Although this was only a 1-month observership, it proved itself an extremely useful educational experience and I am now more confident in examining and investigating as well as developing a carefully considered treatment plan for a glaucoma patient. I dare to say that the knowledge I have acquired will have a life-long impact.
Edward Florian Călin Ophthalmology Resident, Bucharest, Romania
I would like to express my gratitude to the EGS Training Support Committee for the opportunity to undergo an observership with the Ophthalmology department at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. Fellowships, observerships and exchanges are all about sharing ideas as well as seeing different ways of practice, and this observership certainly enabled this. It proved not only a fantastic professional experience, but a great life experience too.
The University of Mainz has a very well run Ophthalmology department, with enthusiastic staff and expert glaucoma clinicians who deal with complex medical and surgical glaucoma cases. I was exposed to high volume glaucoma surgery and was able to witness the broad surgical expertise of these colleagues with procedures such as trabeculectomy, canaloplasty and Ahmed tube surgery, as well as have an in-depth experience with minimally invasive glaucoma procedures they performed such as Preserflo and Xen stents. There were complex cases I had the opportunity to learn from, such as cases of bleb revision, re-do trabeculectomy and dealing with complications of tube surgery referred into the department.
This observership provided a unique opportunity to gain further exposure to the management of both primary and secondary forms of congenital glaucoma through the Childhood Glaucoma Center. In particular, I was exposed to ab externo catheter-assisted 360-degree trabeculotomy, as well as probe trabeculectomy techniques to address developmental pathologies of the angle.
An Observership at Mainz offered unique insights into different models of ophthalmic and glaucoma care delivery. I had the ability to gain experience with different equipment and imaging platforms which support every day clinical decisions, including the use of the Heidelberg Spectralis Anterion imaging platform. In addition, this time allowed exposure to a strong team of glaucoma clinician-researchers, who were invaluable in demonstrating to me the importance of fostering research collaborations within the European community.
A special thanks to the glaucoma consultants within this department including Professor Norbert Pfeiffer, Professor Esther Hoffmann and Professor Alexander Schuster, as well as Anita Brill (Student Secretary) and all the eye clinic staff at Mainz– all of which have become great friends in my journey as a glaucoma subspecialist and lifelong learner.
Dr Geoffrey Chan Glaucoma Fellow Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospital Trust
I am Dr. med. Aghayeva Fidan from National Centre of Ophthalmology named after academician Zarifa Aliyeva in Baku, Azerbaijan. I spent a one year glaucoma fellowship, supported by the European Glaucoma Society (EGS) from 1st of November 2019 to 31st of October 2020 at Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center in Mainz, Germany. I would like to sincerely thank EGS for such great opportunity that is given to young ophthalmologists to improve their knowledge in glaucoma diagnosis and management.
It was an amazing chance to improve my practical skills in Glaucoma, to observe the complicated and interesting cases with refractory and secondary glaucoma, to become thoroughly familiar with some new techniques in glaucoma surgeries and with the latest state of art diagnostic equipments. I am very grateful to Director of the Clinic - Professor Dr. med. Norbert Pfeiffer and to my Supervisor, Head of Glaucoma Department - Professor Dr. med. Esther M. Hoffmann for their kindness and teaching activities. My working day in Eye Clinic of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz began in the morning glaucoma clinic of the inpatients at the glaucoma ward at 7:00 am to learn about glaucoma care peri- and postoperatively. I would like to mention the morning sessions, during which we had very interesting clinical and research presentations in all areas of ophthalmology. I had the possibility to make the presentation about my work and Ophthalmological Care in Azerbaijan as well. I worked in the glaucoma clinic and presented the glaucoma patients after complete ophthalmologic examination to the consultant. Once weekly I worked in the private glaucoma clinic under supervision of Professor Dr. med. Esther M. Hoffmann. I performed 5-FU subconjunctival injections and argon laser suture lysis in glaucoma patients after trabeculectomy and other glaucoma filtering surgeries. In the operating theatre I observed and assisted all glaucoma surgeries such as trabeculectomy, deep sclerectomy, all micro incisional glaucoma surgery (MIGS), canaloplasty, Mainz modified canaloplasty (filtering canaloplasty), implantation of different glaucoma drainage devices and congenital glaucoma surgery at the Childhood Glaucoma Department. I was extremely interested in MIGS and trabeculotomy 360º. Despite I was undergoing Glaucoma Fellowship I had the opportunity to observe the corneal and other types of ophthalmic surgeries, while I was in the Operation Room. This fellowship also gave me the opportunity to broaden my perspectives not only in the areas of ophthalmology, but in the areas of academic performance and medical ethics as well. I prepared two manuscripts for publication and was co-author of several other manuscripts. My first clinical research focused on the impact of unilateral trabeculectomy on the intraocular pressure in the fellow eye. A manuscript was submitted to an international, pubmed-listed journal and data was presented in the early bird glaucoma research meetings and during the German Ophthalmological Meeting (DOG), which was held from Oct 9th - Oct 11th 2020. The second manuscript was related to the national glaucoma registry for congenital glaucoma in Germany. As a part of further research work I collected clinical data of newborn and children, including blood samples for human genetic examination. I had a possibility to participate in the Congress of German Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (DGII) held in February 2020 in Mainz. It was very interesting to listen to original presentations, especially related to glaucoma, cataract and refractive surgeries and undergo some surgical wet labs. So I spent one year in Mainz and despite the worldwide situation with Covid 19, this year was full of new interesting things for me and it has been worth it. I was able to get to know worldwide known glaucoma specialists, like Prof. Grehn, Prof. Pfeiffer and Prof. Hoffmann and to improve my German language skills as well. My German colleagues were very friendly, the work atmosphere was nice and we spent together some time out of the work. At the end of my fellowship I received the memory Team Photo of Mainz Eye Clinic made in 2019, my Certificate and detailed Report (Zeugnis) from Professor Dr. med. Esther Hoffmann. I would like to underline again my grateful thanks to whole Glaucoma Team of Mainz Eye Clinic. Now definitely I am returning with advanced baggage of knowledge about diagnosis and treatment of all types of glaucoma, so I could apply what I have learned and as a consequence bring back some usefulness to my home institution and to Azerbaijan. I will always keep collaboration with Professor Esther Hoffmann and other German colleagues after my return to Baku.
Dr. med. Aghayeva Fidan
First of all I would like to express my great respect to EGS for chance to have an observership program at Queens Medical Center. I want to thank Prof. Dua Harminder, and Prof. Anthony King who accepted me in the Hospital. I would like to thank specially Mr. Pavi Agrawal for taking into consideration my professional priorities and organized my weekly observership routine at the highest level and helped me all these time.
All the doctors and nurses were very kind and willing to help and answer all the questions regarding the patients management. I had chance to observe clinical consultations of outpatients with full examination and preparation for surgical treatment. I was impressed by the techniques of trabeculectomy which minimizes complications of the surgery. I had possibility to observe cataract surgery combined with MIGS. Furthermore I had unlimited access to the VR magic Eyesi cataract surgery simulator. On Fridays I had chance to attend seminars, lectures and discussing interesting cases. I would like to express my special appreciation and thanks to the team of Glaucoma department again. I want to thank Mrs Ilaaria Caldareri, the EGS secretary and Human Resources department of Nottingham university hospitals NHS Trust for assiting me for all the time.
Dr. Zurab Glonti
Dear European glaucoma society team, Many thanks for organizing a special education program for young specialists. I am a doctor from a developing country. I am so happy that your society gave me a chance to visit one of the best glaucoma clinics in Europe. This travel was very fruitful, as I expected. During this observership, I gained a lot of knowledge in the care of patients with glaucoma. I have found answers to many questions that I was asking myself and could not find reasonable answers from the literature. Many thanks to professor Augusto Azuaro-Blanco who was so kind and attentive to me. I followed him in operation theatres where he explained to me every type of operation for glaucoma and disclosed the secrets of surgery. Also, I followed him in consulting rooms where I also expanded my knowledge in non-pharmacological glaucoma care. Professor Azuaro-Blanco organized a high-standard and nicely tailored educational program for me for one month.
Every Monday, I visited a research clinic, where Professor was doing a randomized controlled trial: Direct selective laser trabeculoplasty in open-angle glaucoma. On average one day we checked around 3-4 patients. In the afternoon I spent my time with the professor in operation theatres. According to the operation list usually included 5 patients per day. Most of them were referred to glaucoma surgery and few patients to cataract surgery. With professor, I have seen operations like trabeculectomy with and without mitomycin, Ahmad valve implantation, revision of flab, combined operation – phacoemulsification of cataract with trabeculectomy. Every Tuesday, I was in the consulting room with the professor. During one day we consulted around 25 patients. And I also participated in the consulting process. I examined every patient on slit lamp, gonioscopy, ophthalmoscopy and made interpretation of fundus photo, OCT and Humphrey. Also, I followed the doctor during laser surgery like SLT, Iridotomy, suturelysis, secondary cataract incision. Also, I am very grateful to the colleagues of the professor. Especially for doctors Simon Rankin, Angela Knox, Sarah Wilson, optometrist Simon Bond, and Jonathan Keenan. Every Wednesday I followed doctor Angela Knox. In the morning she usually does have around 12-14 patients in the consulting room. In the afternoon I was with miss Knox in the operation theatre. Also, she has 5 patients according to the patient list. I have seen procedures for glaucoma care like needling, suturing of overfiltrated flab, destruction of ciliary body with 810 wavelength laser, trabeculectomy and cataract surgery. Every morning on Thursday, I followed Ms. Knox in the consulting room. In the afternoon, I visited the orthoptics department at Royal Victoria Hospital. I asked the professor to allow me to fellow orthoptics specialists because in my country we do not have these specialists. And I have learned to check patients with ocular motility disorders and making a prescription for prismatic glasses. Also, I followed a doctor Simon Rankin in the consulting room. He is a doctor with huge experience in glaucoma care. He has kindly explained to me every patient with unlike clinical figures. On Friday Monday, I followed optometrists in the glaucoma department. Every Friday afternoon, I attended a teaching program. Overall, during my travel program, I have seen 60 surgical operations, more than 50 laser operations, around 500 consultations. After one month of observership and sensibly organized tutelage by the medical staff of the glaucoma center, I became more confident in my glaucoma practice. Because I have learned to do make a pertinent clinical decision in difficult cases. Professor explained to me every case history and gave me more understanding of glaucoma management. After coming back to my home country, over 2 weeks, I have applied my acquired knowledge to my patients with glaucoma. And I am very happy that I can take care of my patients with new knowledge, confidence, and inspiration to the job. In the future, I would like to apply to Surgical Wetlab in Tays Training Centre. I will recommend to my local colleagues to apply to the European Glaucoma Society grants. I wish creative success to European glaucoma society.
First of all, I would like to thank the European Glaucoma Society for giving me this great opportunity to visit the Glaucoma Department within Queen's University Belfast. Prof.Augusto Azuara-Blanco was the mentor who guided me during this observership. He and his highly competent team made me feel welcome. Their way of thinking and managing the healthcare situations had a great impact on me. I had the opportunity to see many interesting cases of glaucoma and their medical and surgical treatment done on a daily basis.
During my stay, I had the chance to follow 3 different glaucoma specialists. In the clinics, after every examination we discussed about different ways of treatment, in accordance with the EGS guideline. In the operating theatre, I saw amazingly done glaucoma surgery: trabeculectomy, phaco-trabeculectomy, bleb revision, diode cyclodestruction, choroidal effusion drainage. I was able to follow the patient from pre-operative assessment to post-operative care. I learned a lot about the management of glaucoma surgery complications. This Glaucoma Department is working so efficient! I was really impressed. The virtual clinic was a new thing for me, I saw that it is working very well, sparing precious time for the very serious glaucoma cases, so I am full of new ideas which hopefully I could implement at my home hospital. Despite the fact that prof. Blanco was involved also in research and teaching, he was very committed to his role of mentor for me, I am so grateful for this! I consider this observership a life-changing experience, it made me very inspired to improve glaucoma care at my home. I recommend this glaucoma department to every colleagues who are interested to learn not just from great specialists, but also from great people!
Arnold György Gale, MD, 5th year resident doctor Department of Ophthalmology, University of Szeged, Hungary
First and foremost, I want to thank EGS for giving me this amazing possibility and generously supporting my visit at the Queen's University Belfast Hospitals in the United Kingdom. I had the honour of joining Prof. Augusto Azuara-Blanco, and his team of highly competent health care glaucoma providers, to whom I was referred while writing my PhD thesis. I was fortunate to be accepted for supervision by Prof. Azuara-Blanco, who took time off his busy schedule, not only educating me about glaucoma, but also facilitating during my whole stay in Belfast, guiding and helping me in getting involved in the glaucoma society. I would also like to express my special gratitude and thank the whole team for making me feel welcome and sharing their best practices with me.
Through guidance and close tutoring by Prof. Azuara -Blanco in the glaucoma clinics I could deepen my competence in the diagnostic process and therapeutic management of glaucoma. Furthermore, for the first time, I had the chance to attend a virtual clinic and become familiar with new devices which was very enthralling for me. Observing glaucoma surgeries was also of great value as we discussed about surgical skills and different techniques. Moreover, given my interest in glaucoma research I was honoured to be included in some of Prof. Azuara-Blanco's research projects and also was sponsorised by him for EGS membership. Additionally, I had the chance to attend continuing medical education sessions from ophthalmology every Friday afternoon and exercise surgical skills in EyeSI.
I was really impressed by the way the department was organized and efficiency with which things were get done. Education of students and residents was done with great effort, whereas disseminating out leading publications on glaucoma was done on a regular basis. Overall, I consider my visit at the Queen's University Belfast Hospitals a life-changing experience. The gained knowledge and skills are truly incredible making me very inspired to improve glaucoma care at my home hospital, while maintaining a strong collaboration with Prof. Blanco and his team. I highly recommend this department to any colleagues who intend to be trained for glaucoma.
Thank you for this excellent opportunity!
Qëndresë Daka, MD- Assistant Professor, University of Prishtina "Hasan Prishtina" University Clinical Centre of Kosova Prishtinë, Kosovo, June 2019
First of all I would like to thank European Glaucoma Society for educational Grant. This was a wonderful experience for me. One month passed so quickly. I undertook my observership in Thessaloniki AHEPA Hospital, where I was welcomed by the Head of Ophthalmology Department Professor Fotis Topouzis. AHEPA University General Hospital, also known as AHEPA Hospital is considered one of the biggest hospitals in Greece, based in Thessaloniki. It’s a major teaching hospital and part of the National Healthcare system of Greece.
The schedule was well organized, I had the opportunity to take part in all daily activities of the ophthalmology department, which included academic lectures, teaching sessions, observe glaucoma and cataract surgeries, saw some very rare pediatric pathology, took part in medical discussions and saw a lot of interesting surgeries. I had the opportunity to be exposed to the research activities. Professor Fotis Topouzis with his wonderful team, offered me lots of attention and shared their knowledge with great pleasure. The team was very friendly to each other and to me, from the first day I felt a part of the team. Furthermore, I would like to thank all the professors and doctors of ophthalmology department for making feel welcome and part of their big family.
Salome Oragvelidze, MD Department of Ophthalmology, Belarusian State Medical University, Minsk, Belarus. Medical Specialist Training and Accreditation Specialist in Ophthalmology.
I would like to thank the EGS Executive Committee for selecting me for this special award of a Travel Grant and giving me the opportunity to further develop my knowledge in the field of glaucoma as a young ophthalmologist. During February 2019, I undertook my observership in Mainz, where I was welcomed by the director of the clinic Prof Norbert Pfeifer and chief of glaucoma department Prof Esther Hoffmann. The schedule was well organized, and all staff members were very approachable, kind and expert.
The clinic is very well organized, with a lot of eye doctors and many patients in all departments every day and with a lot of different surgeries using the latest techniques. During my stay, I observed examinations of glaucoma patients and every examination room is equipped with a screen so it is easy to follow the examination and get involved in it. I was able to enter to operation room on a regular basis and to observe all types of glaucoma surgeries (canaloplasty, trabeculectomy, bleb needling, stents, shunts, Ahmed valve, phacotrabeculoectomy combined etc.). I also was able to see examinations of childrens under general anaesthesia and operations on congenital glaucoma continued just right after examinations. During my stay, I attended morning meetings and lectures that were held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As I visited in February, I also attended the 12th European Glaucoma Resident Course on February 8th and 9th, held in the clinic where lecturers were made by renowned glaucoma specialists from all Europe. I learned a lot of new information, starting from conservative up to surgical treatment, and I saw surgeries which I did not have the opportunity to see in my country. Furthermore, I would like to thank all the professors and doctors of ophthalmology department for making me feel welcome and part of their team. I want to thank Mrs Ilaria Caldareri, the EGS Secretary and Mrs Anita Brill, student secretary at Augenklinik in Mainz for assisting me in all what I needed.
Thank you for this excellent opportunity.
Selma Milisic Medical Chamber of Physicans of Canton Sarajevo Josipa Vancaša 11, 71000 Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Dear colleagues from the European Glaucoma Society (EGS), led by President Prof. David Garway-Heath, please accept my sincere gratitude for the support I was given as a part of your great initiative to spend one month at one of the top European Glaucoma Centers.
I would like to express my special appreciation and thanks to the Head of Ophthalmology Department at San Carlos Hospital in Madrid - Prof. Julian Garcia Feijoo - you have been a marvelous mentor for me. Thanks to your leadership and dedication, combined with your team’s spirit and energy, I felt warmly welcomed by everyone.
It was great honor for me to learn from such experts in the field and to gain invaluable knowledge and skills . I was answered any question i had and especially surgeries explained in deep details, even schematically painted for me with the most common complications.
I am confident that my colleagues’ priceless advises and experience they shared with me will definitely speed up my development as a glaucoma specialist.
I highly recommend Gaucoma Department at San Carlos Hospital, Madrid to any colleagues who intend to be trained in glaucoma.
Last by not least, thank you Dr. Martinez de la Casa, Dr. Laura Morales and all the colleagues from Glaucoma Department at San Carlos Hospital, Madrid, Spain!
I want to express my gratitude to EGS. This was a wonderful experience for me. One month period passed so quickly, professional skills that I get in saint Joseph hospital is very important for me and my future. The greeting was very warm and friendly. The staff was extremely helpful they welcomed me and helped me to feel as a member of their big family. They showed me all the departments and explained every detail I asked. Despite of the fact that Dr Lachkar was very busy I visited an operating theater with him and he explained me all the steps of the operating process, all the new methods they use for treatment of glaucoma. This information is priceless for me I am quite sure that my medical practice will become more effective and I will not frustrate patients (Internally Displaced Persons) who are waiting for me.
I want to say thank you again for this opportunity and chance for being more qualified and effective doctor.
Salome Tabatadze EVEX Medical Corporation, Georgia
With this report I would like to summarize my experience from my observership at the University Clinic: Saint Joseph Hospital Paris France. First of all I would like to thank European Glaucoma Society for Educational Grant. This was unique opportunity to visit leading glaucoma centre in Saint Joseph Hospital, Paris France. I had the opportunity to observe glaucoma and cataract surgeries. I could participate in patients examination, diagnosis and treatment many rare diseases together with doctors working there. At Saint Joseph Hospital everyone was very nice to me, very kind and helpful and responded to every question that I had.
Every morning we had a meeting discussing patients and interesting cases. After that, I went to surgery and followed a current day programme. I would like to thank the director of my observership program, Prof. Dr Yves Lachkar, Dr. Gilles KRETZ Dr. Martin Graber and the whole team, who offered me lots of their attention and shared their knowledge with great enthusiasm. From the beginning I felt as being a part of the team, fully involved in the work .
I would like to encourage and recommend all residents to apply for the EGS Educational Grants.
Ana Dvalishvili, MD Department of Ophthalmology, Belarusian Medical Academy of Post Graduate Education. Tbilisi State Medical University, Medical Specialist Training and Accreditation Specialist in Ophthalmology.
End of 2017, I completed my EGS Fellowship in Leuven, Belgium, under the supervision of Professor Ingeborg Stalmans.
I consider this educational opportunity offered by the EGS an important asset to my professional career. I was able to perform over 400 supervised glaucoma consultations, where clinical glaucoma skills were practiced (biomicroscopy, tonometry, gonioscopy, fundoscopy). The fellowship also included training with perimetric/imaging methods, as well as research-oriented devices including several ocular blood flow oriented technologies such as the angiography optical coherence tomography, colour Doppler imaging and retinal oximetry.
I also had the opportunity to follow 3 different glaucoma specialists, both in the consultation and in the operating room, allowing me to observe several techniques, from trabeculectomy, glaucoma drainage devices and diode cyclodestruction, to newer technologies, such as the XEN® implant and the UC3® ultrasound cyclodestruction device.
I was able to follow the patient from pre-operative assessment to post-operative care, discussing treatment options and how to best deal with the occasional post-operative complications. As such, I consider that I have considerably improved my clinical skills, while at the same time having had the opportunity to engage in several research related roles, some of which are part of my ongoing PhD. I have published several papers and held presentations at national and international meetings. Overall, I consider myself to be ready to improve the glaucoma care at my home hospital and continue my research career, maintaining a strong collaboration with Professor Ingeborg Stalmans and the Research Group Ophthalmology in Leuven.
Dr Joao Barbosa Breda, Portugal
Hospital San Carlos is a great place for ophthalmologists for studding, Improving their knowledge and communicating with experienced specialists. I spent great four weeks in Glaucoma department. The stuff was friendly and easy-going. All the lectures were really useful. Especially, I remember the lecture of Dr. Maria Morena. I’m really pleased for Dr Julian Garcia for the support and help in my education. All the observers can attend interesting lectures, participate in patients examinations, observe surgery and visit the library with a great number of exclusive books and journals. Becides I participated in the web conference between Russia and Spain and it was great! Thank you for such an opportunity!
Dr Ekaterina Pichikova Ophthalmologist-surgeon in "Eye Microsurgery in honour of Fyodorov S." Secretary of Novosibirsk - initiative Rotary club, Russia territory 057 President - elect 2018-2019 of Novosibirsk - initiative Rotary club, Russia District (Territory 057) RFE chair 2017-2018
With this report I would like to summarize my experience and key learnings from my one year glaucoma fellowship at the University Clinic Mainz in Germany.
First of all, I would like to thank the European Glaucoma Society (EGS), led by President Prof. Anja Tuulonen, for giving me this amazing opportunity to spend a year at one of the top University clinics focused on glaucoma. I would like to thank the director of the clinic, Prof. Pfeiffer, the director of my fellowship program, Prof. Hoffmann, and the whole team. From the beginning I felt as being a part of the team, fully involved in the work and overall impact made.
My fellowship truly accelerated my learning. As the ophthalmology department at the University Clinic Mainz is one of the main centers for glaucoma treatment in Europe, performing around 1200 glaucoma surgeries annually, it gave me the opportunity to learn directly from the experts in the field. During my stay I had the chance to experience different departments of the clinic: I worked at the glaucoma ward, I checked the patients after glaucoma surgeries, I learned about the postoperative therapy or how to treat the different kinds of complications. I even spent some time at the special ward, where only patients with an intraocular pressure curve are admitted. There, I saw the matter of the disease from a different point of view. Moreover, I learned how to treat and diagnose patients with glaucoma suspicion, when is it adequate to recommend a glaucoma surgery and what type of surgery is most suitable for each patient. I was regularly part of the glaucoma outpatient clinic, having on average 60 patients with various glaucoma-related issues.
One highlight of my fellowship was the fact that the University Clinic Mainz became an official center for children glaucoma treatment in Germany, led directly by Prof. Hoffmann, during my stay. This gave me the possibility to also perform glaucoma examinations on children patients in general anesthesia, being not only a completely new and interesting experience but also an opportunity to enhance and develop my skills.
Additionally, during my stay, I was actively involved in glaucoma-related studies and research. I did collect and consolidate necessary data, was part of the data analysis and then even presented results and findings to the other team-members and medical students.
I see my one year fellowship at the University Clinic Mainz as an invaluable catalyst in my skill and career development. I am much more confident in serving glaucoma patients, I learned many best practices from the top specialists in the glaucoma area, I improved my German language skills and in addition I have met many kind, inspiring and wonderful colleagues, which I am honored to have in my life as friends.
Despite time ran by very fast, I am leaving feeling very thankful for being awarded with the EGS Fellowship, being a truly incredible learning journey and life-changing experience, having, in my view, a significant impact on the treatment and care provided to those patients affected by the glaucoma disease.
Dr Adela Klezlova, Prague
Department of Ophthalmology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, AHEPA Hospital
I am sincerely grateful to EGS for giving me this unique and outstanding opportunity to participate in EGS Travel Grant program and spend a month at Glaucoma Unit, Department of Ophthalmology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, AHEPA Hospital. It was an honor to be a part of an excellent ophthalmology team, leading glaucoma department for Southeastern Europe and learn from well-known experts. Having renowned Prof. Fotis Topouzis as a tutor was a great honor.
I would like to express my deep gratitude to Prof. Fotis Topouzis, the Head of Department, who was very kind to enable me to be engaged in all available professional activities, all clinical activities related to glaucoma care, as well as to learn more about the research activities at the Laboratory of Research and Clinical Applications in Ophthalmology. Furthermore, I would like to thank all the professors and doctors of ophthalmology department for making me feel welcome and part of their team, and having useful talks and sharing their experience in glaucoma with me. I was given the opportunity to take part in all daily activities of this complex ophthalmology department, which included academic lectures, teaching sessions, case reports, subspecialized meetings, as well as observation of many surgical procedures. I have had a chance to learn how to work with advance up-to-date diagnostic imaging tools, combined with great knowledge and rich clinical experience. Moreover, this grant provided me with an excellent education in all aspects related to research activities. The strongest impression from Thessaloniki I will take home with me is the willingness and great effort of experienced physicians to provide constant, patient and unselfish education to their younger colleagues. Knowledge and skills gained during such subspecialised training are invaluable; therefore, AHEPA Hospital is a place I will keep a wonderful memory of and will certainly get back to.
Marija Trenkić Božinović, MD, PhD Teaching Assistant, Medical Faculty University of Niš, Serbia Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Niš, Serbia