Ana Dvalishvili, Georgia, Observership report , Belarusian Medical Academy of Post Graduate Education, Minsk,Belarus

I was awarded with a SOE educational  Grant that I used to visit the Belarusian Medical Academy of Post Graduate Education, Minsk,Belarus.

The hospital is well organized. The Ophthalmology Department is composed with four main units: Laser department, diagnostic department, microsurgery and emergency room  where the number of patients in a day range from 150 to 200.

All Subspecialties are available in the hospital ,including: Anterior segment surgery, Corneal transplantation, ocular surface, and external diseases, Glaucoma, Medical retina, deals with treatment of retinal problems through non-surgical means, Vitreo-retinal surgery, deals with surgical management of retinal and posterior segment diseases, Neuro-ophthalmology .

As it was my goal, I attended the Glaucoma Centre clinical and investigation activities under mentorship of Professor Tatsiana Imshenetskaya. The relationship constructed was of sharing experience and knowledge. I took part of all Department’s daily activities, supervised by Professor Imshenetskaya. Surgical interventions were scheduled 4 days in a week and consultation of a great number of different  ophthalmology pathologies was in every day. I was further trained in clinical assessment of these patients and their medical treatment and surgical rehabilitation by Professor Imshenetskaya. I observed and assisted several surgical techniques of refractory Glaucoma surgery, including: Sinustrabeculectomy, deep sclerectomy, Ahmed glaucoma valve implantation.

 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 prepared several papers and presentations which will be presented at national and international meetings.
I was able to perform supervised glaucoma consultations, where clinical glaucoma skills were practiced. The observership  also included training with perimetric/imaging methods, as well as research-oriented devices.

Despite the fact that the time passed by very fast, I am leaving feeling very thankful for being awarded with the SOE Observership , 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.

I would like to address my special thanks to Professor Tatsiana Imshenetskaya  who shared her knowledge with great enthusiasm. Professor Imshenetskaya organized my schedule in such a way that I could work with different doctors, attend operation rooms and different consultations. The schedule was done in advance in a way that every day I could learn and observe various fields of ophthalmology. 

She told a lot about organization of treatment and answered all the questions. Prof. Imshenetskaya have demonstrated a great attitude for all young ophthalmologists. For sure I will adopt her style of communication and discussion of clinical cases with our students and residents in my daily practice. I was impressed by difficult cases of Refractory glaucoma  patients that she is treating.  Her work was greatly inspiring for me as a future specialist. She is inspiring mentor and matchless professional.

Based on my brilliant experience from the Belarusian Medical Academy of Post Graduate Education , I encourage all my colleagues to apply for the SOE Educational Grants as these experiences will be cherished and highly valued by everyone .

Beside educational aspect I have to admit that Minsk is a beautiful and interesting city with buildings and monuments, museums and galleries, theatres and libraries. I would highly recommend this worldclass centre of excellence for ophthalmic care and education to all my colleagues!