By Dr. Anushavan Karapetyan, Armenia
First of all I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the European Society of Ophthalmology, which granted me the Educational Grant for Ophthalmologists-in-training 2015 giving a wonderful opportunity to visit one of the best eye clinics in Europe, the Instituto de Oftalmologia Dr. Gama Pinto in Lisbon, Portugal.
Before my arrival I was contacted by the clinic’s secretary Raquel Coluna, who assisted me with my hospital placement, paperwork etc.
Upon my arrival at the clinic I was warmly welcomed by Raquel Coluna. After a short introduction tour in the clinic she introduced me to Dr. Maria Luísa Santos, the Institute’s director and to Dr. Victor Agoas, the vice head of the clinic and my tutor. With his assistance we made my educational schedule, according to which I spent two weeks at medical and surgical retina unit, one week at cornea and refractive surgery unit and the last week at the emergency service at Santa Maria Hospital and ocular inflammation unit.
During the first two weeks I had a chance to observe clinical practice with Dr. Victor Agoas, Dr. Carlos Pinto, Dr. Antonio Folgado, Dr. Fatima Pita, Dr. Sandra Barrao. With assistance of these amazing professionals I observed various interesting cases of diabetic retinopathy, macular holes, premacular membrane, AMD, CSC, vitreous hemorrhage etc., had an opportunity to be in the operating theaters for several times.
At cornea and refractive surgery unit I was lucky enough to be attached to Dr. Ana Carvalho, a great person and an experienced ophthalmologist. Working with her was an unforgettable experience. Among a lot of patients I observed several rare cases, namely Marfan syndrome and learnt how to professionally manage an unexpected complication during a cataract surgery.
During this week I spent a day with Dr. Maia Seco observing ocular ultrasonography, which helped me to broaden my knowledge and to learn several useful techniques. The unique case of aniridia made the day complete.
During the last week I observed patients with Dr. Conceicao Ornelas at the ocular inflammation unit. This week became memorable also by visiting the ocular emergency unit at St. Maria Hospital with Drs. Aida Cotrim, Manuela Martins and Pedro Rodrigues.
On the last day, before my departure, I was warmly invited to a prestigious private ophthalmology clinic, where Prof. António Castanheira-Dinis practices. He kindly showed me around, introduced to the personnel while discussing some topics regarding eye care in the world and ophthalmology in Armenia, in particular.
Concluding to my report, I would highly recommend the Instituto de Oftalmologia Dr. Gama Pinto as an observership centre to future SOE Educational Grant winners.
P.S. The warm atmosphere and beauties of Lisbon just made this experience unforgettable.