Observership report from Rozaliya Hristova, Bulgaria who visited Moorfields Eye Hospital, UK

In my brief experience at Moorfields Eye Hospital I can say it has been an honour and privilege to attend one of the oldest eye hospitals in the world with traditions in evidence based medicine in ophthalmology.

    I would personally like to thank Dr. Daniel Gore, Dr. Sajjad Ahmad, Dr Jennifer Hind and Dr. Heinrich Ruschen, who on multiple occasions took time off their busy schedules to accommodate me. All of my supervisors along with fellows were always ready to answer any of my questions. The consultants I had the pleasure of observing are exceptional and patient teachers.

    I am grateful to SOE and Moorfields Eye Hospital for the opportunity to observe first-hand the training of fellows, as well as to incorporate new treatment protocols in my hospital.

    It was very inspiring to see how consultants approach teaching fellows with a down-to-earth attitude and willingness to help as well as instilling confidence in the younger generation. During my observership I was invited to ask as many questions as I liked which sparked wonderful discussions.

    One of the highlights of my time at Moorfields eye hospital was the opportunity to observe advanced surgical procedures first-hand including combined keratoplasty with explantation of IOL and vitrectomy, implantation and explantation of glaucoma tube shunts, DSAEK in Aphakia with vitrectomy, stem cell transplants, customized CXL and PTK and phacoemulsification in complex cataract cases. Observing the procedures gave me a new perspective on the latest advancements in corneal, glaucoma and anterior segment surgery in general.

     I was impressed by the organization of outpatient and surgical schedules. The number of patients for each day was considerable, however, at no point did I get the feeling that the consultants and fellows are pressed to cut visits short and for every appointment they took enough time to explain to the patient all aspects of their disease and treatment plan. In the operating theatre there were several nurses that were rotating for each surgery in order not to get overburdened and were very accommodating, showed me around and were generally very friendly.

     Another aspect I found inspiring were the weekly discussions in different departments with multidisciplinary approach to ocular morbidity.

     Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to Ms. Maria Pennywick for her excellent coordination of my observership program. She arranged for me to visit all the different clinics and was exceptionally flexible to changes in my schedule. She was available for all my requests and inquiries throughout my stay. I highly recommend both applying for the SOE Grant and choosing Moorfields Observership/Fellowship programs!

     My overall experience has been priceless and I hope I can incorporate as much of the training and teachings in my own clinic as possible!