Grant Placement Report – Urszula Kulik MD, PhD – St. Erik Eye Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Urszula Kulik

As the recipient of 2014 Educational Grant for ophthalmologists-in-training, I was given the opportunity to live my dream and complete a one-month observer-ship at the St. Erik Eye Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. I am a 4th year resident working at Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Poland.

St. Erik Eye Hospital is an unique in Sweden as the only hospital to specialize in a single organ – the eye, providing advanced, leading-edge medical care. Located in the capital of  Sweden, hospital delivers an academic, clinical and research-based innovations and patient-center services to the people, locally and internationally.

My observership with the Department of Oncology began on the 3rd of November  2014 and ended 28th November 2014. This Department is responsible for Sweden’s national ophthalmic oncology, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. St. Erik also has the only ophthalmic pathology laboratory in Sweden. It offers visitors the opportunity to gain exposure to the wide variety of topics in an ophthalmic  oncology (all above retinoblastoma and ocular melanoma)  and to observe  professional staff in practice. Under the supervision of doctors Lars Hjelmqvist, Charlotta All Eriksson and Professor Stefan Seregard I could participate each day in patient’s examination, diagnosis, clerking of case  notes, writing of prescriptions, review or writing of reports, medical procedures including assessments of patients as well as  pre and post-surgical procedures including pediatric ophthalmic oncology. Furthermore I was allowed to observe operations (e.g. radioactive plaque placement, enucleation). Time was allotted appropriately for this experience, and its value was enhanced by careful supervision and access to technical assistance. During my stay there, I also had the opportunity to attend educational presentations such as grand rounds, lectures, and seminars within the hospital. All medical professionals in the hospital were helpful, polite and  friendly. Add to my educational experience I was invited to visit the Nobel Museum, which was a great experience.

During my one month in Stockholm, I had the chance to work with inspirational people and enhance the skills I developed during residency as well as develop new ones. This was a great opportunity to practice my Swedish, nevertheless Sweden is considered to be one of the best English speaking countries in the world

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the European Society of Ophthalmology for selecting me as  a recipient of an  2014 Educational Grant for ophthalmologists-in-training. I still feel completely honoured and overwhelmed to have been given this wonderful, life-changing opportunity. I would also like to thank doctors Lars Hjelmqvist, Charlotta All Eriksson and Professor Stefan Seregard from the Department of Oncology who were extremely helpful and provided me with useful insights into their work; whole staff  from Oncology Office especially Catharina Kuylenstierna  for all their help  and patience during my preparation for the observership. It was undoubtedly the most professionally rewarding experience of my life to date.