SOE Grant Report Petra Mihalek Novak Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital

Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, Queen Elisabeth Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, UK


I am a last year Ophthalmology  resident (our training taking 4 and a half years) and was rewarded an Educational SOE Grant for which I’m very grateful. Because of my husbands training in Oncology in Birmingham, UK,  I decided to choose the same city to get some new experiences in Ophthalmology. I got the information that Prof. Murray from Birmingham and Midland Eye centre, who takes care for SOE candidates is a great teacher, which showed out to be absolutely true and even more than that.

During my stay as Clinical Attachment in Birmingham between  14th June and 12th July 2013 I attended Prof. Murray’s  Uveitis Clinics twice a week.  Beside the fact that people from all around the world live in Birmingham and the pathology was very diverse,  I enjoyed to observe the approach and attitude he had to his patients and to the junior colleagues.  I saw many patients with uveitis including those associated with infections and a number of systemic diseases. Diagnoses like Fuchs uvetitic syndrome, Sarcoidosis,  ocular TBC, HIV etc. were the diagnosis much commoner then at home. After each Clinic we took time to discuss  all the patients of that day – their clinical presentation,  examinations and management plans. All in a very relaxed and  encouraging atmosphere for any ideas that anybody might have. I appreciated that kind of teaching. Once a week I attended the Uveitis Clinics of Mr. Denniston where I also saw some patients with interesting uveitis clinical pictures.


The rest of the days were spent at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital at the Clinics and the Theatre with Mr. Parulekar and Mr. Abbot. I had the opportunity to see children with retinoblastoma and be involved in the multidisciplinary management of this disease in one of the only two centres in England dealing with this devestating condition. Here too, I was part of the  teaching process where senior ophthalmologists shared their extensive knowledge with their younger colleagues in a very relaxed atmosphere.

In short – my time spent at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, Queen Elisabeth Hospital  and Birmingham Children’s Hospital  was very instructive, interesting and fun. I  wish I could have stayed there longer.

I thank European Society of Ophthalmology for the possibility for me to get that great experience abroad. It extended my knowledge, broadened  my acquaintances and motivated me even more for my future work in Ophthalmology.