SOE Educational Grant report – Revaz Bezarashvili

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the SOE Educational Committee for providing me with an excellent opportunity to spend 1 month in the department of General Ophthalmology in the Independent Public Clinical Hospital No. 1 (SKSP 1) in Lublin, Poland.  Thanks to SOE I got a chance to meet my mentor professor Robert Rejdak, to whom I am wholeheartedly thankful for all the guidance that he provided even prior to my arrival.

First of all, I would like to ponder on what a great place SPSK 1 is. Departments run smoothly because it is a referral center and patients are seen by appropriate specialists, lamellar keratoplasties happen daily since the clinic has an onsite tissue bank and pediatric ophthalmology department caters to patients of all ages.  Whole clinic is equipped with latest state of an art diagnostic and surgical equipment. 

Alongside prof. Rejdak, I was welcomed by the outstanding doctor Tomasz Chorągiewicz, whom I had the pleasure to join in the OR on daily basis, observing and learning the delicate intricacies of corneal surgery. I would like to especially emphasize how helpful and friendly all the clinical and academic staff is, including residents, scrub-nurses, even the security! 

I walked into a very friendly work environment every day, met many young fellows and residents who provided step-by-step guidance in the OR and approached all of my questions with meticulous attention. I was part of the group of doctors who examined inpatients during daily morning rounds, which was very informative and educative.  

I spent majority of mornings in the department of medical retina, with wonderful prof. Anna Wozniak and her amazing team, it was a great pleasure to observe a well – coordinated team manage innumerable patients with DME, AMD, CRVO, etc. and utilize hi-tech imaging equipment like Optos on daily basis. 

A completely different experience was the department of Vitreoretinal Surgery and Rare Diseases, where alongside prof. Katarzyna Nowomeijska and doctor Aleksandra Czarnek-Chudzik I observed many interesting cases of retinal pathologies and got to assist during foreign body removal vitrectomy. 

I got to observe cataract surgery in 3D, when prof. Rejdak was operating using Ngenuity, it is a great educational tool and one a kind feeling. Moreover, prof. Rejdak was so kind he helped me get into Alcon Experience Academy in Warsaw for a 2 day cataract surgery wet lab. The day after my arrival, Prof. Robert Rejdak introduced me to the department of international relations of the University of Lublin and it was a pleasure to meet Patricia and Agnieszka, they helped me navigate Lublin with comfort and ease. We are in touch till this day and the month spend in SPSK 1 with the help from SOE is an important milestone is my professional training that I will never forget.