YO Mini-exchange experience: Giuseppe Giannaccare & Christian Theinert




Giuseppe Giannaccare is a young Ophthalmologist from Italy.  He studied medicine in Rome and completed his Ophthalmology residency in Bologna. Currently he is working towards a PhD focused on Ocular Graft versus-host disease (S.Orsola-Malpighi Teaching Hospital, University of Bologna, Italy) while doing a  Fellowship in Cornea (Villa Igea Hospital, Forlì, Italy).

Recently he has been appointed as one of the six members on the SOE YO committee.

At an informal session in the YO lounge during the last SOE congress in Vienna, lots were drawn to pair more than 30 young ophthalmologists. Each pair was encouraged to organise a mini-exchange by hosting each other in their respective countries and organising a visit in their respective hospitals. Giuseppe has taken full advantage of this opportunity and recently hosted Christian Theinert, fifth-year Ophthalmology resident from Leipzig  (Germany). Here Giuseppe shares his experience:

Christian Theinert

Christian Theinert

I completed medical school  in Rome at the University Campus Bio-Medico and subsequently moved to Bologna for a five year Ophthalmology residency programme under the supervision of Prof. Emilio C Campos.  Following a very productive five years of residency, I was selected for a PhD Position and a Cornea Fellowship. My PhD Program at the University of Bologna is focused on ocular surface and corneal involvement in graft versus host disease (GVHD) patients. I had followed GVHD patients since the beginning of my residency, and currently I am studying potential predictive factors of developing GVHD by examining patients before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. My Cornea Fellowship Program under the mentorship of Professor Massimo Busin is focused on corneal surgery particularly on advanced lamellar techniques of corneal transplantation.

I have been an SOE YO Italian national representative since the beginning of the year 2015 and more recently I have been appointed to serve on the SOE YO committee. During the last SOE Congress in Vienna in June 2015, I had the opportunity to meet the SOE YO Committee members, the other national representatives and many other young Ophthalmologists from all the other European Countries. SOE YO presented a new programme for sharing knowledge, experiences and ideas called “mini-exchange”. I was paired up with Christian Theinert, fifth-year Ophthalmology resident at University Eye Hospital in Leipzig  (Germany). He studied medicine at the Dresden University of Technology (Germany) and he attended an Internship Programme at Fremantle and Royal PErth Eye Hospital (Australia). The YO lounge provided the perfect environment to interact with other YOs across Europe and Christian and I had many long discussions about the different aspects of our educational programmes  and surgical training in our two countries. My first impression about Christian was extremely positive. He has an excellent education in all the fields of Ophthalmology especially in Medical Retina. We both expressed  interest in visiting each other’s workplace and wanted this to happen as soon as possible. A few months later, we agreed that the fourth week of November would be a good time for Christian’s visit in Italy. I hosted Christian for four days at my home in Bologna. During the first two days, he visited the Ophthalmology Clinic of S.Orsola-Malpighi Teaching Hospital that specializes in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and in Ocular Surface Disease. The following day, we went to Villa Igea Hospital where we observed a very busy surgical session with more than ten corneal transplants . The exchange experience was not all about work and we enjoyed some leisure time by trying the amazing local cuisine (tortellini, lasagne, tagliatelle and mortadella are all famous dishes from Bologna) and visited the fascinating arcades and squares of the medieval historic centre and the most famous buildings of the University (the oldest in the Western World, since 1088).  I certainly would like to visit Christian’s workplace soon but I have just successfully applied for a Research Fellowship in the USA and this may not be possible for a while. However, we will certainly meet in Oviedo in June 2016 during the European Meeting of Young Ophthalmologists (EMYO).

I strongly recommend this experience to all young Ophthalmologists. If they have been paired up in Vienna, I encourage them to make full use of this opportunity and make their mini-exchange happen. I would also be able to host anyone else interested in Paediatric Ophthalmology/Strabismus and in Corneal Transplant Surgery.

See you in Oviedo!!!



Giuseppe Giannaccare, MD, PhD Student

Ophthalmology Unit

S.Orsola-Malpighi Teaching Hospital

University of Bologna


email: giuseppe.giannaccare@gmail.com