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Three-Month Fellowship Alumni Profiles

AFZAL Yasir

Afzal Yasir

Home Country: Pakistan

Fellowship Location: Innsburck, Austria

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Nikolaos Bechrakis

Sponsor: CBM

About my fellowship experience:

...I was remained attached with my supervisor the whole duration of my fellowship and I observed and discussed my clinical cases in OPD‘S. I used to participate in clinical rounds of admitted patients and journal club discussions with my supervisor and other consultants once a week, specially focused on retinal cases. I examined patients in clinics by my own and I was assistant surgeon in the operation theater, in my opinion I have met my aims in a good way in this short three months fellowship. As a whole my Professor is an excellent surgeon and a very good teacher, also the department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Innsbruck is excellent. In my remarks this was a wonderful experience and I am very thankful for the ICO and CBM for offering me this opportunity...

Ajani Magdalene Nwuche

Ajani Magdalene Nwuche

Home Country: Nigeria

Fellowship Location: Hanusch Eye Clinic, Vienna, Austria

Subspecialty: Glaucoma

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Oliver Findl and Dr. Karl Rigal

Sponsor: Austrian Ophthalmological Society

About my fellowship experience:

...I attended the doctors morning brief meeting with the Professor of the department with a weekly clinical meeting on Wednesdays where different clinical topics are discussed. I presented Ophthalmology in Nigeria in one of the meetings.
I observed Dr Rigal see all the patients for glaucoma surgical procedures preoperatively, observed all the surgeries, post operative reviews of patients till discharge home. I was in the operating theatre for all the glaucoma surgeries at least thrice weekly. I attended daily Glaucoma Ambulanz(clinic) with the Specialist Fellow or Dr Rigal. I also attended the laser procedures for glaucoma
I learnt how to operate the OCT and take OCT of RNFL/Macula. I also had periodic assessment/review of casenotes/cvf/oct/gdx with Dr Rigal.
In all, I was able to achieve ALL my set out goals... I attended the European glaucoma society meeting in Nice with my supervisor & specialist fellow. It was a good time of learning and meeting more people in the glaucoma subspecialty from all over the world.
In all, it was a worthwhile training and I appreciate Austrian Ophthalmological society for their sponsorship and the ICO for this fellowship program which allows a cross cultural/international practice exposure...

AL TALBISHI Alaa

AL Talbishi Alaa

Home Country: Palestine

Fellowship Location: Leicester, UK

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Irene Gottlob and Prof. Dr. Somnath Banjeree

Sponsor: CBM

About my fellowship experience:

...This grant helped me get exposed to the modern Vitreo-Retinal practice in the United Kingdom & I had the chance to attend scientific meetings which were organized during the time I spent there.
I think the knowledge & experience that I obtained during these 3 months will influence my future clinical & surgical practice here in St John Eye Hospital group in Palestine & I will build on this experience to develop myself in the field of medical & surgical retina
I believe that such donations from the CBM & ICO programs are very helpful to develop the ophthalmic care in Palestine as well as development of research projects in the field of ophthalmology...

Lysenko Anna

Anna Lysenko

Home Country: Donetsk, Ukraine

Fellowship Location: Justus Liebig University, Dept. of Ophthalmology in Giessen, Germany

Subspecialty: Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Birgit Lorenz

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...I am very grateful to Prof. Dr. Med. Birgit Lorenz and the whole staff of the Department of Ophthalmology of Justus-Liebig University in Giessen for the pleasant and welcoming acceptance during my three-month Fellowship period. I would like to note the high professionalism of the doctors with whom I had been working during the whole period of the observership:Prof. Dr. med. Birgit Lorenz, Prof. Dr. med. Michael Graef, Dr. med. Frank Weinand, Dr. med. Monika Andrassi-Darida, Dr. med. Christoph Friedburg, Dr. med. Werner Schmidt, Dr. med. Klaus-Heiko Wassill. The colleagues I worked with on daily basis accepted me very well and made my stay at their department very pleasant.
I strongly feel that the Fellowship will facilitate both my short and long term career aspirations. During my observation I have enhanced my clinical expertise in addition to expending my practical skills in management of patients with different congenital diseases of eye, various types of strabismus and neuroophthalmological pathology. I intend to introduce the gained knowledge into every day practice in my department.
I would like to note, that ICO Fellowship Program is an unique opportunity for young ophthalmologist to upgrade there knowledge and professional skills and to find new networking possibilities in the ophthalmology world...

Bassam Mahfoodh Al-Abache redo

Bassam Mahfoodh Al-Abache

Home Country: Iraq

Fellowship Location: Nagpur, India

Subspecialty: Cataract Surgery

Host and Supervisor: Mahatme Eye Bank and Eye Hospital and Dr. Vikas Mahatme

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

During my training at the Mahatme Eye Bank & Eye Hospital, I gained a lot of experience in cataract surgery. I was able to do 11 cases of extracapsular cataract extraction. I also learned a type of small incision operation that was completely new to me, called manual cataract surgery. I was able to do 11 cases of this surgery during my fellowship. Lastly, I learned the PHACO operation for cataracts, in which I was able to do 39 cases.

This fellowship will certainly reflect positively on my surgical experience once I reach my country. I will start doing these new operations on my patients, aiming to prevent blindness by 2020.

Birhanu Yeshigeta Gelaw

Birhanu Yeshigeta Gelaw

Home Country: Ethopia

Fellowship Location: Wheaton Eye Clinic in Wheaton, Illinois, USA

Subspecialty: Glaucoma

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Richard G. Gieser

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...This fellowship training gave me ample opportunities to upgrade my clinical knowledge/skills, my knowledge about technological advancement in medicine and its utilization, leadership skills and eye clinic management; and also to know the socio-cultural aspect of the United States of America and make networking with people and institutions of developed countries...
...The experience I got will have an immense positive impact in my personal knowledge and skills in the field, and be good clinician, leader and manager...

Dr. Chaw Wai Lwin

Chaw Wai Lwin

Home Country: Myanmar

Fellowship Location: Ludwig-Maximilians-University Eye Clinic, Munich, Germany

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Anselm Kampik

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

During my training period at Ludwig-Maximilians-University and at Herzog-Carl-Theodor-Clinic I had the chance to learn about administrative and operating proceedures of hospitals, operating theatre set ups, duties and responsibilities of each and every staff at the hospital...
...For my home institution, with the immense knowledge and skills, aquired from the fellowship training I will be able to share my experiences to my peers and my juniors as well as to improve my services by providing effective care to my VR patients thus help reducing the blindness rate in Myanmar which in turn would upgrade the status of our ophthalmological society.

Chukai Huang

Chukai Huang

Home Country: P.R. China

Fellowship Location: Heidelberg, Germany

Subspecialty:

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Gerd U. Auffarth

Sponsor: The Chinese Lifeline Express Foundation

About my fellowship experience:

...During the stay in Heidelberg, I spent most of time in the operation theater observing cataract surgery there...
...Meanwhile, I learnt many advanced cataract technique here, such as femto phaco, which is thought to be the future of cataract surgery. Other special technique is add on IOL, retro- pupil fixation IOL implantation and so on. The wonderful techniques are helpful, and I would like to use them when I return to China...
...During this stay, I also joined the special symposium of ophthalmology; there several wonderful lectures were arranged. I also attended some lecture about cataract...
...After commutating with the doctors there, I have more understanding of the different medical system and the different resident training system between China and Germany. I also introduced the situation of the development of ophthalmology in China to German friends, to help more people from outside to understand China well.

Dyachun Alexey

Dyachun Alexey

Home Country: Russia

Fellowship Location: Insel Spital in Bern, Switzerland

Subspecialty: Glaucoma

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Sebastian Wolf

Sponsor: Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis

About my fellowship experience:

...I’ve traced the entire path of the patient from the first moment when he comes to the doctor for help and before the operation and then when the patient goes home...
...I attend patients in the postoperative ward, together with the nurses involved in the of postoperative patients care and in the process of discharging them home. I’ve learned much about every single aspect of operations, the process of hospital and home care of the patients and follow up visits after eye surgery...
...I ask the doctors to teach me excellent to measure the eye pressure with Goldman tonometry, and when I return to Russia, I will be able to train our doctors, because we have a Goldmann tonometer...
...On weekends, I walk through the city; visit the various museums and exhibitions. I also visit such beautiful cities as Zurich, Lucerne and Basel, which I liked very much!...

El-Husseiny Moatasem-Bellah

El-Husseiny Moatasem-Bellah

Home Country: Egypt

Fellowship Location: Saarland University Hospital, Dept. of Ophthalmology in Homburg/Saar, Germany

Subspecialty: Cornea & External Diseases

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Berthold Seitz and Dr. Karin Bruckner

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...I am very thankful for the ICO Fellowship program that gave me this chance to join Prof. Dr. Berthold Seitz and to learn from his great science in Cornea… …I was lucky to be taught by Prof. Dr. Berthold Seitz his technique with amniotic membrane called the „Sandwich Technique“ which had remarkable results regarding patients with resistent corneal ulcers. In addition to this Prof. Dr. Berthold Seitz was kind enough to make me join him in the Excimer Laser keratoplasty surgeries and taught me the proper suturing technique. I was impressed by the system that was implemented in Saarland University Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology, and this is one of the major goals that I would like to implement back home…. I also gained a lot of knowledge about Cornea Banks and hope that we can have a Cornea Bank in Egypt to help in its setup according to international standards...

Dr. Guha Sujata

Guha Sujata

Home Country: India

Fellowship Location: Baltimore, U.S.A.

Subspecialty: Neuro-Ophthalmology

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Michael X. Repka

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

I found the training useful in not only technical aspects but also in adopting the overall working patterns, e.g. case discussions at the end of the day. My aims were met nicely because I went specifically for Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology.

I went specifically to learn about Pediatric neuro-ophthalmology, and my aims were met very nicely.  I would like to have had a longer fellowship so I could participate in research. 

Nouhum Guirou, Mali

Guirou Nouhoum

Home Country: Mali

Fellowship Location: The New York eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City, USA

Subspecialty: Oculoplastics

Host and Supervisor: Prof Robert Ritch and Prof. David DellaRocca

About my fellowship experience:

...I had the opportunity to be among the world leaders in oculoplastics domain with the latest technology.
The ICO's generosity will mark a very big impact in the life of 15 million people since I’m the first in Mali who received training in oculoplastics. The ICO's help will greatly influence the care of patients. I’m very happy and confident despite the immensity of my mission. It has already had much impact in the world, but would be special in Mali.

Haiyan Wang

Haiyan Wang

Home Country: China

Fellowship Location: New York, U.S.A.

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Robert Ritch, MD and Thomas O. Muldoon, MD

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

It has been a precious life experience to have studied at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE). I was able to follow my supervisor and other excellent professors, as well as attend outpatient appointments with ophthalmologists.

I studied many new treatment methods. I took part in grand rounds, resident conferences, and researched daily activities. I did some clinical research about macular pucker operations. I was able to observe almost all types of ophthalmologic surgeries. I learned many surgery skills that I could have used to treat some problems I encountered in the past. I also learned about many new instruments. I even took part in the World Glaucoma Congress in Boston. And my English has improved quickly. I really met my aims!

I will use the knowledge that I learned at NYEE to improve doctor education and the medical system in my training center. I highly appreciated the ICO, Dr. Spivey, the NYEE, my host, and my supervisor, for giving me this great opportunity. I will now do my best to eliminate avoidable blindness in my home country.

Dr. Hanfi Azfar

Hanfi Azfar

Home Country: Pakistan

Fellowship Location: The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dept. of Ophthalmology in New York City, USA

Subspecialty: Glaucoma

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Robert Ritch

Sponsor: Mr. Joseph M. Cohen

About my fellowship experience:

At least twice a week I attended the Operating Room. That was the best part of my Fellowship as I learned a lot about the various kinds of Glaucoma surgeries and variety of techniques to improve the outcome. Some of them were latest and recently approved by the FDA like usage of Trabectome, placement of iStent and Solex Gold Shunts. I had the opportunity to attend a 5 hours long Comprehensicve Glaucoma Surgery Course organized by NYEE in which I performed Trabeculectomy, placement of ExPress filtration device and Ahmed Glaucoma Valve on the animal eye under one-to-one supervision.

Ieva S redo

Ieva Sliesoraityte

Home Country: Lithuania

Fellowship Location: Regensburg, Germany

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: University Hospital REGENSBURG Department of Ophthalmology and Prof. Dr. Horst Helbig

Sponsor: Rotary Club Straubing, Germany

About my fellowship experience:

...The ICO grant is a unique possibility for young scientists and clinicians to improve their knowledge in the world’s leading centers in a particular ophthalmology sub-specialty...
...While working in the surgical and outpatients department, as well as in the wet-lab, I improved surgical and medical retina knowledge. Every day I assisted in 3 or 4 operations. I worked a minimum of eight hours a day, and I dealt with approximately 15 to 20 patients per day. Every case involved ocular observation, diagnosis assessment, disease severity or grade evaluation, treatment plans, and scheduling future visits...
...In collaboration with the clinical staff, we prepared the abstract for SOE-09. I also prepared presentation for WGC-09 and ARVO-09, and later I was awarded with a travel grant! The ICO fellowship is truly a unique opportunity to receive an excellent education and expertise guidance...

Hossain Ismael

Ismail Hossain

Home Country: Bangladesh

Fellowship Location: Dr. Rajendra Prasad Center for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Host: Prof. Rajvardhan Azad and Prof. Y.R. Sharma, Supervisor: Prof. Atul Kumar

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...I am pleased with the training I have received at Dr. Rajendra Prasad Center for Ophthalmic Sciences, a well as the invaluable learning experience this institute has made available to me. This fellowship has developed scaffold for my Retina Foundation. I strongly believe that people of my country will get advanced level of patient care from my knowledge and skills which I have received from this institution. I have dreams of getting into research on higher level of management of vitreo-retinal diseases to cope up surgical skills which are developing days by day. Once again I offer my sincerest thanks to your generous support...

Ling Kiet Phang, Malaysia

Kiet Phang Ling

Home Country: Malaysia

Fellowship Location: Duke Eye Center, Durham/NC, USA

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Cynthia Toth

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

During the 3 months in Duke Eye Center, I had the opportunity to attending the clinic, operation room and academic teaching. All of the vitreoretinal doctor at the clinic are highly skilled, knowledgeable and approachable. They were generous with their time and answered every question I had regarding our profession. After each session of clinic, my pleasure to join the resident and the vitreoretinal fellow together with the professor to discuss the cases. I had a lot of fun to learn and it was such an experience to observe in the clinic and the operation room. From the observationship, I had the chance to refine my clinical thinking, to observe and follow different doctors and their techniques both for clinical judgement and surgeries.
Prof. Toth: he was well-educated hard working and motivated fellow. He was a joy to work with and appreared to enjoy his training.

Lamichhane Gyanendra

Lamichhane Gyanendra

Home Country: Nepal

Fellowship Location: Gunma, Japan

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Shoji Kishi

Sponsor: ICO - Yasuo Tano Fellowship

About my fellowship experience:

..I got a chance to aquantise with new technologies in the diagnosis and management of Vitreo retinal disease which I think I will not able to see for another decades in my country....
...Besides I am also very much impressed by hardworking, friendliness and hospitality of the japanese people....
...I was very busy in hospital in my working hours but on holidays I used to visit nice places in Japan and also used to study very recent journals in library.
after returning back now I find myself more confident than before in diagnosis and treatment of retinal diseases...
...Currently we have no such collaboration with Gunma hospital but I am in constant touch with Prof. Kishi and other senior ophthalmologists of Gunma via e mail. We are planning collaborations in future...

Lilian Karina Juliàn

Lilian Karina Juliàn

Home Country: Argentina

Fellowship Location: Paris, France

Subspecialty: Uveitis

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Phuc Le Hoang and Prof. Bahram Bodaghi

Sponsor: ICO Foundation

About my fellowship experience:

I was totally integrated to the hospital team since my first day. Despite some language barriers, I was still able to communicate well with the hospital team. By the last week, I was able to speak in French, presenting my personal work over the 3 months, during the department weekly round! Thanks to the ICO, I have not only learned more about ophthalmology, but also a new language!

My host allowed me to directly examine patients, make complementary studies, and assist him during surgeries. I began working on two clinical retrospective research activities. I was involved in social events and even got to attend the Annual Meeting of the French Ophthalmology Society.

This was a very nice experience and now I feel more confident while working at home. There are many things to improve there, such as our publications, and it’s necessary for us to improve the way we work in order to make our results comparable with other centers. This is the first step, so we can go further and communicate our experience with the international ophthalmology community!

Manescu Ana-Maria

Manescu Ana-Maria

Home Country: Romania

Fellowship Location: Ghent University Hospital in Ghent, Belgium

Subspecialty: Medical Retina

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Philippe Kestelyn

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...I had the opportunity to deal with interesting topics such as vitreoretinal surgery or genetic retina presented by Prof. Dr. Christophe DeLaey and Prof. Dr. Bart Leroy. However, due to the fact that it is less probable to actually practice these when back in Romania, I focused on paraclinic investigations of the retina. I found an excellent mentor in Dr. Julie Dezaeytijd, who helped me a lot in understanding what Medical Retina is. She had sown me how to interpret an OCT and a FLUO, how to corelate them with the history of the patient, how to diagnose correctly and to manage the ocular disease...
... As a consequence I did some OCT by myself and also some color and red-free pictures of the eye fundus...

Manoj Vasudevan

Manoj Vasudevan

Home Country: India

Fellowship Location: Salt Lake City, U.S.A.

Subspecialty: Cataract Surgery

Host and Supervisor: John A. Moran Eye Center and Prof. Geoffrey Tabin, M.D.

Sponsor: Senju Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

About my fellowship experience:

I attended outpatient clinics of cornea and refractive surgery and was able to examine patients (sometimes individually). I observed surgeries and was able to watch research lab activities. I accompanied consultants to the Utah University hospital, the veterans hospital, and even their burns units for rounds and discussions weekly.

I attended many events, where I was able to hear speakers share their experiences. I was also able to present my experiences by speaking about my time at the Aravind Eye Hospital and answering questions. I was also able to attend many social events in Utah!

I reached my aims by taking home newer techniques of corneal transplantation. I hope to try these new techniques on my patients for their benefit. The corneal surgeons here were really fantastic and I am very happy that I visited this center for my ICO fellowship. I thank the ICO fellowship board and my sponsor for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

Nino Kobakhidze

Nino Kobakhidze

Home Country: Georgia

Fellowship Location: The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City, USA

Subspecialty: Glaucoma

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Robert Ritch and Dr. Celso Tello

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...I am especially grateful to Dr. Celso Tello who supervised me at the hospital, never hesitated to answer questions, gave precious advises, always called to show interesting cases.
ICO keeps on giving us opportunities to participate in different events. Recently I was honored to be a reviewer for WOC 2016 glaucoma abstracts. This was a very interesting experience for me. The Council has a great mission to help develop ophthalmology worldwide. The fellowship has greatly influenced my professional development and career and I am grateful to everyone who made it possible!...

Oana M

Oana Mihalcea

Home Country: Romania

Fellowship Location: Los Angeles, U.S.A.

Subspecialty: Neuro-Ophthalmology

Host and Supervisor: Anthony C. Arnold, MD

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

During these 3 months I have experienced direct clinical activity and patient interaction, followed by discussions about further management. I have also been involved in two research projects as the principal investigator. I was able to take part in courses and seminars about neuro-ophthalmology. I learned how to do a complete neuro-ophthalmologic exam, as well as how to conduct a successful clinical research project.

I met my aims completely and the knowledge I have received will allow me to continue my career in my country, where there is a deficit of specialists in this field. After I go home, I will continue an active collaboration with my mentor, Dr. Anthony Arnold. The entire experience was very beneficial for my individual progress.

Orazbekov Lukpan

Orazbekov Lukpan

Home Country: Kazakhstan

Fellowship Location: Nagoya City University Hospital, Dept. of Ophthalmology in Nagoya, Japan

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Yuichiro Ogura

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

During my first excursion I noted that Nagoya City University Hospital is modern and has very good maintenance facilities. I had opportunities to take a part in both clinical and research activities of ophthalmological department. During rounds in in-patient department Professor Y. Ogura made very valuable remarks and corrections of diagnostic and treatment...
..It was very interesting for me to take a part in Case conference where patients were discussed before surgery and senior residents prepare their report in English! I would like to thank all residents for it. This helped me to understand the clinical approach, differential diagnosis and the methods of treatment of different pathologies...
...My expectations were absolutely met. I am very glad that I had got to know Prof. Y. Ogura and department staff. That was a very good experience for my professional skills and I could receive answers to plenty of questions I had before. I hope that I will be able to use this knowledge in my country. I got a lot of new friends, and I am very happy with this fact.

Pandey Sukant

Pandey Sukant

Home Country: India

Fellowship Location: Rudolf Foundation Clinic, Dept. of Ophthalmology in Vienna, Austria

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Susanne Binder

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

The most important aspect which I learned from Prof. Susanne Binder was how to manage my work with respect to time available, set up priorities and continuously work for the improvement in an organized and scientific approach.
ICO fellowship not only helped me in enhancing my skill but also helped me in my leader ship training and gave me a much broader picture about ophthalmology and its practise. Back home at my hospital, lot of work needs to be done, to name few amongst top of my list:
1) We are trying to develop a diabetic retinopathy screening project for our region and with the new insight and skilled acquired here, I think I am more confident in bringing up the project and managing different facets of it.
2) Our institute is a training center for young ophthalmologists and optometrists, I will like to introduce more scientific way of learning and try to evolve protocols which will cater to our local needs.
3) We have to be more scientific and organized in our approach and bring out the work which we have been doing in form of publications.
4) To keep the co-operation with Prof Binder going and collaborate with her in our future endeavours.

Pyatova Yulia

Pyatova Yulia

Home Country: Russia

Fellowship Location: The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dept. of Ophthalmology in New York City, USA

Subspecialty: Glaucoma

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Robert Ritch

Sponsor: Mr. Joseph M. Cohen

About my fellowship experience:

I was in clinic 5 days a week. I had contact with a lot of patients with different types of glaucoma. Several times a week I visited an operating room and learned many different glaucoma surgery techniques. I learned a lot of about examination of the glaucoma patients. I was taught how to measure the IOP with Goldman tonometry, so when I come back home I will be able to train our doctors how to use it. I was shown how to interpret an OCT, VF and so on, how to follow up the patient. I did some gonioscopy, discoscopy by myself. During this study I visited AAO meeting in Chicago and the Glaucoma Foundation, the 19 Annual International Think Tank in New York. It was great!!!

Quasim C redo

Quasim Chaudhry

Home Country: Pakistan

Fellowship Location: Suita, Osaka, Japan

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Professor Yasuo Tano, MD and Professor Motohiro Kamei, MD

Sponsor: Japanese Ophthalmological Society (JOS)

About my fellowship experience:

...As an ICO fellow at one of the most advanced centers of Ophthalmology, the Osaka University Medical School, I had the privilege of witnessing and learning the latest trends in the field of Vitreo Retina. My training involved two outpatient clinics and operation theater sessions per week. During the outpatient clinics, I was fully involved in discussing the patient’s signs and symptoms, investigations, and management with my supervisor...
...The real rewarding experience was in the surgical sessions where I could easily interact and converse in English with the surgeons during and after surgery. This transfer of knowledge will surely benefit our patients with decreased surgery times and more rapid recovery with less surgical trauma. I was also able to review literature in the department library and attend many social events...
...After this fellowship, I now feel confident that whenever I have a troubling or difficult case, I know where I can turn to get good advice and suggestions. I am looking forward to returning back to this excellent department in the future...

Rajendra Jadhav

Rajendra Jadhav

Home Country: India

Fellowship Location: Helsinki, Finland

Subspecialty: Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Tero Kivelä

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...ICO Fellowship is truly a unique opportunity for an individual to upgrade his clinical knowledge and skills in a subspeciality...
...The process of clinical evaluation and discussing the cases with specialists helped me understand the basic clinical approach, differential diagnosis and the treatment modalities. One to one interactions with specialists/consultats on why the preferred a particular modality made me understand in a better way...
...I got many surgical tips, dos and don'ts during assisting the surgical procedures...
...Working with Prof. Kivelä was an excellent experience. His expert opinion and guidance helped me learn many pearls in the evaluation techniques, treatment modalities and the importance of meticulous close follow up of retinoblastoma cases...
...I am grateful and feel extremely honoured for having awarded me this prestigious International Council of Ophthalmology Fellowship. I appreciate the trust and faith shown in me for the said fellowship...

Dr. Jimenez Cuadra Roberto

Roberto Jimenez Cuadra

Home Country: Costa Rica

Fellowship Location: Instituto Oftalmo Salud in Lima, Peru

Subspecialty: Cornea & External Diseases

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Luis Izquierdo Jr.

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...I had the opportunity to get involved in clinical activities 5 times a week...
...I had contact with a lot of patients with different corneal and external pathologies and I learned to treat them medically and surgically as needed...
...I gave presenations about topics related to my subspeciality to ophthalmology residents in the institutes and in local congresses and meetings, I had the chance to present clinical cases for discussion...
...I also participated in research activities in the institute...
...My expectations were absolutely met. Prof. Luis Izquierdo is a great person, an excellent ophthalmologist and instructor...

Reyes Catherine

Ryes Catherine

Home Country: Philippines

Fellowship Location: University Eye Clinic Hamburg Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Gisbert Richard

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for providing for my scholarship during my 3 month observership training (Oct – Dec 2012) at the UKE-Hamburg. It was truly an experience that opened my mind to the practice of Ophthalmology in Germany. I learned so many things during my observership under Prof. Dr. Richard and also Dr. Lars Wagenfeld. All of the doctors at the clinic are highly skilled, knowledgable and approachable. They were generous with their time and answered every question I had regarding our profession. From patient examination to the operation and post-operative follow-up, I was able to note differences in the way we handle our own patients and how their patients are treated. I believe that the set-up at the UKE is ideal and hopefully, we can achieve the same standards in our institutions in the years to come. I am also grateful that I was able to attend lectures by doctors from other countries, as well as daily conferences in the clinic. Although most were in the German language, I was able to understand through the help of the doctor staff.

hong samin

Samin Hong

Home Country: Korea

Fellowship Location: New York, NY, U.S.A.

Subspecialty: Glaucoma

Host and Supervisor: Robert Ritch, MD

Sponsor: Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

About my fellowship experience:

...Even though 3 months is not a very long time, I have learned so much from Dr. Ritch. In his clinic, I learned about the various ocular findings, associated systemic signs of exfoliation syndrome, and glaucoma. I also learned about antioxidant supplements, glaucoma filtering surgery in patients who received DSAEK, and new ophthalmic devices. I also had the opportunity to observe several new therapeutic approaches. I was able to focus on unique cases and review literature about them...
...The most impressive aspect of this fellowship program was seeing Dr. Ritch’s passion for his patients and research. He remains concerned for his patients and offers his utmost undivided attention. I am definitely sure that my experience here will be very helpful in my future practice and research. In light of this experience, I too would like to be a compassionate physician like Dr. Ritch....

Bachu Sandeep

Sandeep Bachu, MD

Home Country: India

Fellowship Location: Wilmer Eye Institute, The John Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA

Subspecialty: Uveitis

Host and Supervisor: Dr. Jennifer E. Thorne

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...ICO Fellowship is truly a unique opportunity to upgrade his/her clinical knowledge and skills in a choice subspeciality. I attended the clinics of ocular immunology five days a week and had an opportunity to actively participate in journal club and grand rounds. The process of clinical evaluation and discussing the cases with faculty helped me understand the basic clinical approach, differential diagnosis and treatment modalities... I had a wonderful opportunity to meet stalwarts of ophthalmolog at Wilmer Eye Institute, The John Hopkins University...

Shaukat Ali Chippa

Shaukat Ali Chippa

Home Country: Pakistan

Fellowship Location: Hanusch-Clinic, Dept. of Ophthalmology in Vienna, Austria

Subspecialty: Glaucoma

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Oliver Findl and Dr. Karl Rigal

Sponsor: The Fred Hollows Foundation

About my fellowship experience:

Thanks to the ICO Fellowships Board for providing such a wonderful academic opportunity. My objective was to learn the difficulties in Glaucoma diagnosis and management. I learnt at what time and how to use and interpret the state of the art diagnostic tools. Dr. Karl Rigal constantly provided me the interpretation of the diagnostic tests, involved me to many glaucoma surgical proceedures including laster proceedures with excellent description of each and every step. His colleague Dr. Ana Prinz was likewise cooperative with me explaining the diagnostic and therapeutic steps. In Hanusch-Clinic every slit lamp and microscope has teaching aids that facilitated me in learning. Every day starts with morning meetings for case discussions, presentations and journal clubs.
With other fellows I got the chance to meet Prof. Veit-Peter Gabel, Director for ICO Fellowship, at Carl Zeiss Meditec AG as we were invited there for a day tour at the company.
After accomplishing my objectives I am in a better position to facilitate learning of my students and residents particularily about diagnosis of glaaucoma. The recording of findings and followup of patients will be improved and I hope overall management of our patients will improve. I will keep myself remain in physicians and public awareness programsabout Glaucoma. The ICO Fellowship Program is bringing communities together.

Dr. Sheila Marco

Sheila Akinyi Marco

Home Country: Kenya

Fellowship Location: Edmonton, Canada

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Dr. Karim Damji

About my fellowship experience:

...In my fellowship, I was involved in running the glaucoma outpatient clinic, reviewing old and new cases of glaucoma, and in decision making for disease management. I was able to perform outpatient procedures like selective laser trabeculoplasty, laser peripheral iridotomy, and laser suturolysis...
...I was also able to write two research proposals, one of which I will present with a poster at ARVO in 2011...
...I was able to participate in Glaucoma rounds, journal clubs and even presented some research I had done in Kenya on "The Situation Analysis of Glaucoma Resources in Kenya...

teoan

Teona Butskhrikidze

Home Country: Georgia

Fellowship Location: Homburg/Saar, Germany

Subspecialty: Cornea & External Diseases

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Berthold Seitz

Sponsor: The Fred Hollows Foundation

About my fellowship experience:

It is a great honor for me to have received the ICO fellowship this year. It is a wonderful and very enriching experience for me to come to Homburg Eye Clinic.
Here I can observe and actively learn the various latest techniques of Corneal Surgery. I am also actively involved in the research projects of the Cornea Clinic too
It is great value addition for me and ofcourse for my country .
I am grateful to the ICO Fellowship Board and The Fred Hollows Foundation for this wonderful opportunity.

Ventura Bruna

Ventura Bruna

Home Country: Brazil

Fellowship Location: Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Tx, USA

Subspecialty: Cataract Surgery

Host and Supervisor: Dr. Douglas Koch

Sponsor: ICO Retina Research Foundation

About my fellowship experience:

The ICO – Retina Research Foundation Helmerich Fellowship enabled me to do a Research Fellowship in Cataract and Refractive Surgery at Baylor
College of Medicine, in Houston, USA, under the mentorship of Dr. Douglas Koch. The fellowship was very important to provide me with more knowledge in
the fields of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, besides offering rich opportunities in research. When returning to Brazil, I became the Vice-Mentor of the
Specialization Course in Ophthalmology of the Altino Ventura Foundation, in Recife, Brazil, and the Coordinator of the Cataract Department of the Altino Ventura
Foundation. Thus I am able to teach residents and fellows everthing that I learned abroad.

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VICOL PANTALON Anca Delia

Vicol Pantalon Anca Delia

Home Country: Romania

Fellowship Location: New york Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York City, USA

Subspecialty: Pediatric Ophthalmology

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Robert Ritch and Dr. Lisa Hall

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...My visit at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary was a very rewarding one. I had the chance to refine my clinical thinking, to observe and follow different doctors and their techniques both for examinations and surgeries. I was involved in the clinical activities and even able to actively participate when evaluating patients (adults and children).
My direct achievement was retinoscopy that I was able to learn and practice in the hospital. The clinical exposure was excelent (thyroid eye disease, vertical deviations, cranial nerve palsis, orbital trauma and strabismus).
In this 3 months, I was tutored by great doctors (Dr. Lisa Hall, Dr. Steve Rosenberg) and orthoptists (Sara Shippman, Larisa Heiser, Rita Mendy and Daniela Garrido) attended grand rounds in the mornings, conferences and lectures in the afternoons. An important aspect were the wet lab sessions where I practiced both strabismus surgical techniques and some glaucoma techniques (artificial drainage systems) or cornea with penetrant keratoplasty.
The strabismus measurements were explained to me in detail and many times I could actually do them myself at NYEEI pediatric ophthalmology department. Moreover, in certain situations I received solid explanations for chosing a certain procedure over another based on experience, subtle clinical exams and measurements.
I have presented a lecture for the NYEEI residents regarding the Congenital Cranial Dissinnervation Syndrome...

BALIASHVILI Vladimer

Vladimer Baliashvili

Home Country: Georgia

Fellowship Location: Raghudeep Eye Clinic in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Subspecialty: Cataract Surgery

Host and Supervisor: Dr. Abhay Vasavada and Dr. Harsha Tripathi

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

..And now I`m here in ancient country, from where the civilization  spreads to the rest of the world. Oh, yes! History repeats! Now days  Dr. Abbey Vasavada has created unique ophthalmologic center where practice and science go side by side and both work on creation of kindness to the world. It`s invisible, fantastic energy, which is surrounded this clinic and since you enter in - you become a part of it. It`s really magic! From the first step in the Dr. Vasavada`s clinic I felt such a warm and friendly greetings from the staff....
...(...) during two weeks in the evenings I've had possibility of wetlab on the human eyes. At the same time, every day I was in both branches of the clinic, where 15-20 operations were conducted. exactly here every day, I had the opportunity to perform surgery. Step by step, day by day, during the short period I reached my aim. Isn`t magic! All grades of all forms of cataracts were offered for me. Dr. Harsha Tripathi as an angel-guardian was conducted my surgery. Now, at the end of my three month fellowship I`m able to perform independently phacoemulsification with IOL implantation...
...  Except my practical education Dr. Vasavada and his colleagues had organized theoretical part of the fellowship. Every month I was attended at the different ophthalmologic  international symposiums in Ahmedabad. Also, I want to mark his weekly workshops at the clinic, where young and senior doctors were discussing different topics and studies most of them done by themselves. And Dr. Vasavada`s rich library was out of my expectations, where I had free access...
... So it`s really "I"n"C"redible "O"utcome! I hope I`ll implement all my practical skills in my home country and I`ll be happy to share my success with you...

Sauli Widjaja

Widjaja Sauli

Home Country: Indonesia

Fellowship Location: Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan

Subspecialty: Vitreo-Retina

Host and Supervisor: Prof. Akira Murakami and Prof. Ebihara

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

...I went to inward patients, dping examination pre-operative and post-operative together with the doctors... have been an asistant in several cases and after the surgery been done I had some discussions related to the cases or else the techniques that have been applied to the patient...I went to the outpatient clinic to learn diagnostic imaging technique and discussed the cases. It has been a great time also that during lunch time all mentors got together to have lunch and discussions. The other great opportunity was that I had the chance to do the labratory experiments under guidance, looking at a DNA mutation of a gene to find any mutation-related-heriditary retinal disease... I have learned about the culture, the way they work everyday in hospital, how to create the safety doctor-patient environment. I was making a lot of new friends with all doctors, got well integrated, having a good relationship with them. I hope that I will be able to apply all that I have learned in my home country.

Zia Chaudhuri

Zia Chaudhuri

Home Country: India

Fellowship Location: Leicester, UK

Subspecialty: Strabismus

Host and Supervisor: Professor Irene Gottlob

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

Under the supervision of Professor Irene Gottlob and Mr. Geoffrey Woodruff, I was exposed to a wide variety of patients presented with strabismus, neuro-ophthalmological problems, and nystagmus. I observed cases with children and adults. I was involved in a short-term research project on the evaluation of ocular movement recordings in patients with nystagmus.

I have been able to significantly enhance my skills and knowledge in strabismus and neuro-ophthalmology after my training here, which will help me work to the greater benefit of students and patients in my home institution. It would have been very difficult for me to have received this training without the help of the ICO. This opportunity has been a massive step forward for me. I thank the ICO for having provided me with this training under some of the most eminent consultants in the world.

Zivicka Irina

Zivicka Irina

Home Country: Latvia

Fellowship Location: The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary , Dept. of Ophthalmology in New York City, USA

Subspecialty: Oculoplastics

Host and Supervisor: Prof. David Della Rocca

Sponsor: ICO

About my fellowship experience:

As I mentioned in my application materials, it was very important to me to learn more about oculoplastics and to see how it works in different hospital. I've heard a lot about how much experience can get young doctors when they are in other hospital and work with different doctors in their specialty. And it is true. I have never got so many benefits in such a short period of time.

I will never forget the time I spent with Dr. David Della Rocca and Dr. Robert Della Rocca. They are excellent doctors and perfect teachers. Every single day, when we worked together was very interesting and dynamic. Every evening I would think out a lot of questions and next day my teachers would always find time to answer all of them.
I learned a lot not only in operating room, but in their office and outpatient department also. Now I have new ideas how to speak and how to examine a patient.

I had really a great time in New York and I can not fully express my feelings about this unique opportunity to study in New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. I will definitely use all the knowledge I gained in my future career.

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