During the month of May, twelve OMI alumni from Mexico, Hungary, Armenia, Slovakia, Sudan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tanzania, Mongolia, and Turkey completed observerships in different fields of medicine, including Anesthesiology, Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dermatology, Pathology, Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology and Neonatology. While most observers were scheduled for one-month placements, two OMI alumni had the opportunity to spend three months at an Austrian hospital. The observerships were completed in Graz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Vienna.
When asked about his experience during the ophthalmology observership at the General Hospital of Salzburg, Dr. Juraj Halička shared that he felt well taken care of. The OMInars and the OMI observership played an important role in his professional development. Having a particular interest in vitreo-retinal and plastic surgery, Dr. Halička not only acquired new practical skills, but also learned about modern surgical technologies and equipment. He could establish valuable contacts with the staff in Salzburg and hopes to continue the professional relationship.
Dr. Yekaterina Lyan from Uzbekistan was an observer at the General Hospital of Vienna at the department of Psychiatry. She said that her observership was an eye-opening experience. The number of opportunities for professional growth and scientific collaborations surprised her. Seeing the gentle and careful approach that the team at the psychiatric department offered their patients, encouraged her to improve her work back home.
In an interview with the OMI, Dr. Rodrigo Uribe Pacheco from Mexico talked about his observership experience in Innsbruck.
1) You attended an OMI observership in Neurosurgery in Innsbruck with the team of Prof. Thomé, which lasted three months. What can an OMI alumnus expect to learn during such a placement?
“A usual working day starts at 7:30 am with a meeting, where residents, attendees, and Prof. Thomé discuss the cases, surgeries, and upcoming plans for the day. Afterwards, the surgical program begins at four operation theaters of the neurosurgery department. During the afternoon, there may be additional committee sessions (oncology, vascular, spine), where different clinical departments (neurology, interventional neuroradiology, oncology) gather and discuss complex cases that need to be addressed for a better diagnostic and treatment coordination.”
2) Was there a defining moment or a highlight during your observership that you would like to share?
“This three-month observership was a huge milestone in my personal and professional journey. I was able to better my surgical skills at the biomechanical lab with spine specimens as well as with the implementation of an innovative robotic exoscope that aims to provide the surgeon with the same microscopical vision and enhances ergonomics during a surgical procedure. Additionally, I was involved in several clinical research projects that aim for a better decision making process for brain tumor and osteoporotic spine surgery patients.”
3) Is there something you would like to introduce at your home institution that you have learned during this observership?
“I was impressed by the technical opportunities in spine surgery such as the use of transoperative neuro-navigation, XLIF and ALIF, and last but not least the importance of a well performed vertebroplasty and lumbar decompression which may aid the patient’s functional outcome in the long-term. In addition, I would like to launch two collaborative research projects, where my home institution will be involved, thus seeking a higher standard of care for patients with lumbar spine disease.”