The European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology (ESASO) in Lugano, Switzerland, is an international center of education for ophthalmology specialists. Doctors from all over the world gain practical knowledge about the latest technologies used in surgical operations on the retina and other eye diseases. A twin ESASO Academy, with the same profile, will start next month in Lublin. It will be the second such center in Europe and the third in the world, which is located in Singapore.
Several years ago the ESASO research and training center was established in Lublin on the initiative of Professor Robert Rejdak, head of the Department of General Ophthalmology at the Medical University of Lublin, who for several years has been associated with the European School of Advanced Ophthalmological Studies in Lugano, Switzerland. As a director of practical training of doctors in eye surgery he has educated hundreds of ophthalmologists from all over the world in Switzerland and Poland.
Many years of contacts between the Medical University of Lublin and the Swiss center led to the conclusion of an agreement on October 2, 2020 between Prof. Giuseppe Guarnaccia, ESASO global director and Prof. Wojciech Załuska, rector of the Medical University of Lublin on the establishment of the ESASO Academy in the Medical Simulation Center in Lublin.
– The signed agreement provides for five years of training in eye surgery, which will take place monthly with the participation of ophthalmologists from around the world. The school will be headed by two prominent specialists who have been acting as vice-rectors since the 2020 academic year: Prof. Robert Rejdak and Prof. Kamil Torres. The opening of such an elite school in Lublin is an honor for our academic community – stresses Rector Wojciech Załuska.
Before the ESASO research and training center was established in Lublin, Polish ophthalmologists underwent specialist training in eye surgery in Lugano. After its establishment they will undergo the same training at the Medical University Medical Simulation Center, where the Lublin center is located.
– We have already gained international recognition, hosting the best specialists and scientific authorities from many countries of the world. Undoubtedly, we owe this success to Professor Giuseppe Guarnaccia, who favored the promotion of Polish ophthalmology in the world and continues to intensively support our activities – informs Prof. Robert Rejdak.
The Lublin ESASO Academy was scheduled to begin operations in spring 2021, but a pandemic has thwarted those plans. COVID- 19 partially halted previous scientific exchange and training initiatives. Most training was done online using digital techniques. It is difficult to predict how long the pandemic will remain with us, but the Academy will officially open in mid-October with regular activities.
– ESASO has extensive experience in training professionals in modern eye surgery. It is a leader in training in this field all over the world and we want to share this knowledge in Lublin now. In the middle of October the first 80-person group of Italian ophthalmologists will come to us. The workshops will be conducted by international specialists in retina surgery. Every month we will organize more trainings for ophthalmologists and residents from many countries – assures professor Robert Rejdak, director of ESASO Academy, vice-rector of the Medical University.
The strategy of the European School of Advanced Ophthalmological Studies also assumes the participation in the cycle of training of ophthalmologists from neighboring countries, including Belarus, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, as well as Georgia, Romania and other countries. In the Lublin center they will have the opportunity to acquire skills in cataract surgery, glaucoma, cornea, retinal diseases, as well as to perform plastic surgeries such as eyelid or facial surgery.
ESASO in Lublin will strengthen the European Center for Macular Diseases and support the conduct of innovative diagnostic and clinical research and gene therapies.
Author: Jolanta Czudak