Department of Ophthalmology
Roots of University Eye clinic reach year 1922 when professor Petras Avižonis founded Eye clinic in the newly established Vytautas Magnus University. Since then University Eye clinic has gone a long and difficult path of evolution until it became a modern eye hospital. Special role in the development of University Eye clinic was played by professor Emilija Daktaravičiene who chaired the Eye Department until 1986 developing excellent for that time clinical basis and preparing the whole generation of ophthalmologists.
The main objectives of the Eye Clinic are timely complex diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases, training of young specialists during under-graduate and post-graduate studies, participation in national and international scientific research studies.
Currently University Eye Clinic is the largest institution for diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases in Lithuania consisting of Outpatient department (headed by professor Ingrida Janulevičienė) and three Inpatient divisions : Children's Eye Department (headed by Arvydas Gelžinis MD, PhD), Day Eye Surgery Department ( headed by Associate Professor Dalia Žaliūnienė ) and Adult Eye Department ( headed by Associate Professor Reda Žemaitienė ). There are several specified sections established in order to improve the quality and provide better care in different fields of ophthalmology: anterior eye segment microsurgery (headed by professor Vytautas Jašinskas ), vitreoretinal surgery (headed by Arunas Miliauskas, MD ) , eye trauma (headed by Remigijus Gricius MD, PhD ), general ophthalmology (headed by Associate Professor Valerijus Barzdžiukas ).
Annually there are over 60.000 out-patient visits and over 14.000 in-patients treated in the University Eye clinic with intensive surgical work - over 13.000 broad- spectrum surgeries (cataract , glaucoma , cornea , vitreous, retina, strabismus and others). Most complicated and serious patients from all over Lithuania are treated in the University Eye Clinic- e.g there are over 1.000 most difficult retinal and vitreal surgeries performed every year. Ophtalmo-oncological patients, corneal transplantion surgeries are concentrated here. In 2002 there was the first Donor Eye bank in the Baltic States established.
Studies are integral part of everyday clinical practice : about 300 Lithuanian and foreign students studying in the Medical Academy of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences are having ophthalmology course annually and also residents cover 3-year program in ophthalmology.
Ophthalomolgy is a part of the modulus “Eye, ENT and maxillofacial diseases” (6 ECTS credits) for the sixth year students of medical faculty of LUHS. The course of ophthalmology is based on the guidelines of problem- based teaching. During the 60 hours of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical work students obtain knowledge of the basic ophthalmology, they get introduced with the main methods of eye examination.
Residensy in ophthalmology has 3 year programme (ECTS credits 198) in Lithuania. The Eye department of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences is a main training base and has satisfactory EU ophthalmology training and exchange requirements (accredited in 2010). Ophthalmology training is designed on practical syllabus and aimed to achieve theoretical and practical skills in a number of areas including : Cataract and Lens, Cornea and External Disease, Glaucoma, Low Vision and Visual Rehabilitation, Neuro-ophthalmology, Ophthalmic Pathology and Oncology, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Orbit, Optics, Refraction and Contact Lens, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Genetics, Refractive Surgery, Retina and Vitreous. In addition, ophthalmology training promotes research and there are opportunities for trainees to initiate and participate in it. Moreover, trainees have opportunities to take part in exchange programmes, including: Socrates Erasmus and EBO (European Board of Ophthalmology). After the satisfactory completion of training, ophthalmology specialist qualification is awarded.