One of the cornerstones of our Continuing Medical Education Program (CME) is the generosity of the program’s mentors, who are the leading specialists in Armenia’s medical field who volunteer their time to share their knowledge and train their colleagues working in some of country’s more remote regions— typically places with limited resources.

For the past 11 years, through them, CME has ultimately been able to address several of the problems that exist in the Armenian healthcare system via excellent professional development opportunities. CME is still one of the rare platforms that brings such professionals together to improve the country’s healthcare.

At the end of each year, FAR’s CME program team meets with the volunteer trainers to summarize achieved goals, identify any existing gaps, recall the challenges, and outline the goals for the upcoming year.

In 2016, 101 doctors participated in the CME program, including 15 participants from the Tavush Region, one of the country’s poorest. In addition, the second annual nutritional conference, which was organized with the help of the Institute for Human Nutrition at Columbia University, highlighted the lack of micronutrients in Armenia’s population and their link to the country’s overall health problems. This catalyzed the group’s initiative to set a goal to collect more accurate data in 2017 by carrying out a survey on the level of micronutrients in Armenia’s population. Also, much needed medical supplies were delivered to strategically important regions of Nagorno-Karabakh following April’s 4-day war.

As it is one of the most unique professional development programs in Armenia, CME provides accreditation to medical professionals. With 2016 came new developments in the nation’s healthcare system, specifically related to the revision of the current accreditation system. CME must now align itself with the system in order to continue its important role of keeping professionals up to date and certified.

Looking ahead, information about the upcoming 12th Armenian Medical World Congress was provided to participants. The event, which will be held from May 31st until June 2nd, is one of the most important to bring together Armenian and diasporan healthcare professionals, government organizations, and NGOs, in order to devise new programs and initiatives aimed at improving healthcare for people in Armenia and Karabakh.