Dr. Sona Antonyan, 43, head of the children’s department at Goris Medical Center, who was born into a family of doctors, was oddly scared of them as a child.

“I would run away from any doctor [other than my parents],” Dr. Antonyan recalled with a soft smile. However as she learned biology and the importance of medicine at school, she gradually overcame her fear. She followed her parents’ advice and entered medical school in 1993, during the cold, dark days of Armenia’s energy crisis.

“We didn’t have the internet to gather the information from home, or even the electricity we needed to do so, if it had existed. We would often study by candlelight,” Dr. Antonyan said. She graduated in 1999 and returned to Goris to work in Syunik Province. Once back in her hometown, she immediately started working at Goris Medical Center as a pediatrician.

Within a few years she became head of the clinic’s Pediatric Unit, which she continues to successfully run. “Number one rule for any doctor is to love his or her profession; the second one is ‘to never miss a rule’. Any health care professional must have a passion for quality in delivery, be it knowledge or treatment,” said Dr. Antonyan.

Her relationship with FAR started in 2007 when she was first selected to participate in FAR’s Continuing Medical Education Program (CME). Since then she has participated in CME three more times—in 2009, 2012 and 2015, each time focusing on pediatrics, particularly infectious diseases and emergency first aid for children.

“The courses were very effective; the theory and practice of the curriculum was very comprehensive. We discussed our doubts with our supervisors on the spot. The latest medical literature was also available to us,” said Dr. Antonyan, who compared the CME training with her days in medical school. “Now, it’s different. We need do more research, stay current and up to date with the latest information and skills, and move ahead. This is what matters for any doctor.”