Beginning in 2003, the FAR Fellowship Alumni Association (FARFAA) began the Salzburg International Medical Seminars local coordination in Armenia, a program of the Open Medical Institute. The Salzburg Seminars program is the largest educational program for doctors in Central and Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet republics.
In 2005, FARFAA with FAR financing started the Continuing Medical Education (CME) Program for Armenian provincial physicians, while also integrating the Salzburg program. Salzburg fellows serve as mentors to doctors from Armenia’s regional hospitals and policlinics. Each year, more and more fellows join the CME program as trainers.
Today, one of CME’s main goals is to recruit more volunteer trainers to mentor CME program participants. Experience has shown that the best way to motivate them is to provide an opportunity to receive training abroad through the Salzburg program. FAR recently gave grants to seven medical specialists from Armenia who will travel to Salzburg and potentially become CME program trainers. Participants were selected by the FARFAA Medical Board and will be confirmed by American Austrian Foundation (AAF).
FARFAA provides a wonderful network through which doctors can learn about conferences and seminars in Armenia and abroad. FARFAA hopes to create a strong tie between medical professionals in Armenia and in the West. The Salzburg fellows are living examples of this. The program’s objective is to train the best of the best in Salzburg who will then continue to help their colleagues, just as their American and Austrian colleagues helped them.