The AAHPO Continuing Medical Education (CME) Program is making it possible for Armenian doctors in Nagorno-Karabagh and Javakhk to receive training to update their clinical expertise in their specialty.

The CME Program was first created in 2005 by FAR and the FAR Fellowship Alumni Association. The CME Program aims to bolster the overall health of the Armenia’s people by improving the skills of Armenian doctors.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the majority of doctors in Armenia’s rural regions have been unable to refresh their medical skills due to the high cost and inaccessibility of certification programs. This has lead to a decline in the quality of healthcare as many doctors are unaware of the advances in the medical field. Through CME, doctors from these areas can learn to master innovative approaches, methods and technologies from top healthcare providers in Yerevan, free of cost. Once they return home, they join an extensive network of CME healthcare professionals and receive ongoing support from their mentors and colleagues in Yerevan. Since it began, the CME Program has touched the lives of more than 250 Armenian healthcare providers and thousands of Armenians who continue to benefit from the improved healthcare they can receive.

The AAHPO CME Program will provide training to doctors in Nagorno-Karabagh and Javakhk. This program is gravely needed in these areas, as there currently are no opportunities for Armenian doctors to receive training in either place. With your help, at least 80 physicians from these regions can to join the program by 2013.

CME Programs
Pictured left to right: Vicken Pamoukian, MD, Aram Cazazian, DDS, Edgar Housepian, MD, Larry Najarian, MD, and Arthur Kabukian, DDS

As Armenia became a proud independent nation in 1991, its healthcare delivery system faced unexpected challenges. While in the United States Continuing Medical Education (CME) is a yearly requirement for physicians, dentists, and most healthcare professionals, in Armenia, CME is not a requirement and does not really exist. So once one graduates from medical or dental schools there are no programs for continuing education.

Several years ago, Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) and AAHPO, through the vision of Dr. Raffy A. Hovanessian, recognized the depth and widespread nature of this problem and partnered to fund the CME Program for physicians from rural Armenia and Karabagh. This program is vital to training physicians and nurses as tens of thousands of Armenians depend on their medical skills. The feedback gained from physicians trained in this program has been very positive. Truly appreciative of the knowledge gained, the graduates return to their rural villages, apply the skills gained in treating their patients and sharing their knowledge with fellow physicians.


Since 2010, AAHPO’s steadfast commitment to the Continuing Medical Education Program resulted in the training of 25 physicians each year. More than 200 health care providers have benefited from this program so far, with many more waiting to participate in this invaluable opportunity. The program enables doctors and nurses to enhance their skills and learn new techniques, improving the quality of healthcare delivery to their patients. Funds raised by AAHPO for the CME month-long program in Yerevan cover tuition expenses, lodging and a stipend for doctors who are taking time off from work and family.

Over the course of four weeks, physician and nurses participate in intensive programs in their specialty or subspecialty in leading medical centers, universities and advanced clinics in Yerevan. AAHPO’s efforts to raise funds for the CME program were realized through several major fundraisers and the generosity and philanthropy of Mr. & Mrs. Nazar & Ardemis Nazarian which have secured the continuation of the program for now. However, AAHPO still depends on the generosity of its members and friends to keep the CME program in place for many years to come.

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