Founded in 1992, the EyeCare Project, with its physicians, began traveling to Armenia twice a year to teach physicians and treat Armenian patients. It became apparent early on that to have a long-term sustainable impact on eye care in Armenia, physicians in the country would have to have a much higher skill level and would require extensive education and training. To accomplish this and enable Armenian physicians to treat their patients independently, at a level commensurate with U.S. eye care, the Project established a Fellowship Program.
We carefully evaluated the skill levels and potential of several of Armenia’s ophthalmologists. The objective was to select one physician for each subspecialty. They would each travel to the U.S. for one year to train at one of America’s finest medical institutions. At the conclusion of their fellowship, they would return to Armenia to establish and direct clinics in their subspecialty and train their colleagues.