“It’s something beyond the textbooks…”
Medical education and training is the cornerstone of the Armenian EyeCare Project. Under the umbrella of medical education and training are a number of programs developed by the Project over the past 25 years. They include one-year U.S. Fellowships, Telesurgery, Online Courses and more.
Our newest training opportunity targets young people and encourages future physicians to learn first-hand how eye care is delivered in Armenia.
Through our Medical Observership Program medical students and pre-med undergraduate students interested in medicine have an opportunity to travel to Armenia where they learn about eye care alongside dedicated Armenian and American physicians who work closely with the EyeCare Project.
While in Armenia, Medical Observers visit the EyeCare Project’s facilities, which include our Mobile Eye Hospital, Regional Eye Clinics, Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Childhood Blindness and Subspecialty Eye Clinics that treat retina, glaucoma, corneal-uveitis, neuro-orbital, pediatrics and low vision. At these locations, Observers gain valuable knowledge and experience in the delivery of eye care and on the treatment of eye disease.
The Observers shadow physicians — an educational opportunity for students to learn what it is like to be a physician by walking through the day as a shadow to an experienced physician. As shadows the students watch doctors care for patients during eye screenings, treatments and surgeries. They also learn how to communicate and develop relationships with patients — developing their own “bedside manner,” which is critical for the successful medical management of patients. At the same time Observers receive hands-on training, learn how to administer eye examinations and how to operate medical equipment.
Commenting on the program, Armen Ghazarian, a medical student at the University of California, Irvine, and a 2016 Observer said, “It’s something beyond the textbooks. I feel observing for the Armenian EyeCare Project has given me an advantage for my career.”
“The fact that I was able to participate in something that could give sight back to children is absolutely amazing to me,” said Nairi Rostomian, another AECP Observer. She added, “The Project opened my eyes to all the different ways I can help.”
“It’s a joy and it’s a privilege,” said Anna Ter-Zakarian about her experience as an Observer. “I feel so honored to be a part of the EyeCare Project’s Observership Program.”
Watch our video to see how these three young students navigated through our Medical Observership program and hear about their impressions of their recent experience as Observers in Armenia.