Medical Elective: “Medical Care in Armenia”
Boston University Medical Center, in partnership with Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia, offers an International Health Elective, “Medical Care in Armenia.”
Ara Minasyan, M.D., Director
Location of Elective
Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center and affiliated institutions in Yerevan.
c/o Ara Minasyan, M.D., Chairman
Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center
10 Gurdjian Street, Yerevan, 375056
Apartments are available for a nominal fee.
Number of Students
Up to 4 per rotation
Time Period in which Elective is Offered
One four-week period throughout the year, by prior arrangement.
Contact the Program
Boston University School of Medicine
720 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
Tel: 617-638-8556 or 617-638-5906
Description of Elective
Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has established a medical elective for fourth-year medical students at the Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center (GLMC) in Yerevan, Republic of Armenia. The elective is open to medical students from accredited medical schools through BUSM’s existing international health elective. GLMC is a leading trauma center for Yerevan, the capital city. The four-week elective includes short rotations in thoracic surgery, emergency medicine, intensive care medicine and cardiology. In addition, students may elect to rotate on ambulance service calls during evening hours depending upon service volume. Available also, subject to arrangements made in advance, are two other options: a five-day pediatric rotation at the Children’s Hospital and site visits of the Armenian National Institute of Health and its affiliated clinics for a perspective on the national health-care system. In the sixteen-year period since the elective began to be offered, approximately 70 medical students have participated.
Many American physicians and residents have heard of the Partnership and offered to help. Frequent requests asking the Partnership to facilitate volunteer work in Armenia through our program have resulted in several exchanges. The Partnership has worked to provide suitable month-long placements for these physicians and most recently placed volunteers from Belmont, Massachusetts and California.
The intensive care and thoracic surgery departments have residency programs. Students are expected to shadow the house officers during their daily rounds. In daily conferences, morning rounds, practical studies and discussions with the preceptor, students gain an understanding of the practice of medicine in a non-western environment. They will see a strong demonstration of the importance of taking a patient history without benefit of extensive diagnostic testing. Medical education differences will be apparent to the student as well as international efforts to upgrade health care through the transfer of technology to Armenian hospitals.
Written evaluations of student performance during the elective will be obtained from preceptors. If a student wishes the preceptor’s evaluation to be completed on an official medical school evaluation form, he or she must supply it. The elective organizers oversee that the form is completed and mailed back to the student’s school.
Written evaluations of the medical elective are required of students within one month of completion of the elective.
Dr. Ara Minasyan is the director of the elective with responsibility for its quality throughout the student’s stay in Armenia; individual department or section heads are responsible for general direction and content of the elective.
“The doctors are excellent. They will discuss their approach to patient management and contrast how it may differ in America….I felt that physicians at the Emergency Hospital of Yerevan were very knowledgeable in making proper diagnoses and treatments considering the lack of resources in the hospital….They respected my ideas….It allows an American student to have hands-on experience with diseases that one only reads about in textbooks, such as botulism, brucellosis and echinococcal infection….We discussed the infrastructure of the health care delivery system of Armenia and its future outlook….Their approach to adapt in situations when equipment is not available is unique….We were treated like we were family….The doctors are very enthusiastic about teaching foreign students…”