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Open Medical Institute

The Open Medical Institute (OMI) was established in 2005 by The American Austrian Foundation, The Open Society Foundations and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy to unite all medical programs (Salzburg Medical Seminars, Observerships, Satellite Symposia, and Visiting Professorships) under one name.

The Salzburg Medical Seminars, established in 1993, is a postgraduate medical education program founded by The American Austrian Foundation and physicians from Weill Medical College of Cornell University to bridge the knowledge gap between East and West, North and South.

Weill Cornell was joined by physicians from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Hospital for Special Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, Methodist Hospital and leading European centers. Faculty members travel to Salzburg and spend one week teaching young, English-speaking colleagues from more than 100 countries in transition, who would otherwise not have access to this type of education. All faculty serve pro bono.

More than 20,560 fellowhips were awarded to young physicians, who have attended a seminar, and 2,476 of them have also participated in one-month observerships in Austrian and American hospitals, where they could observe new treatment protocols and technology and experience health care and hospital management.

Fellows return home eager to share their newly acquired knowledge with colleagues, and the multiplier effect has significantly improved health care delivery in many of the targeted countries. Furthermore, fellows continue to have access to their faculty members and colleagues, and consult with them on difficult cases.

Key to the program's success is the opportunity for fellows to return on an ongoing basis, and providing them with a network of faculty members and colleagues, whom they can consult with whenever the need arises. This allows them to access information, without leaving their countries, thus promoting brain gain and preventing brain drain.

STEP ONE: Knowledge Transfer (Seminars)

  • Ongoing Series of Scientific Seminars
  • Highly Competitive Selection Process Organized in Cooperation with Open Society Foundations
  • World-Renowned Faculty Donate Time and Materials
  • American Didactics, English, State-of-the-Art Technology
  • Small Working Groups in a Secluded Environment
  • Networking Opportunities – Personal Contacts

STEP TWO: Experience Exchange (Observerships)

  • Hands-on-Training in Austrian Hospitals for Seminar Alumni
  • Learn new Techniques and Treatment Protocols
  • Experience Modern Hospital and Health Care Management
  • Build Personal and Professional Relationships
  • Establish Joint Research Projects and Collaborative Studies
  • Learn to cope in another Health Care System/Country

STEP THREE: Capacity Building – Distance Learning

  • Open access to state-of-the-art medical information via Medical Handbook Online and Videoconferences
  • Support and Improve Local Health Care Systems
  • In-Country Satellite Symposia and Conferences
  • Second Opinion and Patient Care Without Borders
  • Knowledge Transfer Locally
  • Attract New Talent
  • OMC - Alumni Network

Cochlear Implant and Open Medical Institute - Two Success Stories, 2017