OMInars: Bridging the Gap

Mar 23, 2021

The first quarter of 2021 has passed and the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting lives across the globe, forcing people to change how they work, learn, access information, and connect with one another. Realizing the importance of providing state-of-the-art medical knowledge to our fellows worldwide, the Open Medical Institute responded to the crisis by launching an innovative webinar series, called OMInars, back in June 2020. Thanks to our committed faculty, Medical Education Beyond Borders continues – digital as long as necessary and face to face as soon as possible.

What is an OMInar?

An OMInar is a three-day webinar organized by the Open Medical Institute and taught by physicians from leading American and European institutions, who donate their time and expertise. Based on the OMI curricula, the course directors condense the content of the regular in-person seminar and create a compact schedule including 10 state-of-the-art lectures followed by Q & A sessions, and two grand rounds for fellows’ case discussions. Zoom is used as videoconferencing tool to encourage high interactivity during the course.

OMInars are offered to highly qualified English-speaking physicians from countries in transition and are by invitation only. Each OMInar is limited to a maximum of 30 to 40 participants allowing for intense interaction during lectures, discussions, and case presentations. The selection of fellows is competitive and based on merit. All participants must contribute academically by preparing an interesting case study. The best cases are presented during the event and subsequently published on the OMI Case Library. The specific timing of the webinar allows us to span the globe. When the OMInar starts, Mexican fellows just get up while Mongolian participants get home from work.

Each OMInar is recorded and published on the OMI e-learning platform, which can be accessed by the OMI alumni network and faculty members for free and easily viewed on any device.

Past & Present

The OMI webinar series was launched in June 2020. By the end of March 2021, we look back on 18 successful OMInars, where global experts have shared their knowledge and encouraged fruitful discussions in many areas of medicine.

In the first three months of 2021, the following OMInars have taken place:

  • Pulmonology (Weill Cornell Medicine & Medical University of Vienna)
  • Pediatric Cardiology (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia & Medical University of Vienna)
  • Ophthalmology (Weill Cornell Medicine)
  • Otolaryngology (Weill Cornell Medicine & General Hospital of Salzburg)
  • Rehabilitation Medicine (Weill Cornell Medicine & Medical University of Vienna)
  • Medical Quality and Safety (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
  • Neurology (Weill Cornell Medicine & General Hospital of Salzburg)

Fellows are streaming the OMInars from all around the world. With over 500 attendees from a total of 59 different countries, our impact is literally global.

In the end, we can fully emphasize the feedback of our fellows and conclude that webinars are an excellent way to bridge the gap caused by COVID-19, but face-to-face seminars are still the best way to educate. We are more than ever looking forward to welcoming our faculty and fellows again at Schloss Arenberg in Salzburg!

The topic of patient safety is the cornerstone of high-quality health care. Defining patient safety is also important towards reducing negative outcomes of care, such as mortality and morbidity. As a result, I will focus more on collecting relevant data and start analyzing patient outcomes. Additionally, I will set goals and commit to constant evaluation of the patient care system.

Yanjin Batsaikhan, MD

OMI fellow from Mongolia (OMInar in Medical Quality and Safety)

In my country, there is a need for treatment protocols and follow-ups for patients with congenital heart disease and acquired heart disease. Learning from the faculty and other fellows at the OMInar gave me the necessary motivation to continue my problem-solving efforts and increase my treatment quality.

Tania Tamayo, MD

OMI fellow from Mexico (OMInar in Pediatric Cardiology)

The concept of maternal hyperoxygenation during fetal cardiac examinations was new to me. From a technical perspective, it is actually a very simple technique. We will consider introducing it in our procedures for pregnant women in Czech Republic.

Jan Kovanda, MD

OMI fellow from Czech Republic (OMInar in Pediatric Cardiology)

The knowledge I gained during the OMInar will help me in the competent counseling of patients with tuberculosis and combined pathologies of the respiratory system. I am now able to ask more targeted questions in the diagnostic process to improve efficiency. This knowledge will help me avoid prescribing unreasonable and unnecessary treatment plans.

Elena Khimova, MD

OMI fellow from Russian Federation (OMInar in Pulmonology)

Thank you very much for this opportunity! I appreciate your invitation, because in my country, Ukraine, many diagnostical instruments and devices are still not available, meaning that myself and many other physicians sometimes diagnose patients with very old methods (using stethoscopes, fingers, eyes and ears). The main problem is language – many people can’t read good studies because they are in different languages. Instead, they usually read local journals. Thanks to this OMInar, I am now capable of sharing the knowledge among my colleagues and students to improve medical practices in my country.

Olha Konstantynovska, MD

OMI fellow from Ukraine (OMInar in Pulmonology)

All the information received during this wonderful OMInar will help me in my future activity, especially the knowledge about neuro-ophthalmic complications of COVID- 19, which is a current issue. I have already had some patients with such complications, and before this OMInar, I did not really know how to act.

Alina Brinza, MD

OMI fellow from Moldova (OMInar in Ophthalmology)

Thanks to the OMInar, I am now capable of improving our treatment quality for patients with benign and malignant vocal cords and larynx lesions. Furthermore, I am also going to improve the medical management, proper selection for sinus surgery, and outcome assessments of patients with chronic sinus diseases. I will integrate intracapsular tonsillectomy in my practice for kids with OSA.

Ostap Orishchak, MD

OMI fellow from Ukraine (OMInar in Otolaryngology)

The new knowledge acquired during the course will help me to improve the quality of treatment for children with chronic tonsillitis and laryngomalacia. I will be more confident in diagnosing children with sudden hearing loss and will actively use the methods of diagnosis and medical treatment described by the faculty in the course.

Olga Stancheva, MD

OMI fellow from Russian Federation (OMInar in Otolaryngology)

Of course, seminars are always better if attended in person. But thanks to the OMInar, we were still able to experience an interesting program gain high quality medical knowledge. So, I would definitely attend again.

Eva Grudupa, MD

OMI fellow from Latvia (OMInar in Otolaryngology)

The OMInar was great! Of course, I wished that we could have all these lectures in person, but I understand the pandemic situation and travel limitation. Therefore, I am happy that the course was delivered online. One of the drawbacks of the online course was that we did not have practical workshops. I remember that there was a very useful workshop for ultrasound training in 2019, which I learned a lot from and used in my daily work.

Ulviyya Hajiyeva, MD

OMI fellow from Azerbaijan (OMInar in Rehabilitation Medicine)