Open Medical Institute

The Open Medical Institute (OMI) is an international initiative for medical professionals, which, through education and research, aims to improve healthcare on a global scale. The program was founded in 1993 by the American Austrian Foundation (AAF) in close collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College and the Open Society Foundations (OSF). Over the years, many leading medical institutions in the United States and Europe joined the initiative, providing highly committed faculty who donate their time and expertise, sharing knowledge and experience with colleagues from around the world.

OMI Mission Statement

Prevent brain drain and initiate lasting brain gain of medical professionals in countries in transition. The loss of skilled doctors and healthcare professionals from developing countries to Western nations is the greatest impediment to medical progress worldwide. Many healthcare facilities in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa lack qualified staff, equipment, and supplies. Physicians in these countries do not have access to state-of-the-art knowledge, technology, and continuing medical education. As a result, many leave their countries for educational opportunities. The longer they stay abroad, the less likely it is that they will return home. To prevent brain drain and initiate lasting brain gain, the OMI offers several postgraduate educational programs and mentors healthcare professionals over the course of their career.

I mprove Health Globally
M inimize Brain Drain
P romote Brain Gain
A ccess to State-of-the-Art Medicine
C ontinuous Mentorship
T each Future Healthcare Leaders

OMI Educational Approach

The OMI developed a four-step educational program, providing state-of-the-art medical education and hands-on training to physicians from countries in transition. All the OMI educational opportunities provide only short-term fellowships, lasting a minimum of one week and a maximum of three months. The OMI fellows remain integrated in their home institutions but thanks to the OMI program, gain access to faculty and colleagues from all over the world.

OMI world map

OMI Global Impact

Since 1993, the OMI has awarded more than 26,000 fellowships to physicians and healthcare professionals from 130 different countries, of whom more than 3,500 have also participated in the OMI observership program in Austrian and American hospitals.