Reflections from the Mayo Clinic Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification

Arusyak Harutyunyan, M.D., MPH, senior researcher at the American University of Armenia (AUA) School of Public Health (SPH), recently participated in the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Education Program “Tobacco Treatment Specialist Certification,” September 28 through October 2, 2015, in Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Harutyunyan is the principal investigator of a Pfizer IGLC/Global Bridges grant-funded project that seeks to implement Article 14 of the FCTC in Armenia through building national capacity in smoking cessation training among practicing primary healthcare physicians.IMG_1617

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be at the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center, one of the first centers in the U.S. to focus exclusively on treatments for tobacco dependence.

The Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) Certification Program was a great opportunity to meet honorable faculty members including the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center physicians, psychologists, counseling and education staff, as well as participants from different backgrounds and ideologies.

During the intensive, five-day training program I gained an enormous amount of up-to-date knowledge and skills needed to effectively treat tobacco dependence. In one short week, the course provided me with the skills and tools that inspire me to confidently continue my work in the field of tobacco dependence treatment in my homeland, Armenia, a country in transition with high smoking rates.