Dr. Chobanyan (third from left) leads a small-group discussion with medical sciences students on campus in St. Maarten. 

Dr. Naira Chobanyan, associate professor of clinical medicine at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC), embodies the expression think global, act local.  An Armenian-born physician who speaks five languages, her extensive international background includes three graduate degrees and more than 20 years of practice in Armenia, Russia, Canada, Italy, Israel, and the United States.

Dr. Chobanyan calls joining faculty at AUC a “match made in heaven.” What she enjoys most about life at AUC is “the opportunity to express my creativity and the support that have been afforded me by the Dean of Basic Sciences and the Executive Dean.”

“My husband and I fell in love with the island of St. Maarten and its friendly people, and decided that we would one day relocate to live here,” she says, adding that the couple even chose the island as the location of their marriage ceremony. 

Currently, Dr. Chobanyan is supervising students and recent graduates in research involving the residents of Saint Maarten. These projects aim to shed light on Diabetes Mellitus risk factors, co-morbid conditions, and complications; breast abnormalities, including breast cancer, based on the evaluation of breast cancer screening results; the prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome; and the occurrence and complications from Sickle Cell disease.

“My international education and background have shaped my approach to clinical practice and teaching in many ways,” she says. She explains that her experience has not only provided her with “encyclopedic knowledge” of medicine and oncology, it has given her an in-depth understanding of how medicine is practiced in diverse international environments. In addition, she says, “it has given me a unique approach and tools to challenge students in the pedagogic process.”

While Dr. Chobanyan brings this broad perspective to organizations she advises in Europe and the United States, she has also been recognized in Armenia and Antigua for her dedication to healthcare and research that serves the local communities in which she practices.

Dr. Chobanyan received her Doctor of Medical Sciences (DSc) degree from the All-Union Cancer Research Center of Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow following the completion of pioneering research on breast cancer in young women. In addition, she attended the I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, where she received a doctorate degree following the completion of her medical degree at Yerevan State Medical University in Armenia where she graduated with the highest honors. She is also certified by the United States’ Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates® (ECFMG).

Dr. Chobanyan comes from a family of physicians, including her parents, sister and brother. Her daughter has also followed the family tradition.

Tiara Brewster

Posted July 13, 2015 09:45 AM

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