I know, many out there see Russia as an isolated country. Not commonly tell by others either through the electronic media or from those frequent travelers about Russia. Adding to the dismay, many objected the desire to study medicine in that very-odd country.
Well, thanks to a student in Russia, I had now, gain some visions on how it's going to be like to be studying at the country. I will just copy they student's review during his studies in russia over 4 years ago. I bet he's already a graduated doctor by now. Hehehe:)
By only-known as Edric, Nov 2007
I shall make it clear that i am currently in my 6th year of medical study in Russia.
Personally, i think the negative publicity is spreading like wild bondfire, and it is definately not a good thing. seriously, the misconception and the biased view of many malaysian doctors/specialist on Russian Medical Grads is not right to begin with.
First, of all, as the proverb goes: don’t judge a book by its cover. so, it is not WHERE you graduated from that makes u a good doctor. It is how much knowledge one have, and how one apply it properly in clinical setting!
to “poor doctor”, to lable one as “bad” until it has been proven to you that it is wrong is not a very good attitude. Why? well, let’s just put it this way, if u were a specialist and u were to monitoring on a group of fresh-grad housemen and u have this kind of concept in your mind, it is hard for u not to exaggerate when u find a small mistake in a RUssian Grad! and on the other hand, u might just be more gentle with other new houseman and give them guidance in a more pleasant manner. In the end, us, the Russian grad will only receive mistreatment! Now, that is NOT FAIR! (obviously, fresh-grad lack the experince and are prone to making silly mistakes. Don’t tell me u have never seen houseman from local grads make mistakes? Even at your houseman year, i am sure u have made yours too!) learning from those mistakes is what made u a wiser man now!
ok, back to the topic. I have to explain here that Russia is one the the country which medical studies is still based on so-called classic/traditional system, where-else malaysia universities are having integrated system. Each of these have its pros and cons and i don’t think it is what i am going to elaborate on today. Just to make things clear, the 3rd year students in russia is yet to attend an Obs/Gynae. Obs/Gynae is included in the syllabus of 4th course.
In fact, i am not afraid to tell you that the first 3 years of medical studies, as according to the classical system, involve mainly theorical medical sciences. It is during these 3 years that we study mainly on the etiology, pathogenesis of pathology. This will later be applied in our clinical years (4th to 6th course). it is important, because 1 disease can be presented in many different clincal pictures. Knowing the sciences behind the pathology help us to be orientated in the possible clinical presentation and also what kind of treatment to be used. (yea, sure, memorising standard drug used for a single disease is good for treatment. but understanding WHY you use it is equally important)
as of 4th - 6th course of our study years, we have our lectures and tutorial classes in hospital EVERYDAY! we see patient EVERYDAY! We take patient history all the time. Are u seriously thinking Russia University will have their medical courses modelled in such a way that there is no contact with patients? Oh yes, we do clerk our patient in RUssian, coz that is pretty much the only language they speak. I supossed you are not expecting us to speak to them in English will u? I mean, do you clerk your non-literated kampung folk in English back in Malaysia??
No a proper O&G professor? this is gonna be a joke. who do u think that is teaching us? some toilet cleaner? First of all, the Obstetric and Gyneacology is 2 different departments in my uni. And we are taught with up-to-date material by the specialist of the respective field. Most are either proffesors, head of department. our tuturial class is taught by the prof, or in some cases, senior doctors who have years of experince! We do ward rounds and we do clerk our patients. And in gynaecology department, we even did bimanual inspection and observe hysteroscopic examination daily!! i even doubt that in malaysia that male student get consent from female patients as much as we do here in Russia. Patients are generally more cooperative here, which sum up to be a better learning experience!
no written exam except viva? this is a myth i shall bust today
our grading system is rather gruesome i shall say. Credits for practical classes must be obtained before one is allowed to take the exam. And this is no easy mean, since attending classes does not mean u will get your credits. the teacher will assess your knowledge DAILY! trust me, going to class without preparing for the topic is simply stupid/suicidal, coz they will make u repeat the same class in an additional class later. The ways of assessment varies (sometimes MCQ,sometimes case-study, sometime viva).
As for exam, it is always done in 3 stages: MCQ, Essays and Cases. (in essays and cases, u will be asked orally in more detail if your written answer is not satisfying/substandard!) This is not easy, coz you cant fake your knowledge by giving a general remarks! they will get down to the bottom of it. It is funny how sometimes, it makes u voluntarily tell the examiner that you would like to retake the exam just because at one point during their interrogation, u kind of knew what grades they are giving you :p
I hope this will clear up the air of confusion about Russian medical students. It is indeed making me feel a little bit dishearted upon hearing negative commends about us. Not enough that we study like mad, not enough that we have to master Russian language in order to study Medicine, not enough that we are far from home without support of families, not enough that we have to bear the guilt of having our parents pay for our studies just because we are not lucky enough to get into local uni, not enough that we get discriminated by foreigner at times, not enough that we are sincerely hoping to serve mankind, i just hope ppl will not judge us for who we are not!