The incompetence of Russian medical graduates is not a new issue for us. Recent case was brought by POTS, and some are affronted with the post.
We might turn to be ignorant as we realize that during our practice afterwards,patients won’t ask from what university you graduated from.Patients are patients after all.They won’t run away from your clinic as they read on the door, stating that you got your medical degree from Russia.Nonetheless,this issue might affect the reputation of Russian medical graduates as a whole,and the worst thing is you might be treated differently,or i should say ‘special’ attention might be given to you by senior doctors during internship.Yes,we don’t want the doctors in Malaysia to be prejudice and set their minds with all bad reflections about Russian medical graduates.
Of course i can’t give any answer for above question,because i’m merely a 4th year student.Plus,the judgment just barely a fact(or really a fact?) from the senior doctors who are working with Houseman Officers (HOs) graduated from Russia.In addition to that,not all medical graduates from Russia are hopeless.
Let’s say that the question is answered with “yes”, how can we react? I’m pretty sure those who are studying in Russia try the best to deny the fact,but, if it’s indisputably true,and some more the rumours (or fact?) have spread all over the places,who is to blame then?What’s our next action?
From my point of view as a medical student in Russia, i can stress that the main role for this incompetence is the difference in system implemented in Malaysia and Russia,especially during internship. Please correct me if i’m wrong, this is just my opinion. I don’t want to compare Russian’s traditional academic system with the system used in Malaysia.Most of us are familiar with them. Yet,most of us have no idea on what actually happen during internship in Russia.Let me share something.
I had internal medicine cycle last February,and we were able to observe a lot of patients with different diseases.In one of the cases,we saw a patient who just admitted to the hospital with complaint of loss of sensation of her lower extremities. Apparently, she had polyneuropathy of legs as a complication of Diabetes Mellitus.When we saw the patient,Head of Endocrine Department and a HO were there too.
Suddenly the HO was asked to measure the patient’s blood pressure on the legs.The HO simply said with a relax tone,”I’m sorry,i don’t know how to do that”.I imagined she must have got bombardment right on her face from the Head of Department for not knowing such a simple skill. No,i was wrong. In fact, the HO was shown the proper way of measuring the blood pressure by my teacher, with a broad smile from the Head of Department.Wasn’t it cool?
Another incident which involved a HO was during my neurology cycle last semester.In this academy, I guess everyone knows (will know) how strict Professor Vera Naumovna Grigoryeva,the Head of Neurology Department is with her students.She doesn’t care how much you might get hurt or annoyed if you are scolded in front of the patients.So,I expect the same when she works with HOs or other doctors.Again,i was mistaken.
When we saw a patient together last semester with her,she nicely talked to a HO, who was asked to perform cranial nerve examinations on the patient.The HO was kind of blur, he was not sure which cranial nerves to assess. To our surprise, she showed him the proper way of doing the examinations and then checked the HOs skills from A-Z,step by step,as if the HO is still a medical student like us!
If these 2 situations occur in Malaysia,we apprehend what’s the consequence and how worst can it be for any HO for not able to show the practical skills to senior doctors.
From my assumption,i guess that’s the major difference between internship in Russia and Malaysia.While in Russia the senior doctors and even the Head of Department are ready to lend their helping hand and support the HOs with kind words and motivations, in Malaysia the senior doctors give too much expectations (and pressure?) to HOs.Not that the doctors in Malaysia are unreliable, i’m just trying to convey that most of doctors in Malaysia will easily get mad if the HOs do not know about something, in comparison with situation in Russia.
That’s why i think during 6 years of learning in Russia, there are too little practical skills,because during internship the HOs still can learn them from the beginning. On the contrary, students in Malaysia (and other places) are provided with much practical skills from the very beginning,because during internship there are only anticipations that you must know every single thing from senior doctors.
The worst thing is when these 2 systems overlap,like those who study in Russia (practical skills still can be learned during internship) go back to Malaysia (you will just get a humiliation if you are poor with skills).This is the reality.
That’s why,i dont think labeling medical graduates from Russia with those kinds of bad words is a right thing.After all,they (some of senior doctors) just make a generalization. Well,some are still doing well even they graduated from Russia.The background is different,so is the product.
Realizing that inadequate practical skills are the quandary, perhaps doing well in our studies may cover the defect. At least,we must equipped ourselves with enough medical knowledge if our practical skills are poor, because there is no excuse of poor medical knowledge(knowledge is the same wherever you study). Regarding poor practical skills,maybe it can be improved by self-motivation and interest to do extra practicals in Malaysia during summer break.Or else,we might end up being bullied by senior doctors during internship and again,the above question remains unanswered.