Concerns over Medical Graduates from Russia

“This is old news! Do we have to go thru this all over again?!”.


If you don’t want to get through this, you may leave. What I shall bring you here are the quotes from doctors in Malaysia who have valid concerns about our competence. It’s not just about us; it’s also about them and about Malaysian healthcare system.


Since they are not in our shoes, they can be wrong big time. These doctors in Malaysia are in dire need of information/opinions about graduates from Russia. Since they couldn’t get official reports, they have to depend totally on what they heard; either from their peers who have one or two Russian graduates as their underlings, or if one is dumb enough – from one or two rumors. Thus they generalize graduates from Russia according to “one or two” stuffs they heard.


Some people really defend and look up to the medical education system here. I totally respect that. However, from the views of concerned Malaysian doctors, these lame med students in Russia are simply convincing themselves that they are currently in the right system, that our whole 6-year education here is perfect.


These doctors only trust the harsh critics to our medical education. Funny, the critics mostly come from people who have never been to Russia or understand its structure of medical education. Funnier, some of the critics are from people who have nothing to do with medicine.


Thus I believe that an opinion is best heard from the critique within the system itself.


Here, I bring you different quotes from different texts from the concerned O&G doctor. I shall give more weight to the bolded parts of the texts.


HOs (Housemen @ House Officers) usually work like robots without using their brains. Even that, the robots have to be programmed with correct and up to date software. Many of these HOs came without any basic knowledge such as calculating EDD, Partogram, simple history taking, recognizing risk factors or diagnose some important disorder such as hypertensive disorder in pregnancy and gestational diabetes. They came with lack of these knowledge which they should have learn in their medical school. This reflect the quality of their medical school (or their dubious standard of selecting the medical students).


Imagine that you have to teach these HOs again and again, 5 or 6 time per year the same topics just to learn the basic. The housemanship in each posting is only 4 months, they should gain clinical management experience during this period. They should not come and trying to learn O&G as though they are fresh medical student. When you are in my position, I own my patients the responsibility of providing the patient quality care.


I totally agree that HOs (interns) have very limited time to think when they are at work. This is due to their exhaustion of overworking, running here and there seeing different patients with different problems. So they need to work like robots programmed with compatible software.


In my humble opinion, the Russian medical education does not provide “software” compatible to Malaysian healthcare system. The software needed is basic clinical knowledge and clinical skills. Unfortunately, our students here do not have correct study materials for certain subjects. We have to rely 100% on teachers’ substandard lecture materials because they are better oriented towards passing the  substandard exams. I call them substandard not because I am better at giving lectures than they do, it’s because some information is missing, not updated with the latest medical developments and their English simply sucks with simple annoying spelling/grammatical errors.


It’s not like we learn nothing. We really learn something; but only for 3-4 hours each day including more than half hour break in a two-week clinical rotation. What we learn here are mostly theories with very little clinical cases or integrated problem-based learning.


The homework we receive daily is to read and memorize a particular topic – and speak out what we read and memorized the next day in class. This homework is not easy, but what I resent is that this kind of homework only emphasizes on the ability to answer orally without any emphasis on “written medicine” (the best term I can come up with). The importance of “written medicine” is totally underestimated here. Apart from case reports, we practically have no other serious tasks for our coursework. Thus, the students here seem to have so much free time (like me, blogging nonsense). They simply read, then they play. The more serious ones will try to memorize – they are the rare breeds of our system.


It is very untrue that we do not learn basic knowledge. All of us here learn basic knowledge, but the basic knowledge is given only very little emphasis due to the very short duration of rotation and many topics to cover. In the end, it looks as if we did not learn a single basic knowledge.


I am sure there are fine Russian medical schools but the concern is the overall quality of the training Malaysian students coming from the region. It may be suspect if the students are weak and somehow get into medical school despite poor grades. On top of that the weak students have to master a foreign language so I can’t imagine how such weak students can even get through medical school.


The next issue is about admission into med schools. It is very true that to be admitted into Russian med school is very easy. Only one pillar is needed – money. Lately, the administration has decided to make the admission a little bit tighter with some new policies that I am not familiar with, but I bet that would not make any difference because the conditions of admission is not standardized by any exam. For example, to be admitted in med school in US, one has to ace MCAT along with several coursework in college years.


This is a worrisome trend. If students do not fight hard enough to get in, they will not fight hard enough to ace in studies and secure their medical education seats. They simply laze around thinking their futures are secured. Most of their time here is everything but medicine.


But somehow, thanks to the previous primary and secondary educations Malaysian students received, some of our students really struggle for greatness achieving greater heights in our medical education. They are those people worthy of getting this noble seat in the first place.


The weaker ones like myself are total losers in the system. We lag behind the bright students and are always demoralized for not catching up with the education system. We have no discipline, we have no motivation, we entertain ourselves a lot more than we study.

They only clerk average ONE patient in RUSSIAN in their posting in O&G. They spend most of their time studying their books in class room and their room (even though they are in clinical years). They have no written exam except viva.


In my entry Obstetric Rotation, I mentioned that I never saw any patient this semester. Our groups spent most of the time studying in classrooms. This is also very worrying since that we are already in our clinical years.


But I’d like to focus on how the exams are conducted here. While med students in Malaysia sit for uniform written exams, we med students here sit for non-uniform oral exam (viva). What does that mean? In Malaysia, a batch of students sit for the exam at the same time with the same questions. They write on papers and send those papers to examiners. Then they await exam results.


In Russia, our timing of exam is different according to groups. However, that is the least of the problems. The bigger ones are that we study like hell only to receive 2-4 little questions. And those questions differ for each individual  students. Still, those are minor problems. The much bigger one is that there’s no official written exam. What they assess is our presentation of answers. The lucky students read very little and received very easy questions. Unlucky ones – they read a lot, but  questions are damn difficult. That is the non-uniformity of examination assessment students here feared most.


Students prefer more lenient examiners to answer to. The varying English levels of examiners and students pose quite a problem. Sometimes the students answer just fine, but some English terms are unheard of to that examiner, making the assessment highly biased and unfair. Sometimes, if students answer something wrongly, the examiner would not explain where they went wrong. The worse thing is that if we ever forget something during the oral answer session in front of the examiner, most students will have panic attack and forget everything. If the exam is in writing like in Malaysia, the forgotten answer can simply be retrieved later.


Most Malaysian students who never had this kind of panic attack during exams before have developed fear of exams – because the exam is viva and students need to answer face-to-face with the stern examiner. But the good thing is, the exam result is received right after the finish of viva exam session.


The students never practice history taking because all patients speak Russian. They do nothing throughout the medical course till the graduation and be expected to perform as houseman in Malaysia.


This claim is false. We learn Russian language (medical and social). We see patients and practice history taking. But sadly, we don’t see enough patients. Thus explaining the inferior clinical skills. Although the supervision here is quite  decent and medico-legal aspects are not as tight as in developed countries, but somehow this fertile ground for med students to develop superb clinical skills gone wasted and unutilized. I can not fathom the reason.


What I wrote above are just the problems. I offered no solution. That makes me a bad guy, isn’t it? Think what you want to think, I really have no idea how to clean our very messy backyard. But if any one of my readers can offer brilliant solutions, your ideas will be respected for generations of Malaysian students studying in Russia.


I am sorry I have to say this but this is what I saw at the ground level. Those Russian medical students and HOs are the worst products that I ever seen. I do not blame them and they are not stupid, they just went to the wrong school.


For the time being, let’s just prove the above quote wrong!


56 thoughts on “Concerns over Medical Graduates from Russia

  1. efenem,
    rilex…we are still students. do not bother those words you heard. One thing, if you really want to become a doctor, then work hard for it. It’s simple. I know a doctor back in malaysia, he wants us to learn and keep learning. just don’t give up. where you study is not the issue. it’s how much you know in the end. and still, can be improved. so y fear? rilex…

    as for me, i’d rather do some other thing in future if i feel incompetent. there are lots of unemployed doctors in malaysia. till now i don’t understand why these people still looking for a job in medicine. do what ever you feel like. and like what you do. and be good at it.

  2. hello…

    bagi saya ada 3 perkara yg patut kita lihat : sistem pendidikan kesihatan di rusia, pelajar perubatan di rusia and kerajaan Malaysia.

    sistem pendidikan
    memang kita dapat lihat byk perbezaan di antara sistem yg diamalkan di malaysia dan di rusia.
    namun, saya fikir bahawa sistem di rusia mempunyai banyak kekurangan. kita semua maklum yg sekolah perubatan di rusia tidak terlalu “ketat” dlm aspek kemasukan. semua yg berwang layak memasuki. mungkin ada yg tidak bersetuju dgn saya,namum apa yg saya fikirkan,hanya pelajar yg cemerlang saja layak mengambil perubatan. perubatan merupakan satu cabang sains yg sangat mencabar mental dan fizikal. saya terkejut apabila melihat ada yg mendapat 4b utk bio diterima masuk ke sini. selain itu, di sini, pelajar tidak perlu takut ditendang keluar dari sekolah perubatan. di sini tidak ada peperiksaan yg menentukan survival pelajar di sekolah perubatan. lalu pelajar akan belajar dengan sambil lewa kerana bagi mereka,mereka pasti akan menamatkan sekolah perubatan di rusia. saya berpendapat, sistem pendidikan di sini tidak menekankan aspek klinikal dan practikal. jika ada pun, ianya hanyalah seperti melepaskan batuk di tangga. seharusnya, pelajar perubatan perlu didedahkan dengan sebanyak mungkin ilmu practikal selain teori. ini kerana, pengalaman memainkan peranan yg penting dlm alam pekerjaan kelak. kita seharusnya faham, apa2 boleh berlaku dlm perubatan. perubatan bukannya matematik!

    umum mengetahui bahawa pelajar2 tajaan kerajaan merupakan pelajar terpilih dr sekolah2 terpilih seperti mrsm dan sekolah sains. mereka merupakan pelajar yg mendapat 9 1A , 10 1A dan sebagainya. namun, keadaan di sini sangat berbeza dgn suasana di sekolah dahulu. pelajar2 di sini leka dengan kehidupan sosial mereka. mereka memandang enteng keperluan menguasai sebanyak mungkin ilmu di sini. tetapi, ada juga pelajar yg begitu bersemangat. ini tidak dapat dinafikan. akan tetapi, bilangan nya tidak banyak.

    seharusnya pihak kerajaan perlu memikirkan segala polisi2 mereka dengan lebih mendalam. sebaik-baiknya, kerajaan perlu menyediakan sekolah perubatan di malaysia secukupnya dan tidak perlu menghantar pelajar ke luar negara. ini kerana, setiap negara mengamalkan dasar n polisi yg berbeza dlm aspek sekolah perubatan. dan besar kemungkinan polisi yg negara luar amalkan tidak dapat diterima oleh doctor2 di malaysia. natijahnya, pelajar2 akan dikatakan tidak kompeten dan akan dipandang hina oleh pegawai perubatan. dan perlu diangatkan bahawa, seharusnya politik tidak patut dicampur-adukkan dengan perubatan. tidak seharusnya pihak kerajaan menghantar pelajar2 ke negara tertentu semata2 utk membeli teknologi peperangan dr negara tersebut.
    namun begitu, saya tetap berterima kasih atas wang yg diberi bagi membolehkan saya melanjutkan pelajaran di sini.

    jadinya…nasihat saya kepada semua,kita sudah di sini. mungkin agak sukar utk berpatah balik. apa yg kita mampu lakukan hanyalah berusaha bersungguh2 dan membuktikan pelajar perubatan dr rusia bukanlah pelajar kelas ke-3. dan yg pastinya, aspek negara bukan penentu mutlak kualiti doctor yg dihasilkan.

    moga2 pelajar2 tahun 6 yg akan tamat tahun ini akan mengharumkan nama rusia semasa mereka bekerja nanti…
    ( bg saya, mereka adalah yg terbaik dr segi ilmu n peribadi )

    —– artikel ini ditulis dlm bahasa malaysia kerana saya sudah lama tidak menulis dlm bahasa ibunda saya. mcm pelik jer ayat kt atas tuh.xsedap bunyi…biar p lah—-

  3. Nasrullah: It’s may be simple as work hard. But the real world is not simple. Working hard with the right methods/materials will give more advantages than working hard alone…

    anTon: Thanks for adding. Memang betul sistem pendidikan perubatan lain2. Tapi sekurang-kurangnya Malaysia boleh mencontohi US dan UK; sesiapa sahaja yang hendak mengamalkan perubatan di Malaysia mestilah menduduki satu peperiksaan khas cthnye USMLE di US dan PLAB di UK. Tak kisah dari mana graduate pun, asalkan dapat pass exam tu, maknanya tahap para doktor telah di-standardized-kan. Tak ada lagi diskriminasi dari mana doktor ni graduate dan yada yada…

    Joethew: Could you explain more? I do not know how to relate that to my entry here… maybe my brain’s too shallow 😦

    Peanut: Yep it’s old issue… Why did I bring it back? Take a guess… It’s true that it’s up to that individual to succeed or to fail, but these docs concerns are not just that. They damn well know that they are always bad mempelams to every batch of graduates, but what they are concerned about is the overall performance of Russian graduates. Which medical graduates are the best and which are the worst. That’s Malaysian mentality you know – always need generalizations.

  4. only our first batch seniors (the 6th yrs) can prove them wrong, because they’re sent here officially by the government who believe in the system..

    worst product ever??! wow. arent u guys feel pumped up to go study for next coming exams??

  5. hmm..i suppose maybe some do lack enuff knowledge and skills cos the way we learn – syllabus n stuff, is simply different as compared to the ones in malaysia or uk bla bla..i went to a hospital for my last practicals whr i was like the laughing stock for all the pmc students cos i was super blur..havin jus finished second year, i duno wats a claw hand or wat nerve damage causes it or how to perform an examination of the lower limb..ah well, even the final year pmc students didnt kno that so i didnt feel so dumb..and the doctor i was placed under didnt bother to teach n i was jus left to fend for myself, wasting away hours in the ward jus shaking my legs cos i wasnt allowed to do anything else – not even a simple dressing..if even in malaysia med students are not allowed any amount of practical exposure, wat makes em think that russian doctors wud be more than glad to hand out handfuls of patients to incompetent future doctors??
    no matter how much u kno, its practice that makes perfect..hand someone a book and they will read again n again without understanding..but show them once how to do it and they will remember for a lifetime (hopefully!!)..all it takes is a bit a patience and guidance..which i wud say most doctors in malaysia have no time for – generally..

  6. Amani: Let’s hope they’d do fine. I think the worst product ever means that our software here is not compatible with Malaysian’s system, not that we can’t answer the exams.

    7t: Practice is good. And that’s what we really need. I think the clinical exposure we have here is quite decent, especially during clinical years (4th-6th). Doctors expect us to clerk the patient without their help, even if the patient is not cooperative. Meaning medical students like us here have more authority that we think.

    Sadly the language barrier makes it all very very hard.

  7. basically, in my opinion, the government had sent the pioneer batch (the 6th years) as an experiment.
    they will definitely prove ‘those people’ wrong.
    be it in moscow, nizhny and other universities recognized by malaysia in russia, 6th years are the bringing the government’s responsibilities to upgrade the russian system and bring russian methods back home to malaysia.
    why would they sent students to russia if we do not apply whatever we learn here??

    in my pov, russia, malaysia and even other places has their own methods that differs in medicine field.
    students here have their responsibilities that they should have known upon reaching russia the very first time.
    it’s all about smart studies and hardwork.

    quoting from anTon about only really smart-ass geniuses are the only ones that are really capable of coping mentally and physically in the medicine field, makes me think.
    yes, i do agree. but maybe, for certain loaded-parents, they want their child to be someone. not just some spoilt brat.
    and from there, the obligations lies in the hands of the child.
    he/she is the one that’s suppose to strive for the best to succeed as a wholesome doctor in the future.
    do not blame the parents.
    their job is to make sure we’re being educated.

    worst product? i don’t think the people back home in malaysia could judge these reaaaallllyyyy few docs that had just graduated last year.
    judge the coming ones.
    then only they can critic on us.

    it’s a hot topic among malaysian bloggers studying in russia now.

    take care.

  8. i remember commenting on the issue fe years back when we had an arguement with some idiotic person from a forum….i was defending our medical system with some pie theory….

    but here i have to agree with you. about the lack of practical and stuff….

    we see 2 main factors here. the education system in russia, and the student’s standard. to decide which is the exact factor causing the so called “lack of quality of the graduate docs”, we simply have to rule out the other one…..

    “strive for your best, and compete with yourself, not with others” this is something i learned after i came here….do not be too lenient to yourself and think that everything is gonna be alright. to win others u must first win yourself. after an exam, if you feel u know enough to become a specialist in that field, then u’ve passed. or else, u fail. you should not feel lucky after passing an exam, rather, u should feel that u deserve it and all your hardwork has paid off. or else, you simply don deserve to pass, as you even fail to pass your on standards….

    standards to yourself should be set higher than anyone else could have expect from you. if u passed your own high standards, than there’s nothing to be regreted about. many sutdents are still in denial here, thinking that something will happen eventually to make them comepetent in the end of the day…..and keep on “relaxing” themselves….maybe they hope the deans would give “magic pill” instead of the certs on the graduation day…..

    as i’ve said, out of the 2 factors above, we must exclude one to prove the other one. there are alot of our 6th year’s seniors who score the highest possible grade in all the exams throughout the 6 years. if, even they can’t do well in malaysia in the future, well, you can safely conclude that the education system here is inadequate to the standards in msia. otherwise, there’s much to be done about the “students’ factor”

    for one, i dun believe in msian education system either. coz many spm top scholars who came here to russia can’t adaptate well enough and suck big time, even worse than those who came here with so called “poor grades” from msian education system…it the self descipline which is important to keep up the performance….

    so work yourself up and improvise yourself to prove them wrong. if you can improvise on the “student factor”, then u have all the right to judge and condame the “education system” factor…..otherwise…..

  9. Layla: To bring back Russian methods to Malaysia, we have to consider medical, medico-legal, socio-economic and cultural aspects of both. So far in my opinion, they are not compatible with each other…

    It’s not about just being hardworking and smart studies, since everyone with good motivation can do that, but it’s about the general outcome of our people… That’s why the doctor said we are the worst product ever because he hasn’t seen the good ones yet…

    Really, Malaysians love to generalize

    Thanatos: I don’t talk idealistic, but I will give it a shot.

    I see “student factor” and “education factor” as one – not seperated. They are synergystic… meaning that 1+1=11 instead of 1+1=2.

    “strive for your best, and compete with yourself, not with others” can not be applied for medical personnels. For example – I got 20% last time in exam, now I got 30%. That’s improvement and I should be proud of myself! But I should consider being proud of myself if my other classmates got 80%-90%. Thus I never believed in PERCENTAGE system anymore because it’s not compatible with the very competitive medical world.

    I believe in PERCENTILE. What is it? In an exam of internal medicine for example, if you got 80% – is that really bad? Well you should compare with your classmates. If the 80% is the highest in class – you got a 100th percentile! But if the 80% mark you received is the 5th highest – it’s 95th percentile! If 80% is the 10th highest – it’s 90th percentile and so on so on….

    Say if I got that 30%, how much percentile do I probably get? Probably 20th percentile…

    Percentile proves a much more fair judgment than percentage and it’s currently used by American system to choose which medical graduates are more competent than the others… It’s not about your own standard, it’s about the whole standard that really counts.

    Back to the education factor and student factor. Why do you think the Malaysian medical students work much harder than the most of us here? Is it because those in Malaysia are highly motivated but those in Russia are not? Absolutely not… It’s because the system here is demotivating and demoralizing. We are not forced to death to do simple research or presentations for courseworks. The grading system is lousy – reaping the soul of the hardworker and give much hopes for the lazy.

    As I’ve said earlier, it’s about general outcomes that count since Malaysians (be it doctors, nurses, patients, family of patients) always love to generalize… What I’m writing here is giving those generalizations (however stupid they are) a serious consideration…

    Guess I don’t speak idealistic after all…

  10. I strongly believe in individualism. At the end of the day, no one in their right mind would go “Look at that Irish graduate doctor, he just saved my life” or “That doctor from Timbuktu wrongly performed an amputation”. Sure, people can generalize a whole lot, but when it comes down to business, you’re on your own. Eg.: Dr Maalini Priyadharshani performed an excellent surgery on my dying husband (Heh 😀 i wish)

    Surely, there are a lot of rotten apples out there and so what if everyone’s gonna come down hard on us Russian medical graduates. If we have to work twice as hard to prove ourselves, so be it. We can never change the mindset of people, so let’s not focus on trivial things like that.

    Instead we should equip ourselves with as much knowledge as we can, work as hard, grill and push ourselves till we ourselves are satisfied with what we have equipped ourselves with. Then go out there and work, gain as much experience (not just textbook knowledge-its a far cry from what we have to do) and learn and learn and learn in the name of our patients.

    You choose to be what you want to be. It’s all up to us. No matter what crappy system we have here or what others believe we’re in- NO MATTER. Never compare or make ourselves feel inferior to others. So what if so-and-so have graduated from Harvard or any world class institutions??? As if he would have a perfect track record and the hands of God when it comes to healing patients. Nobody, but God, has the hand of God. Har har har. It’s carnage to even THINK that one can be a better doctor just because one has graduated from a world class institution. Textbook knowledge is thrown rite out the window once you start working, and everyone has to start from SCRATCH.

    at the end of the day we, ACCOUNTABLE as individuals, would be treating patients, not NNSMA as a whole, not the whole Russian Medical Students jingbang.

    It’s all up to YOU, and what YOU choose to represent.

  11. Most of you guys have got the idea of what we are supposed to do.The best way to address this issue is just go shut up and hit those people where it really hurts ;-by proving what we really can do.So rather than getting infuriated and incensed by comments from other obtuse beings,why dont we just carry out our duties as a student.

    If it really pleases them.Let them write all they can.The people who write comments have no idea of what the education system here is like.And for those who are in the Medical field and pass out such banal comments,they seem to forget that when they were HO’s they were also dumb.There was an MO/Specialist/HOD harping on his ‘exit end” all day long.He couldnt have done everything correct at the first attempt.

    Medicine is a perennially growing field.NO university in the world can equip its student with 100 percent knowledge.Claims that UK and US can offer the perfect system of education is plain rubbish..
    Every university prefers to focus on their own specific philosophies.

    I met a doctor from the all hailed Malaysian University who couldnt even diagnose a simple ECG.After 30 minutes of argument with her I convinced her to perform a cardiac enzyme test and it proved that the patient had MI. So , does this mean that ALL Malaysian University graduates are numbskulls? Another one ‘genius” from MU who pushed in the fetus into the birth canal again when it was 2nd stage of labour and performed a very sloppy C-sec.The fetus had a very low 1st and 5th minute Apgar score together with lacerations and trauma of the skull. Another one more fantastic teaching of MU I presume….But I do not want to degrade myself by becoming like these people who enjoy bombarding the Russian system of Education.Anyway,it is proven that Malaysians LOVE to stereotype.So let them do what pleases them.And we work extra hard to prove who we are.

    Like what Malini said,we represent ourselves. At the end of the day,the judgement that EVERY DOCTOR should pay into consideration is the JUDGEMENT OF THE PATIENT and not some jobless,immature, HO/MO/HOD/Specialist with a superiority complex.

    p.s-The doctors who wrote such comments could have actually taught the HO involved rather than wasting that time writing such degrading comments.

  12. Hello efenem.
    Reading your blog seems that you seem to have a lot of interest in obgy. And it seems you are quite a intelligent person who really worries about the future as a Russian graduate.

    I am a Doctor from Kenya and graduated here in NNSMA. We have had the same problem of being labelled ‘poor Russian graduates’ In my country there is a intern from Russia who is repeating his 4th year without having a clue of what’s going on. Yes i agree a level of personal motivation and intelligence is needed to be a medic.

    Actually there are some pitfalls in your thoughts.

    By this time you should be good in Russian. If you think Russians like teaching in English you got it all wrong. All they give is the basics. The rest you need to read. Okay there is a problem with clerking cause patients speak in Russian. You must be good in Russian by this time to clerk. Of course doctors usually clerk. All you need to do is MEMORIZE EVERY BIT OF hutchingsons. Everything on clerking is there and motivate each other as a group.

    The latest materials you will only get if you ask them in Russian.

    So how would you like it if you has a wife in delivery and 10 students were to do a VE (Vaginal Examination) on her? A VE can only be done twice in one time and be repeated again in 4 hours. Being in Russia you should know its not practical to teach this in class. Ever considered asking your Doctor if you can join him/her for calls. Try and you will see the real difference and notice that clinically you have no experience.
    Do you know how painful a VE is? Ask anyone who has delivered. Honestly i did around 5 VE’s during my undergraduate days which was really poor. During my internship it takes one night call for you to be a expert in it. All you need is your confidence.

    Oh yes you should know one thing, obgy doctors usually are critics.

    Your country is advanced in terms of medical technology. The same technology is available in hospitals here but not everywhere. You have a better chance of learning how to do things manually here and then take its advantage in Malaysia.

    Somebody like you should be the least worried. Internship will teach you a lot. You will catch up fast. If you don’t know something ask. There is no shame in that my friend. So what if you are rebuked about you not knowing the stuff. That is what internship is about. Working under supervision and being corrected and being taught.

    Right now you are a scientist. Take advantage of the system here. Of course in your country you will do as expected according to the system there. You yourself have admitted you learn little by just going to class and coming back. Go join doctors on call. Yea it can be slow cause there are a number of hospitals here. It is better cause quality if care is better. If all you do is wait for the English lectures and correct the grammar you will loose a lot. Read widely. Books are not problem in this era of the net.

  13. Maalini: I believe in individualism. I also believe those who work hard will have it and those who work less will earn less. I believe that what matters is not from where you graduate, but how good you are at your work. But sadly, that’s not the point for Malaysian doctors who love to generalize.

    For every graduate there’s always good bananas and bad mempelams. The generalization of medical graduates from Russia takes place because the bad mempelams prevail the good bananas.

    But one can’t underestimate the power of “overall performance”. That’s what really counts… People would rather go to med school in Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford or Yale rather than UM or UKM, right? So it’s true for us. The reputation of med school should be given very serious consideration. They are even ranks between med schools in America. One would rather choose Stanford than in New Mexico.

    It’s all about reputation and overall performance. We hear that Harvard scholars go to the top much faster than the NNSMA scholars right? But if we first compare, then work as hard, learn as good and as correctly as those Harvard scholars, we can get to the top as well.

    I believe in individualism – but I also believe in reputation and overall performance.

    Eugene: You are right. These people judge us when they are not even here understanding the whole system.

    No university can equip students with 100% knowledge, and that includes the US and UK. But one med school can be less adequate than the others. I have to painfully admit that we are in such system.

    The first 5 years of medical postgraduates life is the most interesting. At that time, accidents can happen, they may kill patients, they can do heroic acts and they can even become stupider than the med students. We will get there too. It’s a part of the cycle. I remembered one MO who didn’t know about sacral plexus while I could…

    As I said earlier – reputation counts.

    Sanu: Hi sanu I’m surprised you found my blog. I’ve heard and read news that graduates from Russia, whether they are Malaysians, Kenyans, Indians or other nationalities have bad reputation in their own home countries.

    I do not have interest in OB/GYN. It just happened that I finished the rotation. Thanks for your tips on how to make a better OBGYN. And a new info for me is that OBGYN are usually critics – no wonder!

    I guess your advice that I should be joining the doctors on call is quite useful. Internship will teach a lot of things, but it is not a low-risk time for us. At least what we want is the best training to minimize the damage that we may or may not do during our internship.

  14. I was having a talk with my brother who coincidentally called me up today. He completed his housemanship a year ago in Taiping and is now an MO in Selama, Perak. He illustrated a very simple situation for me. He told me about a certain senior from NNSMA (Nithiya, if I’m not mistaken) who graduated some 2 years back (If i’m not wrong) who was his collegue for a while in Taiping before she transferred to Ipoh. He said most senior doctors were impressed with her work and he said she performed very well as a junior HO during her stint in Taiping.

    On the other hand, he illustrated the fact that several MU graduates who also HO-ed with him who went AWOL a few months into HOship, due to the pressure from senior doctors, patients and discovering whatever there learned seemed to be so different in comparison with real life

    The real deal for senior doctors is this: Get your work done as neatly and effectively as possible, do no harm, work well under pressure and we’ll be impressed. If you cant do that, regardless of where you’re from, you’ll get the boot.

    Sometimes things can be as simple as that. 🙂

    p/s: sorry for the redundancy, just wanted to give us NNSMA-ians a lil more hope that all is not lost. Har har har.

  15. I know about Nithia’s performance in Ipoh Hospital.I was with her there for some time.And trust me guys,if you really focus and pay attention to your class and lecture notes you will be able to answer most questions from the doctors.All i did was study and know our so called substandard(according to our topic initiator) lectures from our teachers and I could answer most of the doctors questions when I tagged along the RPMC final year students.And they were VERY impressed with our universities lectures.I repeat,VERY impressed.
    Efenem,on what basis and rights can you say our lectures are substandard?What are your qualifications to say so?Perhaps you own an invisible PhD in Medicine?

    And to tell you the truth.I dont agree with the notion of ANY MEDICAL SCHOOL BEING LESS ADEQUATE THAN THE OTHER. Try comparing this,is being a carpenter a less adequate profession that being a cobbler?
    Every medical school tends to focus on specific philosophies.My friend,a 5th year from Galaway Uni Ireland says that they are only taught to diagnose 2 kinds of skin infections – psoriasis and fungal infections..For your information,Med schools in Taiwan do not focus on their ObGyn at all.Med schools in Malaysia need not focus on autoimmune diseases,frostbite or war medicine.Med Schools in Russia need not focus on Tropical infectious diseases(but our universitiy does!!!).Im sure you know why this is so.It all depends on the epidemiology of our region.

    I dont know about other universities.I have no rights to judge about any university.But I dont regret denying my JPA offer to Melaka Manipal to study in NNSMA.Im sure as hell proud of studying here.

    Efenem,you may think our university cant cater enough to your needs as a student.But think about it,are you really pro active enough to be truly receptive to what the University really wants to impart to us? Based on what you wrote here…

    “‘The weaker ones like myself are total losers in the system. We lag behind the bright students and are always demoralized for not catching up with the education system. We have no discipline, we have no motivation, we entertain ourselves a lot more than we study”

    Change the mentality and maybe you can see the other part of the issue.

    We are not small children.We have been so institutionalised by the rubbish-like Malaysian system of education that condones spoon feeding.Some teachers in Malaysian universities go as far as to chew the food for us and spit it down our miserable throats!Cut off the”Malaysian Mentality” and embrace a more broader perspective.
    We have grown comfortable, maybe even grown to love people kicking us at our “exit end” for us to study.

    Why must we need other people to motivate us and force us to study.

    About the worshipped UK and US Medical Schools;-I have a friend at Cambridge Uni(Jesus College) doing medicine and even at 3rd year he doesnt know how to do proper clerking. But I wonder why people dont say Cambridge is a sucky place. I will tell you the reason why.It is not because of the reputation. It is because the students at Cambridge LOVE THEIR ALMA MATER.They protect her as if she was a LIVING BEING.Try going to one of the Cambridge colleges and say “Your University sucks dude!”.But every Tom,Dick,Harry,Ah Kong,Ah Beng,Abu,Ali,Muthu is marring our Alma maters name every single day.Arent you going to stand up for her?

    Think of it this way, all of us have parents.And our parents are not perfect.But do we go around telling people about their shortcomings?
    Similarly,STOP posting bad things about our Alma Mater even if it is the truth.Learn to love her and others will follow suit.
    Stop whining people.

    Hail Alma Mater.Hail NNSMA.

  16. Maalini: Hopefully Nithia can be an example for all of us here, and hopefully she can continue making NNSMAians proud…

    Yep some of the doctors in Malaysia don’t really care where we come from, only a bunch of curious ones would.

    Just be prepared that when one starts working as houseman, everything one learns in med school seems to be falling apart. Everything seems haywire. What we get is much less than we bargained for. But if we pull ourselves together and reinstall a more “compatible software”, we’d be fine.

    Eugene: First of all let me remind you that this is my blog and you have no right to stop me from posting anything. If you are not satisfied with my ideas, you can rebuttle in comment like you’re doing now or start a new blog to defend our beloved alma mater.

    Congratulations on making good impressions on our medical school to the doctors while you were doing clinical electives. But let’s not get complacent, one compliment does not mean forever compliment.

    I, for one, still think the education here is substandard, not just the lectures. You really think learning 4 hours a day including a half hour break high standard? Ye’ think only case reports for our coursework is high standard? Ye’ think not seeing a single patient in the whole cycle is high standard? Ye’ think our exam is of the highest standards? Ye’ think the NNSMA admission qualification is high standard?

    Does one need a PhD to recognize a standard?

    Basically every med school has its own system, what they teach and what they do not. It’s their loss if they don’t teach OBGYN or autoimmune diseases or military medicine. Basically the med school is built based on demands of the market and to fulfill the healthcare requirements of the said region. But that’s the least of the problem since what we should do is learn whatever we didn’t learn in med school. I did propose something (WALK AN EXTRA MILE) a while ago to top ourselves up.

    The analogy of comparing 2 occupations (carpenter and cobbler) cannot be used here. We cannot compare doctors with nurses, we cannot compare OBGYN with Radiologists. But sure as hell we can compare one med school with the other as we can compare one general surgeon with the other.

    Please be reminded that the rubbish-like Malaysian system of education is currently making us Malaysians fare better than the other students. We study hell even a lot more than the Russians here. When they spend their weekends boozing and clubbing, some Malaysians burn their weekend midnight oils to study.

    What I am doing is simply comparing us here with other medical students in the world worth comparing to. It’s good to compare to know where we stand, identify the things that we are not equipped with and prepare ourselves for the possible outcomes and consequences.

    It doesn’t matter people love alma mater or not. Love is earned, it’s not just given away that easily. People love alma mater in different ways; some defend her to death and some had to criticize to make one’s education cherished and worthwhile.

    I do not like people who know nothing about NNSMA to criticize our academy either. Thus, the compliments and criticisms are best heard from someone inside the system. And if there are problems, think up about the solutions together.

    Truth is not sugar-coated. Not in Efenem’s Weblog.

  17. Efenem

    Have you heard of positive criticism? Well,you may think you are doing that in your blogs.But most people will associate it with a more derogatory term which I would not like to write out here.

    Do not think Malaysians are the only ones burning their midnight oils and studying.And do NOT think that Malaysians are the ones who are doing well here.

    I dont get it that you keep harping about “seeing a single patient in a whole cycle” and “writing 1 case report the whole cycle”.I personally and many of my friends took the trouble to stay back after class hours and ask our teachers to show us more patients and the teachers were more than happy to help out.For your info,I am also studying in the same university too!!!.So is this really a chink in the structuring of the Institution or a chink in the students mentality.
    Ask and you shall receive.Seek and you shall find.

    I agree that criticism is best heard from someone inside the system.But you tend to forget.IT IS ALSO MEANT FOR THE EYES AND EARS OF THOSE INSIDE THE SYSTEM TOO.Why must we wash our dirty linen in public?(Do you want people like limeuu from Lowyat forums to get more points to demoralise our already doubting Thomases in NNSMA ).Worse still,it will give those ignorant people in Malaysia more reasons to fear Russian graduates.

    Im sure you can practice your transparency with moderation or at least with confidentiality.

    To be able to pass judgement a person needs to be sufficiently qualified.In Malaysia, LAN does all the accreditation of institutions.You dont see MIC or MCA or UMNO doing it.Im sure everyone will be infuriated if Dr.Mahathir were to say “Saya berfikir bahawa sistem pendidikan di Universiti Malaya tidak berkualiti”(even if he is a doctor).Even Kementerian Pendidikan has very little say on it. Im very sure you have heard the term “hanya jauhari mengenal manikam”.By passing these judgements I can see that you regard yourself as the “jauhari”

    In any case,this argument will take ages.
    I just would like to say that only time will tell.
    Im not denying the truth here.But I just think that I dont give two hoots of anyones comments other than my future patients’ comments.

    Thank you and have a nice day.

  18. I’m leaving the questions “Why efenem wants to bring back old issue? Why criticize his own med school? Why now?” open for everyone’s speculation. I know I do not need to justify myself to everyone.

    I think my post here is quite moderate compared to harsher words I was going to include when I first thought of writing this post. Whatever.

    I understand this argument takes ages so I will focus on you saying that you and your friends took initiative to stay back and see more patients. First of all, good for you.

    Second, ALL med students should have worked their asses off whether they are highly motivated, temporarily demotivated or unmotivated. Everyone should be forced by the lecturers to clerk and see patients. The fact that you are not forced, but instead had to ask teachers to see patients, means that you are highly motivated but there’s a problem with the system. Your mentality is good but the system is not… Not for other med students who do not have the same mentality as you do.

    Thirdly, while it’s true that the mentality should be improved, so does the system. The education and the mentality do not work seperately, they work synergistically.

    If the system is improved, at least the lowest will raise higher. And the highest will go higher… Everybody wins.

    Have a nice weekend.

  19. Efenem, its okay even if you dont have a interest in OBGY, you know what is required during internship and are wary of mistaked. Believe me a safe doctor is always a cautious one.

    By the way you cant cause damage during your internship. As I said you are always under supervision and the main aim is to train you to be a safe doctor. If you mess up it means your supervisor has a problem.

    NNSMA has so far not disappointed the Kenyan Ministry of Health and Medical Dentists and Practitioners board where we have to give our pre-internship exams which by no way is simple.

    There is a article which was published in a paper (cant remember) which states ‘studying medicine is not as hard as it sounds, it is the the competition to get a place in medicine that is hard’.

    The system as you said here is very different and quite efficient. I noticed that Russian Doctors hardly put any differential diagnosis in their histories. They usually have a straight foward initial working diagnosis which can change later according to the workup results. On the oher hand in out countries we usually have like 4-5 differentials when a patient is admitted.
    Also like in the US all diseases have a CDC classification which is international. The CDC codes must be written in the case histories. I do not know if malaysia has the same rule. In Kenya Doctors are few and we don’t have time for it.

    One more thing that surprises me is that you really have to keep your ears open. Most Russian doctors usually
    don’t talk academically in class because of language difficulties. They do keep themselves updated going for seminars and so on. For example from 2005, resuscitation methods have changed in the country and now they follow the american method of resuscitation ( In your country doctors receive a special training for this named ADVANCED TRAUMA LIFE SUPPORT. (Or paediatric or Cardiac).

    In short you just need to know how the system works. IN MOST countries the system is different. I work in a University Hospital and the Americans do fund it a lot. What they teach us is the latest in medicine but in developing countries where humanitarian medicine has to be practised we cant follow all they tell us like doing CT scans unnecessarily. This is where they get stuck in getting a diagnosis while we have the advantage of achieving this diagnosis without the CT in some cases.

    I myself have supervised interns after qualifying and believe me i just see them the same. Daft initially but most catch up in a week.

    Finally (this is my last post) in 5th year you know enough to save a patient from dying believe me. Read Read n Read one book….Huthcingsons. Thats all you need in internship. If anything mail me and i would be more than happy to help out.

  20. Sharma, I think you are being a bit harsh on efenem.

    Eveyrone’s entitled to their own view, and I can’t find any reasons to refute efenem’s saying about Russia uni’s lacking in clinical practice.because that, really is wat’s happening in our uni.

    While what he is doin now might appear as”washing bad linen in public” kind of thing, I really do think it’s necessary that truth be told to the public on wat it’s really like studying in russia.

    Frankly speakin, if anyone would have asked me the q “Do you recommend Russia for medical studies”my answer would be for them to explore all other options available.

    Clinical exposure just isn’t enough. In other unis, ppl don’t ASK for patients, it’s something that comes naturally- patient’s are what we should learn about and clinical experience is something that is presented to students without prior request and reminders.

    While we are all ALREADY here, I admit students have to take initiative, but that, really should not be the case. Correct me if I am wrong but I came to medical school thinking that 4th,5th and 6th years are all about clinical experience- patients, patients and more patients.

    About giving some docs pointers on how to bring us down, come on ppl, who are they to judge us? Why waste your time debate with them? Prove them wrong and shut them up by our actions. Who cares bout what they think bout us anyway? Having done my electives in Malaysia I have garnered a pretty clear picture that – Good or bad that doc u are, words will go around amongst docs, nurses, students, and the makciks in canteen alike. At the end of the day, it’s wat you do that counts, not where u are from.

    Chill. The truth is inconvenient yes, but it’s necessary so that medic students in the future will have a clearer pic of what and how to choose from.


  21. MADic,

    I really dont think I am being harsh on Efenem.A person who can pass out criticism so generously should be willing to take the blows.


    Mary mary quite contrary.You seem to contradict yourself often in your posts.This is what you wrote ;-

    ‘People love alma mater in different ways; some defend her to death and some had to criticize to make one’s education cherished and worthwhile.’

    I do respect the fact that you have the guts to criticise and all.But you see,criticism should be channeled to the proper authorities.By what you are doing here,we are not going to get anything out of it and your criticism will not make anyones education cherished and worthwile here.
    You basically mean,that you want our ALMA MATER to improve based on your criticism.Well, good for you.
    For that to happen, someone from Deans office or the Rectors office has to read these and take into account your so called positive criticism.But,even if anyone from the authorities viewed this do you think they would give a jacksh*t about it.Frankly tell me.Will they?

    So , as you said.We leave it to those who are reading.And there are two options here.

    A – Efenem writes degrading comments about his Alma Mater in the weblogs(even though it might be true) in hopes of educating the public about the truth ofe the Education system in Russia,when it is for sure to fall on deaf ears.The people who can listen to it and really make a difference do not hear you.Thats all to it.Period

    B- Efenem prints out the comments that he writes in the blogs, seeks an audience with the Deans office and Rectors office together with the students from the University and passes his printout to them.He then organises a meeting session with the responsible authorities to constructively discuss on ways to improve the education system in NNSMA.

    I,Eugene Sharma Henry challenge you ,Efenem to organise such a meeting and I will heed the call.Till then DO NOT PREACH THAT YOU ARE DEFENDING OUR ALMA MATER by your criticism.It is purely absurd.

    So people,which do you think is better? Option A or Option B?Is option A more constructive and loyal to NNSMA or Option B?

    Which do you think is CONSTRUCTIVE criticism?

    Im not sure if you guys have heard of the term
    “When the going gets tough,the tough gets going”.You are ALREADY in RUSSIA.Wake up,smell the coffee,accept the fact and try to make your life here better instead of complaining.So if you really have to ask for patients.Then ask.So what?Will you lose your dignity asking for patients?You have nothing to lose.Its a dog eat dog world out there and Russia is teaching us from the start that life is not a bed of roses.I think you are old enough to be aware of it by now.


    P.S- I am very serious about my challenge.Are you man enough to accept it or are you just a man of words?

  22. Eugene Sharma Henry,

    1. It’s true I wrote that quote, but before that I also wrote “Love is earned, not given away that easily”. Did anywhere in my quote did I explicitly say that I love our beloved Alma Mater? Or did I just confuse you with my vague words of love? Thus, I will leave the question “Does efenem love NNSMA or not?” open for speculation.

    2. I never cared if I am making a constructive or destructive criticism. It’s my blog and I write whatever the hell I want, even if it is without purpose. You think political bloggers criticize the politicians hoping they would change? You, for one, criticized our rubbish-like Malaysian education too… Would you dare go to Kementerian Pendidikan and voice that opinion of yours or is the word “rubbish-like” makes you feel good about yourself?

    3. Since you love our Alma Mater so much and learned the bitter truth even before I was admitted here, why not I challenge you EUGENE SHARMA HENRY, to print this page out and give it to our Deans with the credits to efenem. The one who cares a lot about NNSMA should be doing this instead of me… As far as I am concerned, I can walk extra mile my own way and the alma mater can do anything they wish.

    4. Please do not be so full of yourself, as if you are the one who completely understands the reality in Russia. If you followed my blog from start, many people have already noticed what extra measures I am taking to upgrade myself. And I believe everyone else also is walking an extra mile. I am simply criticizing the system here. Constructive or destructive – you decide.

  23. Don’t la fight, people. we’re adults now, no need to challenge one another. Everyone should just listen to Bob Marley and Chillllllllllllll 😀 😀

  24. Looks like you dont know what the word “Alma Mater” means.Go look it up in a dictionary.

    I would not go to Kementerian Pendidikan to whine because I do not specially open blogs and and spend my time writing about the Malaysian system of education.
    It is true.The system is “rubbish-like”.But I have taken my own measures to address my shortcomings WITHOUT COMPLAINING and WHINING.

    Well, the last time I checked.You were full of yourself Mr.Jauhari.
    I am just being flexible and making the best of the situation I can.

    If what I said had offended you in any way.Then Im sorry.
    But looks like you have marked your territory here.

    Before you open up a blog , learn to differentiate between a blog and a diary.

    P.S-So you just merely are a man of words then?
    Why dont you put up a poll and ask the people about what they think about option A and option B?Then you would have a little taste of the truth too…..Oh yeah,I forgot…Its your blog and you can do whatever the hell you want with it.

  25. Well,people you decide

    Efenem wrote “our beloved Alma Mater” at one part and said

    ‘Did anywhere in my quote did I explicitly say that I love our beloved Alma Mater?’

    Mary mary quite contrary….

  26. If the new blogging world is new for you, then I would honor the privilege of the first one to welcome you to the blogging world, where people complain, whine, bitch as much as they want. They can do something about it or they can simply leave things the way they are… Please learn about the reality of blog before passing judgments to make yourself feel better…

    Please do not think you are the only one person who take measures to address your shortcomings here. Does it bother you so much that people complain and whine although they already take measures to address their own shortcomings?

    WordPress blog currently does not support poll function at my sidebar. Even if it provides, why would I want to put the poll YOU suggested? People can tell me what to do in comments (like our beloved Eugene Sharma Henry) and I will decide for myself whether I want to do it or not.

    People, you can play our beloved Eugene Sharma Henry’s game to speculate and decide whether I love NNSMA or not, whether option A or B is better. Also, you can also decide whether I should keep telling the bitter truth or not. You can also decide whether or not we should keep arguing. You can decide whether to side with efenem, Eugene Sharma Henry, both or none. Or you can simply read my blog to entertain yourselves and not play any games that Eugene Sharma Henry proposed… All my blog readers can tell whatever they want in comments.

    But I already hardened my resolve…

    My constant blog readers would’ve understood much better than someone who just commented here yesterday! Anyways, I still love my blog readers to bits however harsh they criticize me – they make my blog stats higher and my blog hotter. One day, who knows my blog will be sponsored and I can get big bucks from blogging.

    Still I have to give credits to Eugene Sharma Henry – because of him, my blog entered 5-digits realm today.

    Now that Eugene Sharma Henry has stopped posting in comments of this post, let’s focus on the issue I brought here – Russian Medical School system, if you’re still up for it.

    Addendum: I just realized the diary thingy. Seriously dude you are the first one to say that my blog is a diary. A non-blogger judging my blog as a diary is just as lame as the doctors criticizing Russian medical education without knowing a jack about it. Criticism is the lamest from someone outside the system ngengenge…

  27. can I choose option C – study hard n excel? U both r very childish!

    Learn to accept the truth sharma.

    efenem, what good can bring with ur post here?

  28. To be informed is better than to be ignorant.

    What I posted here is just explaining the concerned doctors. Other people have their rights to label this post as whining, complaining or bitching, but for me I’m simply explaining.

    Every hurting truth starts with denial…

  29. Just prove to them what u’re really capable of.
    It’s good to know how others think about Russian graduates. We counterbalance.
    If u’re not happy with his blog, create a blog of your own, praise your Alma Mater and show your love from there. If you have something to say, don’t just leave comments and bash efenem with your harsh words.
    If you know that you words can’t be accepted in the reality, why not try it virtually?
    Start blogging like him. 🙂

    By challenging him, why not challenging yourself?
    And I think efenem distinguished between blog and diary pretty well coz blog is a shared online journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences, point of views and hobbies.
    I enjoy reading his blog. I like different point of views. If u started a blog, I’d like to be your daily viewer.
    It’s better to blog. Let it be an archive of yours coz others might not remember what you’re telling them orally.
    Let’s blog bersama-sama.
    And if i wasn’t mistaken, didn’t he write “If you don’t want to get through this, you may leave.”

  30. wow……so much passion, enthusiasm, spirit and so much positive energy!!! love it!!

    if only those energy were to be channelled to a more productive and constructive site…..if only those love and passion were to be given to those needy patients….this world would be a better place to live in…..

    it’s a pity you guys did not take up law…..judging by the way u guys debated, picking every single word to argue and to support it with such huge words…….simply marvellous…..

    p/s: tsk tsk tsk…efenem….have respect for your seniors ok….do u know that eugene sharma started a blog long before u did?? do not call him a non bloggers ok…..i used to enjoy reading his blog….but that was long long time ago la….i wish he would start blogging again…..

    and in my humble opinion, both of you got ur ideas across….further arguements will oni be about who’s english standards are better in giving more illustrative ideas and to put it in a more beautiful description….

    obviously both of u think u are right to continue such a long conversation which took me sometime to read…..and obviously both of u failed to convince others to accept your ideas…..(if u even tried to)…..

    don listen to those loosers who tell you to stop arguing (no offence….hahaha)…..this positive energy is a good motivation….fight! fight! fight!!….whahahaaha….

    (just don point the arrows to me)

    p/s: i don support war, just the passion and enthusiasm that comes together with it….lol

  31. geezz…sometimes I think it’s more the debate than the substance itself that interests both our arguing parties. If thanatos likes watchin the debate, my gut instinct tells me that the debators enjoy even more the thrill of throwing grenades and spears at each other.

    Guys, debate all you want here. But gentlemen would probably leave the harsh words at where they belong : the blogosphere and nowhere out of the cyberspace.

    Just sayin, the scenario of efenem and sharma engaging in a wrestling battle or hair pulling competitions is certainly something that I don’t wish to witness in my present lifetime.

    Of coz i know both of u are great docs to be who probably will never risk their reputation and maturity for trivial matters like this


    (actually will be quite the interesting hor if got WWF in nizhny??hehe just kidding!)

  32. A blogger called my blog a diary? Must be more embarassing!

    Alright since the comments have deviated big time, let me pull everyone back on track.

    The first few arguments were fine because people are talking about the points in my entry. But later it deviated from talking about the points in my entry to talking about me.

    Let’s not talk about anyone anymore here, not me, not anyone else. Talk about my entry. Find loopholes. Find mistakes. Prove me wrong. Prove them wrong.

    Because it’s best to be proven wrong – it’s good for everyone in the Russian medical education system.

  33. i am sorry if i offend u but i think sharma is right…

    why nt take his challenge if u r worried abt our education? go discuss with the deans office abt improving our education

    i think the lectures here r good lah… it’s nt substandard. i learn a lot frm lectures… then discuss the lectures in practical classes for more understanding.

    work hard and we r gonna be fine.

  34. I take no offense for voicing out your opinion. This is my reply to you:

    1. I turned down this kind of challenge because it’s all about egoism rather than fighting for the real thing. I did not need to think a split second to turn it down, it’s all by reflex. If I ever take up that challenge, it proves nothing more than my shallow egoism.

    2. Even if I am to speak with the administrators, I’d speak about the most concerned areas in our education here; which are the clinical practices and the exam. Let me first elaborate the exam. The method of examination here has been tradition for ages, not just in our academy, but also in various educational institutions in Russia. Imagine me saying to the Deans “Hey, Dean. How about changing the exam methods, can or not?” Answer me honestly, do I stand even one in a million chance to change the exam system??? Furthermore, do I look like a constant 5-pointers for my suggestion to be taken into consideration?

    3. Clinical practices. Like our respected commenters Sanu and Eugene Sharma Henry said; it’s currently best to just ask the teachers to see more patients and be on call with them. I really agree. But that only proves the defect with the system. It is flexible, yes. It is flexible for hardworking medical students to get more knowledge but it is also flexible for unmotivated med students to laze around. However, the official extra practicals are not without price. Do you know the bureaucracy to get thru only to do the practicals? Remember, JPA had to pay the deans for its scholars to do extra practicals so that the supervising doctors get a fatter paycheck, if not the administrators. If more fees are needed for extra clinical practices – quite a headache for private students. Thus the best thing for now are only Sanu’s and Eugene Sharma Henry’s suggestions, which only benefit a few students, alas.

    4. The Lectures. If the lecture here is good enough for you, then I shall respect your opinion. For me, I like better listening to the lectures delivered by professors from other countries, or reading emedicine and the thick textbooks.

    Hopefully that satisfies your curiosity…

  35. Salam wrt.

    Oh encik faiz, aku taknak ulas banyak2 sebab aku pun tak rasa study aku dah mantap nak kutuk2 orang lain mahupun mana2 university, apatah lagi aku dengar study ko gempak giler skrg.

    efenem: Tq

    Kena kutuk and kena bambu dengan doktor2 di Malaysia adalah perkara lumrah dan normal. Kalau tak silap aku budak2 yang graduate locally je yang kurang sikit kene kutuk sebab mereka telah dilatih untuk fit in nicely with the local establishment. Bukan sahaja budak dari Russia, tak silap aku budak2 dari Ireland pun slalu kene maki, tu belom lagi masuk budak2 yang graduate dari India, Indonesia, Egypt, Czech dan entah mana-mana lagi tah. Member aku siap ada cerita sorang grad dari Jepun yang nak amik blood untuk test telah tersilap cari vein dan darah2 luka yang mengalir dia main sedut je masuk n layan. Bad doctors come out from everywhere, not only from Russia even though the amount of bad doctors that Russia hypothetically churns out every year can be quite debatable.

    I know

    I think in the end it boils down to how much an individual really wants to master the knowledge and the expertise of medicine. Seorang kawan aku yang buat praktikal masa masih lagi 3rd year telah berjaya beat sorang budak H/O dari USM bila ditanya satu soalan pasal rheumatoid arthritis dan dia cuma menjawab berpandukan nota Pathology Anatomy yang tunggang terbalik englishnya yang diprepare oleh cikgu kitorang yang hampeh English juga. Now you may rebuke that that might be an isolated case, but in the end it is the desire to learn and how are you gonna benefit from what you’ve stuffed into your head; are they just gonna be good for exams or are they going to serve you well in real time practice. I think this is our main problem~ most of us study only to pass exams. (termasuklah aku, oh).

    First 5 years of postgraduate life is interesting. MOs can be stupider than the med students

    I think your frustation stems out from seeing your peers not giving enough efforts to try to become a good doctor,(termasuklah aku juga, oh) who later when they graduate will mar the good name of the entire Russia and directly will affect you in the future. No matter what bad pre-conceived ideas that the our superiors may have formed about graduates from Russia, in the end its one man for himself. Lantaklah kalau budak2 lain nak kantoi ke hape, if u have made enough efforts to be distinguished from the crowd, then you should be happy about it. Adakah engkau mengharapkan doktor2 di Malaysia untuk berlembut dan mengusap2 kepala engkau sambil memuji-muji oh doktor2 keluaran Russia sungguh berkualiti dan bermutu tinggi. I know the doctors in MAlaysia are infamous for their merciless behavior towards us future HOs. You only need to endure 2 years of the bad treatment, then after 2 years is up, nobody’s gonna care if you graduated from Ireland, Romania, Russia or Bangladesh if you’ve proven yourself to be such a kick-ass doctor.

    I also believe that those who put more effort earns more. Keep speculating

    I don’t know what’s your intention of doing all these entries about the sub-standard level of medical education in Russia. Adakah untuk berdakwah, sebagai menyebarkan ilmu kpd rakan-rakan yang lain, atau untuk menggenapkan senarai pelawat kepada 5 angka. Kalau untuk berdakwah, alhamdulillah la, semoga Allah memberkati dan menunjukkan jalan yang lurus. Kalau untuk menyebarkan ilmu, baiklah hang bubuh kata2 semangat motivasi sempena musim exam nie, your peers do not need to know that their university sucks and the least you can do is write something like, hey don’t f**cking forget what you read during this exam preparation season coz you’ll be f**cking needing them when you return to practice in Malaysia. Dan kalau niat hang untuk mencapai 5 angka jumlah pelawat, syabas aku ucapkan atas accomplishment itu.

    Keep on speculating

    Now that we’ve learned the bitter truth that Russia sucks and no, we’re no longer in denial, tell me please Faiz, what should we do? What should we do? Don’t tell me I gotta get back into studying for summer exams. There’s gotta be more! There’s gotta be more!

    Walk an extra mile

    In the end, aku setuju la dengan Sharma atau sapa2 kat atas tu, kalau hang serious towards the betterment of education level in Russia you should spend more time instead to write to your Dean’s office or even better hantaq surat kat Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Menteri Kesihatan etc. These are doable things.

    Aku xbg kat Deans. Aku bg kat concerned parties only. I also alerted the concerned docs but no feedbacks yet.

    Oh and please la Faiz, (though this is totally unrelated), your blog is so like a diary. Who else write annual review about themselves and even have gossip columns to boot.

    Well then, Hazreen establishes that every blog with personal elements in it is a diary. Congratulations.

    For someone yang tak nak ulas banyak2, i certainly do. Mintak maaf.

    Salam wrt.

  36. I’m not proud to say this but yesterday was the first time I massively unapproved comments.

    1. Someone offered me sympathy. That’s very nice and thoughtful, but I don’t need one.

    2. Someone supports my ideas, but there’s no further details to why he/she supports it

    3. Some people used profanities to bash another commenter. That’s not very nice and let’s not start any fight here.

    4. Then there’s a know-it-all narcissist nagging me about diary and beauty of blogging yada yada…

    5. Someone also made a good joke out of the situation. I appreciate the humor, really.

    But none of those were really discussing about my points in the real entry, most people are so focused with the comments and are flamed by them, like my previous hot topic.

    In a serious and lengthy discussion, I strongly advice my beloved blog readers and commenters to NOT stray out of topic.

    If no one is really up to discuss my entry points, I shall close this topic and the comment box temporarily so that everybody chills and not post OT comments only to be unapproved in the end.

    Re-opened. Please stay in topic.

  37. only one thing about this- the principe HERE is u can do whatever u want without having them (the lecturers) telling u. “Ask and u’ll be given”. why foreigners in russia won’t adapt i can’t understand. it’s not just adapting to the life, it’s about adapting to the education system. go communicate with the doctors, with lecturers, they are more than happy to teach, to do anything they can to help students who really want to learn (unlike in malaysia). language barrier is one thing, but i think “hendak seribu daya, tak hendak seribu dalih”. quit complaining and wanting to change the system, u can do nothing about that, the only thing u can do is to help urself. u’re in the system n u have to adapt if u want to graduate with “enough” knowledge.
    i know many of the “young teachers” don’t teach much. that’s actually because they’re inexperienced, they don’t really know what to teach, let them know what u don’t know or want to know and ask them to teach it. it’s not only about studying and memorizing, it’s about practice, it’s about co-curriculum, it’s about ur relationships with lecturers and doctors. some students don’t even know what’s studentcheskiy krujok even though they’re here for years………and you have to help urself with that, with these “co-curriculum”.
    i can categorize the students here as active- who already know the system n adapted- who ask for it, passive- who just learn what they’re given n nothing else (which obviously is not enough). complainers- who hate everything about the system or probably russia, and refuse to adapt, they don’t go to lectures n they don’t study much, obviously they’re r too good for the lectures. n they’re those who r good in their studies but lack practical skills- who lack proficiency in russian. without practice u’ll never have those theories in ur brain for long- believe me. they’re also those who r good in studies, good in russian, but lack relationships with lecturers.
    i can write more, should get my own blog for that though 🙂
    just one thing: “ask and u’ll be given”

  38. Thanks for the wise thought frenchbugger.

    I somehow agree on the part “ask and you’ll be given”. This is the active group of students you are talking about. And there’s also “You don’t ask, you get nothing” – which is the passive group of students.

    I do not have the precise data on how many students are active and how many are passive (or complainers). But you and I know, those 2 groups exist in our academy. The active one will get better and the passive will get worse especially in clinical setting.

    As you said, these passive students will not go to lectures, refuse to adapt, don’t study much and hate everything about the system and probably Russia.

    But will the passive ones graduate? Sure, why not? The only thing a med student in Russia should do is pass the exam by the end of each semester and they’re just as good as those who worked their assess off burning the midnight oil, and getting all fives in exam without cheating!

    And eventually these people start working and incorporated into our already messy healthcare system.

    Say if I put the same passive students in Malaysian university. They don’t go to lectures, they refuse to adapt, don’t study much etc. What do you think will happen?

    Before they can even graduate, they drop out med school. They are NOT incorporated into the healthcare system.

    Yeah you should blog.

  39. frenchbugger hit the nail spot on ..“ask and you’ll be given” “You don’t ask, you get nothing”. Quote wise is true for every step of our growth and progession fr medical students to HO’s till specialists.

    Quality wise may raise issues esp for russian grads but eventually its How we choose to act; our choice and action that governs us whether we make the cut as a good doc or not; n its unfair to conclude this within mo’s a process that takes years.

    This story was told to me by a sen.consultant during my 1st yr practicals. He told us “Sooner or later u are bound to kill someone. It could be because its one of those very rare diseases wit vague S&S n tests couldnt pick it up on time… patient came too late; or because the appropriate t’ment/intervention has not yet been properly established cure ; or because the technology to diagnose/tests to confirm diagnosis doesnt exist yet… But it should never be because of our ignorance.

    That little speech stuck wit me for life.. Because he showed ( i emphasis visually cause seein sticks wit us longer than jus words right:-) us that doctors by proffesion is life long studyin n learnin job; thats the only way to keep up..n to not be ignorant. He also taught us Saving lifes is by TEAMwork.. and there’s no other way around it. From the patient to the nurses to HO to SHO to GP to specialist to Radiography dept ppl to bld works ..etc, we do our job by vastly relyin on others as they do on us; its the way we get our info..n correctly come to a conclusion. Every single step in our deduction process makes a difference whether its visually seen or not. Unfortunately not enough attention is paid on these simple matters….


    So if a revolutions gotta start; then its gotta affect all these aspects.. If not.. No true improvement or change as u perhaps will settle..

    Jus food for thought 🙂 when graduates work.. The reality sinks and often cruelly reflects wheter u jus passed the exams or actually put in a few extra effort on ur own without order or guidance or complainin… [hard to find combo there days in students..:-)] Jus because u’re curious. Thats the truth my friend … those are the ones that will put down their names in history as opposed to jus bein history.

    Lets support those few rare beautiful flowers that M’sian born Russian graduates who are out there actually trying to be better n to make a difference… 🙂

    Sorry if its a drag guys… must be the generation gap…He he 🙂

  40. Hello everyone. =) I see that there had been a heated conversation over the education system in Russia. I did my first year of medicine in Volgograd State Medical University. I am now back in Malaysia on personal reasons. I will be continuing my medical studies here in Malaysia.

    From what I observed over the past year, I can tell that studying medicine in Russia isn’t easy. Firstly, the medium of instruction for the first 3 years is English. It is quite a problem as the Russian education force in the universities are not as well versed in the English Language as the rest of us. Once, during one of my anatomy lessons I had to go the distance to try to get my lecturer to understand my question. Even then, she could not understand half the things I asked her. This language barrier restricts us from moving deeper into the given materials. We only get what is on the surface. (At least this is true of my experience) However, it all boils down to how much we want to know something and how badly we want to nail it. If we are really inquisitive, nothing can hold us back from going ahead in our pursuit for greater knowledge. This applies to studying medicine in Russia. I was dissatisfied with the teacher not being able to answer my question. I headhunted for another lecturer who was quite reputable for being able to make her students understand almost anything. I went to every nook in the department and finally found her. She went through some of the things with me and guess what, I understood perfectly what I found hard to digest a few days prior to seeing her.

    Dear friends, do not consider yourselves under-privileged to be studying in Russia. Look at it this way. What you learn here may not be accessible even to the UK students. And what they learn back there in the UK may seem foreign to us. What matters is that we have the burning desire to learn. This is after all the defining attribute of a true medical student, in my humble opinion.

    I will be starting a new chapter of my medical education here in Malaysia. However, I will not forget the things I learned in Russia. Russia obviously did not turn out to be heaven to me. But, I learned a lot there. From friendship to sacrifices as a medical student. I definitely will put in a good word for all Russian medical undergraduates and graduates.

    As for the rest of you, keep doing what you do. If you’re struggling, your hard work will pay off! If you’re tired, DON’T GIVE UP! You will be rewarded with abundance in knowledge at the end of the road. As for those who are slacking, WAKE UP! You’re not in secondary school anymore. Please don’t be dispirited or frail hearted by the things you read or hear. People say things. One more thing, I sincerely think that the Russian lecturers are kinda intelligent.

    All the best guys! Don’t give up!

  41. owh…it’s scary to read ur post..
    i’m the 1st med student in VOLGMU under MARA, make me feel worse to be a russian med student as i read ur post..i’ ve knew before this that something wrong with the system, eg: no strict admittance condition, the orally exm, n the lang medium..but i think it would be ok as long as the govern sends us here..but, i never expected that worse like u seems that we learn nothing here, n can’t perform when back to m’sia..

    about the clinical prctise, i don’t exactly know how bad it is, but i see my roomate who’s the 4th student, always doing the case history at night (not too often however)..erk..

    weeks ago, we’re having meeting with the delgtion of MMC, and the said there’s no problem with system here because m’sia med sys recognise makes me relieved..

    erk…just opinion from me who knows very little…

    • Life’s more than yes and no.
      Should you study medicine? No.
      Should you study in Russia? No.
      Should you be studying? No.

      I have no reasons for you. Simple answer to your simple question.

  42. What an interesting post! Thumbs up to the blog owner.

    I stumbled across your blog while doing a bit of ‘research’ for my upcoming housemanship; will be undergoing SPA interview in a few days time.

    Frankly speaking, I can relate to MOST (not all) of what you have said in this post. I have had issues with my own medical school (a school with the philosophy of ‘self-directed learning’ with almost zero emphasis on anatomy, but luckily emphasuze quite vehemently on clinical skills and being patient-oriented).

    Of course, I adapted and shove away those feelings of dissatisfaction at the end. But that doesn’t mean the system cannot be improved. Just like you, voicing it out only served to invite comments that revolve around the students having to be more proactive yadda yadda yadda. Not many would just focus on the deficiencies of the medical school and acknowledge the fact that international students pay double as much of the tuition fees (not that anyone other than MARA is affected, lol).

    Having said that, I guess we have to do whatever we can in oder to make up for whatever was lacking in our training. I agree with Sharma about being proactive and what not….but complaining about my medical school is a right I exercise with pleasure; especially when having done something about it did not yield the result I coveted.

    All the best with the rest of your housemanship, insha Allah. I’ll be joining the quest soon enough.

  43. i wonder if the whole issue needs to be raised like this. I am one of those who were graduated long time ago in Russia now i am a knhown surgeon in the sudan and associate professr of surgery.

  44. saya bercadang hendak menghantar anak saya ke Russia untuk belajar medicine. Saya ingin mendapat maklumat berikut daripada sesiapa yang budiman sedang belajar disana dalam jurusan di atas:
    1. Apa bahasa yang digunakan dalam pengajian perubatan.
    2. bagaimana standard universiti di sana.
    3. Bearapa kadar ratio lecture: student
    4. Berapa kos hidup bulanan di sana secara pertengahan. Berapa pecahananya: accomodation, food, transport, medical insurance, rental etc.
    5. Apa bahasa digunakan untuk tahun klinikal.
    6. adakah Bahasa russia diajar. adakah bahasa russia diperlukan pada tahun klinikal untuk tujuan menginterview pesakit di hospital.
    7. Selamatkah persekitaran di sana.
    8. ada ke komuniti Islam di sana yang lengkap dengan prasarana ugama seperti masjid.
    10. Pada pendapat anda, disegi mutu, di mana lebih baik belajar perubatan antara Russia dengan Indonesia.

    terima kasih atas yang sudi membantu.

    • 1. Bergantung pada lokasi. Di Moscow, separuh English separuh Russian. Di tempat saya (Nizhniy Novgorod) full English
      2. OK, not so goood not so bad.
      3. 1:8
      4. Bergantung pada lokasi. Di Moscow sangat mahal kerana kadar inflasi yang menggila.
      5. Di Nizhny Novgorod kelas dan kuliah dalam russian
      6. Bahasa rusia diperlukan untuk interview pesakit dan melalui kehidupan di sana.
      7. Boleh tahan, ada masa yg berbahaya juga.
      8. Ada banyak komuniti islam di rusia. Makanan halal boleh dapat dengan senang. Masjid ada.
      9. Entahlah. Saya xpernah belajar di indonesia.

    • how do we learn medicine in indonesia:
      -4 years of learning the basic theory and another 1 and a half years doing clinical at the general hospital, and another 6 months experiencing the job at the rural hospital which makes up a total of 6 years.
      -lectures in english.
      -bahasa indonesia when examining the patients.
      -for clinical years i can say that we have a good exposure towards patients because we are free to do everything under supervision from the residents and consultants stuff like history taking physical exam, IV insertion, catheter insertion, lumbar puncture and even assisting an appendectomy or Cesarean section, which, correct me if im wrong, is not allowed to be done by medical students in russia.
      -the last semester (the 12th semester) of our days in indonesia, is very important in which, we are given full responsibility to treat patients like a real doctors, but, still indirectly supervised by the staff doctors during morning round.
      -in conclusion, from my conversation with some of my friends who are currently studying at russia, studying medicine in indonesia is better at the practical years because of the overcrowding poverty that leads to patients come all the way to the teaching hospital to get treated and the lack of doctors in the hospital make us, the medical students, get good exposure in treating patients.

      i am currently in my final semester.
      universitas padjadjaran bandung, indonesia.

  45. Terima kasih Efenem atas jawapan yang diberikan. Pak Chik mungkin menghubungi Efenem lagi bila Pak Chik memerlukan maklumat . Harap tidak membebankan.

  46. Under my supervision of Russian trained doctors here I have found medical graduates from Russia are among the best I have ever encountered. They are better than many from UK, Australia, India and Indonesia. I have no problems whatsoever with these young intelligent doctors. They have made me proud.

  47. Walaupun saya bukan graduan perubatan, tapi rumusan saya adalah; mereka yang berpandangan negatives terhadap graduan perubatan dari Russia adalah mereka yang irihati dan mempunyai sakit mental! amalan ilmu bidang perubatan di Malaysia boleh dikatakan masih baru berbanding di Russia. Negara Russia merupakan sebuah negara yang jauh lebih maju dalam semua bidang ilmu dan sebuah negara kuasa besar (super power) dan tak perlu nak dipertikaikan. Mereka yang irihati dan mempunyai hasad dengki yang menebal ini sebenarnya tidak pernah menjejak kaki mereka di negara Russia apatah lagi mengikuti pengajian perubatan di Russia. Mereka ini ibarat katak dalam tempurung dan pemikiranya terhad kepada lingkungan dalam tempurung tersebut dan beranggapan tiada dunia di luar tempurung. Apa yang ada dalam tempurung itulah mereka mengatakan yang terbaik!

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