Finding inspiration

Let’s face the truth, some Malaysian students in Russia lacks inspiration and passion in their studies, whether they are clinical or pre-clinical students. Let’s find out what are the causes of the problems and suggest solutions to these freaking problems.

  • Inconducive learning environment – There’s no excuse NOT to go to lectures and classes (unless you are sick or dead), but when there are 70 students in one batch and only 40 places to sit in a lecture hall, how does one expect everyone to come? There’s barely a place to sit, let alone a place for you to write lecture and stretch your legs. So the mindset of some people is “might as well I go back to my room and sleep than attending good lectures in an inconducive environment”. Plus, it’s just too tiring to travel from point A to point B (traffic madness, long journey, no place to even stand in a bus, pickpockets) when there’s no central campus to accommodate lectures, labs, clinics and hospitals in one place. This is more of administrative problem which students can do nothing about (hey, million bucks is on the line here!). We’ll just have to toughen up and work it out!

  • Communications problem – We love the fluent English-speaking teachers more than the non-fluent ones. We can learn better from them because we understand and give more focus to whatever the heck they are talking about. The problem arises when teachers speak plain wrong English or heavy mix of Russian and English. We kinda get bored to focus on whatever they’re trying to say so we sleep in their classes (guilty as charged!). Best solution, teachers should pass TOEFL, IELTS and whatever standardized English language exams with flying colors. Money is again on the line here!~
  • Clinical and Practical– We have really great teachers in Russia no doubt, some of them are renowned internationally. But the system for clinical exposure here does not really have the umph factor. The system does not give med students the responsibilities to involve in primary care. We just go to the ward, talk to patients, do some physical exam, check their case reports and make our own case reports (it’s not even secondary or tertiary care!). Although there’s nothing wrong with this method, we have to understand that this method alone for the whole 3 clinical years is not enough clinical exposure. When the teachers say Malaysians lack practical skills, I do agree. Poorly-supervised elective postings and poorly-implemented extra practicals only add to all the lacking of practical skills by Malaysian students. Solution: workshops, which some of us are trying to share now. It’s still in infancy, so we’ll see how it grows.
  • Learning materials – We have been heavily dependent on senior’s notes. If we do not have them, we are as good as dead. Some kiasuly trying to compile all seniors notes which they can get their hands on. The traditional way of studying from a highly-recommended textbooks is not applicable. Library can’t provide highly-recommended books, so senior’s notes are much cheaper alternative.It usually works for all of us because seniors notes are very easy to understand – people can get great marks in class discussions and in exams by reading seniors notes only. For some subjects, seniors notes are decent enough, but for some other subjects, we need to do some extra reading. Don’t wait for the freaking library to give you highly-recommended textbooks because apparently it’s too hard for our administration to move some money around to buy new books. Ever heard of Amazon and Ebay?
  • Exams – Unstandardized exam is frustrating, and so are people who study less can perform better and those who cheat shall be forgiven and forgotten. There’s also pre-exam anxiety! Now that we are currently in this system, there’s no point to exaggerate the problem. So, I’d suggest an old-school thing called the “study group”. Days are for classes, lectures and nonspecific works, nights are for self-study. Study groups should only be done once a week at most. Frequent study group sessions will get us nowhere. Studying together can reduce the pre-exam anxiety, and so does studying consistently (not last minute).


There are also some related factors such as hostel problems, hooliganism, financial problems, too much entertainments, and personal problems that drains the life out of you. These challenges are non-specific, everywhere you study also can have these problems. But these problems should be managed so that we find our own inspiration… If you have something more to add, please feel free to do so!


11 thoughts on “Finding inspiration

  1. yup, i agree with what has happened to students in nizhny (@even Russia)right now,i have been thinking of this prob,esp since i came back to nizhny,mb b’coz i’m already 6th year but yet there is soooo many things that i’m still left behind .Let us think of some way out:-
    1)workshop- yup i agree w u. i have thinking of having some presentation n we can come out w some clin prob.mayb we can create some clin situation, that gonna b more interesting.
    2)discussion among the group member- asking question 10 min b4 the class start, in the bus, on the way to the class can stimulate your mind to think, learn n remember better.find the person that u think u can trust on n comfortable w.
    3)just come to the lec-sometimes it’s true that going to the lec is very tiring,but believe me,sometimes it can stimulate u to understand somethg, eg, u went to inf lec n u found out the word index of AI- what’s that??n u try to ask d teacher n search in the internet-u found out about shock index- connected w shock- causes of shock- types of shock u see, with 1 simple word, u will have an enthusiasm to learn other things, n there u can try to gain some inspiration to study.
    4)don’t afraid to ask-if u have doubt, just ask.not only your teacher, but your friend too.s/t, they can understand n explain to u better.
    5)b motivated-in our life , there must b up n down.if u find yourself in down mood,try to find some books that can give u habits of highly effective people by Stephen R.Covey, Poor dad n Rich dad etc.if u r lazy to read book, can try to watch movies like Dr. House, Gladiator etc..@ go n find someone who can give u motivation,s/t even by watching what they do…
    6)refresh your day-don’t b monotonous.if u think u r not motivated enough, try n change somethg simple in your wanna sleep early n wake up early to study instead of sleep late n wake up late for the class.s/t u can do some exercise to refresh your body

    that is all for now,i hope we can treat this ‘epidemic’ b4 it gonna b too late..

    (sorry for my bad english:-p)

    • 🙂 wow, a lot of tips from 6th year seniors~~~ 🙂 me likey the post,’re right, a lot of people here are severely un-inspired and somewhat unmotivated but i blame it mostly on your #1 point, the learning environment that’s severely lacking…i can’t even tell you how many times i’ve complained about our lack of a library (not just one where you take books).

      and i really like paxuma’s comment bout making a clinical workshop…mb problem-based learning is better suited to prepare us for future worklife~? 🙂 anyway, i’ve always found that reading about other people kutuk-ing russian grads /very/ motivating..haha..i even saved POTS’s entry on my laptop somewhere to read when i’m feeling particularly lazy. i wonder if its just me?

  2. To Sarah~clin workshop is not a prob, faiz is working on it..n some of 6th year students. n we have lots of postgraduate student who r taking their master here.act they r good n willing to help us..

  3. yea agree with imah especially with “just come to the lec” there is no such thing as wasting time to attend lec and plus classes. sure things you will get something even it’s only a lil. but me myself still ponteng lecture(S) (most of lectures) and some classes. ape nak jadi ni ish..

  4. somemore,the assessment here is totally exam,we are evaluated jz from a small topic (jz few ques from whole subject) n the mark is given..even the mark cant tell the real knowledge that we’ve gained..for example..getting 5 in xm doesnt reflect that u r smart,maybe its jz ur luck(of cz some ppl really deserve it for their hardwork),n if u got 3 maybe u r unlucky..but lets say u got 45% for ur paper,can u say u r unlucky?the lecturer is strict?of cz no excuse cn b given!

    due to this kind of examination system,no comparison can be made..for example,in msia there r lists of student who got deans award for that particular the students can work harder next sem 2 get the russia,even the red diploma can be bought means no students in russia will study 2 get the award or appreciation etc..yes,we study not to get the award but still,it can burn our spirit indirectly if we now that we’ll get sth extra for our effort all these times..if not to get the award,at least we try to save ourself from ‘bottom list’ students like in our school time..

    but of cz this cant be changed since we are now in russia..jz bear in mind that we wanna be a good doctor so jz hope n make our best!

  5. i find going to public health lecture is a big waste of time! haha. i wonder why do they even make it a GOS exam in the 1st place.

  6. i think its included in the GOS xm bcz we follow russian students..GOS xm is state xm,so russian students r compulsary 2 take public health as their assessment..wat to do,we foreigners jz hv 2 follow…

  7. agree with jatdin, at least if they want to make it a compulsory, plez change the teaching style and not just ‘reading from text’.at least, learn from marina aleksandravna. I think she is the only one PH teacher that is deserved to teach..

  8. its not juz russian graduates (which i heard a lot about), us local grads also the same… Put any houseman anywhere in msia, u cn see their incompetence… But there must be constant learning in med school so dat we become good doctors

  9. Hey, I’ll be going to Russia this September 2010. Are you saying about Nizhny alone or the whole Russian system? :O

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