Untold truth about Russia and it’s Medical Education

This is the first hand experience of an Indian Medical Student in Russia.

Hello everyone reading this article, I’m a foreign medical graduate, I did my MBBS from TVER STATE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY, RUSSIA. I am writing this note to address all those who want to choose Russia for pursuing their MBBS degree. There are so many misbelieves about Russia and its education system. No doubt most of them are real though. I went to Russia in 2012, and was promised certain things by the consultancy firm but none of them were fulfilled.

In the beginning it was very disappointing and hard to survive in that situation maybe because of the language barrier, new place or being far from home but as the time passed by I started developing liking for the place. The place was beautiful, serene, no one bothers you there and that’s why many student who choose Russia for studying get swayed into their glamorous lifestyle. But according to me, it all depends on the individual how he/she wants to live their life. In India people have a strong belief that student studying in Russia are not actually studying but having fun, partying, sleeping around with people, this is not the only thing that happens there. I have seen every kind of student in my batch, some were like bookworms, others last night fighter and few were as if they don’t care about anything type attitude.

See, if we talk about the education system, it’s same everywhere you go. No one teaches in colleges, everything a student has to learn on their own. All you need is a will to study and learn. And the education system in Russia is very different from India, I don’t know about all the other universities of Russia but mine was quite strict in respect to attendance. There was a rule for 100% attendance if anyone missed a single class, that person was supposed to give a test to solve whatever was taught in that class. Students were evaluated on daily basis in class and in that also they had to get positive grades, if they failed to do so then also they were supposed to give a test to get a positive grade and for the end semester exams there were just 3 attempts. If a student failed to get a positive grade then they are doomed. Students were deported to India and most of the time they didn’t even get re-admission in the university.

Apart from studies if we talk about lifestyle, the life there is easy in every aspect, be it travelling, food, environment and people are welcoming as well. There is no racism whatsoever. Moreover they respect women a lot, travelling is safe, there is no misbehaving or Eve teasing of any sorts. There are so many beautiful places to visit and a new culture to learn. It’s the best place to study and chill altogether.

But, nightmare is not being in Russia instead its the FMGE (Foriegn Medical Graduate Examination) after completing your graduation. Our seniors, who were not able to clear the exam “actually the loser ones”, started intimidating us with the fear of not being able to clear the FMGE in the first attempt, telling us that it’s very hard no matter how much you study, you will eventually fail and a lot more of such crap. And actually if we look at the brighter side it’s kind of a push to study harder there in order to clear the exam as soon as possible.

In short, the take home message is that, one should only think about going to Russia or any other foreign country as a matter of fact, only and only if you really want to be a doctor because clearing the exam is not that tough if a student has studied well during his/her college years but that being said, it’s not a piece of cake either. I myself have seen students struggling hard and for years, just to clear the exam but none of it matters if you lack the dedication. Luckily, I was able to clear that exam in my first attempt, and thus very clearly understand the importance of being a hardworking student in order to make it.


~ Your friendly doctor