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To Russia for a medical degree

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A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE: Students at the Ryazan State Medical Academy.
A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE: Students at the Ryazan State Medical Academy.

K. RAMACHANDRAN

Nine major medical schools/universities in Russian Federation are attracting Indian students by offering internationally recognised and quality medical education. That too in English medium. But foreign students need to learn Russian language because that's the language they need to use for interacting with patients during the six-year MD/MBBS course in Russia. The author, who visited Russia, takes a look at some of the offerings in medical education in Russia.

Studying overseas is a big decision. When, where and what to study?How much would it cost? As fee or living expenses? How do I manage the food, lifestyle, culture and living accommodation, the language... ?All these are primary questions that crop up in a student's mind.But if you are one who can get along with a reasonable measure of all these, and if you are cost- conscious, perhaps Russia is a good alternative, especially for medical education.Why study in Russia?Russian universities and academies, traditionally have occupied a leading position and they find a place in the WHO's `Director of Medical Schools'. This listing makes a graduate from such universities eligible to appear for many screening tests such as US MLE and PLAB, and also the newly introduced `screening examination', conducted by the National Board of Examinations, India, under the supervision of the Medical Council of India.Indian students have the option to study in English medium. But then, you need to have a good knowledge of Russian to work with local patients as part of clinical work in the academics.If one goes by the version of academics at the People's Friendship University in Moscow, there was a time when great Indian doctors emerged from Russia. The quality of learners has come down over the yeas, they note, a fact which their teachers in a few other medical schools in Russia concur with.Some of the reputed universities in Russia are: Ryazan State I.P. Pavlov Medical University, Ryazan, St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical Academy, St. Petersburg, Saratov State Medical University, Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy, People's Friendship University, Moscow, St. Petersburg State I.P. Pavlov Medical University, St. Petersburg, and Dagestan State Medical Academy.But the list is bigger. Academic year in Russia begins on September 1 and there are two semesters: September - January, and February - June (examinations in January and June). The MBBS is a six-year course for English medium students, but those who want to study in Russian medium have to undergo a one-year preparatory course (8 - 10 months long) to learn the language.

Eligibility

Any student with a higher secondary school completion certificate with 50 per cent marks in Physics, Biology and Chemistry, with sound health and able to cover tuition fee of $1,800 - 3,500 a year, living costs of $300 a month and life insurance fee of $200 a year, besides about $120 a month as food expenses can study in Russia's State universities.Avbakar Nutsalov, General Director of RACUS, (a centre for university services), who is involved in bringing foreign students to 21 big universities and academies in Russia, says that Indians get a maximum quota of 730 seats in the nine major medical schools, including for postgraduate courses."But it is possible to get a high quality medical education from a variety of schools which you can afford to study in. But the same recognised degree-diplomas are given everywhere in Russia. Keep in mind that even a small town can be a good education centre because the government allocates more money for the backward regions," Mr. Nutsalov notes.RACUS (www.racus.ru) helps students by visiting different countries, offers consultancy to assist the student in choosing an institution, processes entry documents for entry/study in Russia, organises students' arrival, receives students arriving newly in the airport, enrols them in colleges and hostels, helps in opening bank accounts and telephone, briefs them about the stay and culture of Russia, monitors the students' progress and helps in resolving problems in the universities.International learners, who enter higher education establishments in Russia through RACUS are admitted without an entrance examination. The period of application acceptance at Russian universities starts on April 15. Along with their applications, students should present their educational documents and copy of passport.In India, RACUS operates through the International Foundation for Studies and Culture, working from the Russian cultural centre in Mumbai (www.beadoctor.com or email: info@beadoctor.com - Telephone: 022-23523212 / 23513005).

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