Medical education in Russia usually lasts 6 years for an undergraduate MD or MBBS. The curriculum for the first two years is the same at all Faculties. It includes preclinical and fundamental medical sciences that are the essential basis for any medical specialty. Medical specialization starts at the third year of studies; the curriculum includes propedeutics, biochemistry and pathology (pathological anatomy and pathological physiology) clinical and special subjects, depending on the orientation.
The principal feature of medical education in Russia for both the Faculties of curative medicine and pediatrics is the introduction of a new approach to the training of internists and pediatricians that implies a two-year continuing primary specialization, one year while at the institution and the other year after graduation. The nature of medical education in russia and its curriculum at these Faculties is designed to cover all the general medical education within five years.
During the third, fourth, and fifth years, students perform clinical work as nurses, feldshers, and clinical assistants. In the sixth year, medical students take their primary specialization in one of the following clinical subjects: Faculty of Curative Medicine (surgery, obstetrics, and gynecology) of Faculty of Pediatrics (pediatrics, including child infectious diseases, and pediatric surgery, including orthopedics). Sub specialization in clinical areas is not an option during the undergraduate program, as profound knowledge of the main clinical subjects is believed to be fundamental for adequate training of doctors.
After 6 years of medical education in Russia, students pass a state examination according to the curriculum, obtain a Doctor’s Diploma, and complete a one year internship in medical units under the supervision of specialists. Instruction in ophthalmology, otolaryngology, dietology, climatotherapy, endocrinology, clinical biochemistry, physiotherapy, and such aspects of surgery as oncology and neurosurgery is provided by the appropriate departments.
The instructional methodology in Russian medical schools includes lectures by the leading specialists and regular practical classes throughout the course of studies.
Training programs at medical schools in Russia are adjusted to the needs of population in accordance with health priorities. Thus, when in the 1950s the non-communicable diseases became a real health problem; these subjects were strengthened and introduced more widely into curricula. When the role of primary health care became more evident in the 1970s, medical education in Russia became adapted to this target-problem.
In Russian medical schools following the annual examinations at the end of the fourth and fifth years, senior students of all Faculties usually spend the breaks between semesters in professional training. Students are taught to use their knowledge, develop their professional skills, master up-to-date methods of diagnostics and treatment, and become familiar with all other work they will do in the future. It should be emphasized that at least 25 percent of the time within the training program of all specialties is devoted to practice at the primary health care level.
Finally after completion of medical education in Russia, students must pass state examinations in general and special medical subjects (depending on the orientation of a particular Faculty) to receive a diploma as physician of general medicine at the Faculty of Curative Medicine (VRAC), as pediatrician at the Faculty of Pediatrics, as sanitary officer at the Faculty of Hygiene, as stomatologist at the Faculty of Stomatology, or as pharmacist at the pharmaceutical institution or faculty.
Annually, about 60,000 students graduate from Russian medical schools. – Professor Felix Vartanian, MD Vice-rector of Russian Academy for Advanced Medical Studies December 2008