Young Russian Women Doctors and Their Foreign Husbands

By Marina Smiley

When foreign men search through the Internet and see many of the young Russian ladies they are often surprised how many of these young ladies have a higher education. Of a great interest to these men are the number of young women, 23 to 25 years of age who put there education and profession of that of a doctor. Many of the men have a hard time believing this and keep asking the same questions regarding being a doctor, over and over again.

Perhaps, even you have asked the same question: Is it possible for these young women to be a doctor?

Yes, guys, it is possible and I want to explain a little bit about the educational system in Russia. Believe me, I know what I am talking about because I graduated from the university myself, with major in medicine, in Russia. Donít expect a detailed report in this short article, as it is not my goal today but rather a short and general picture.

In Russia, students usually finish middle school, which is equivalent to American high schools, when they are 17 years old.

Those, who wish to become doctors, go to medical University immediately. They finish middle school in June and by August have pass the entrance exam to the university. In September they begin their first year as students of the medical university. Each medical University has a strict program. And students can not choose their own schedule or classes. They have to go to the University EVERY day for 6 years. Classes begin a 8.00 A..M and continue on till 5.00 P.M. every day except Sundays. Of course after school they have a great deal of homework.

They have very short vacation after New Year for 10-14 days and about one month in the summer. June is a completely busy month because of final exams at the end of each year and in July they have internships in the hospitals. This practice continues until the middle of August and a new school year begins again in September. As in the previous year, there are no choices of classes. The curriculum is defined by the school.

There is literally no missing of classes whether for illness or any other reason. If a student is ill, they must make up for the missed classes and prove to the teacher that they know the material.

If a young woman gets married and then pregnant, she has an opportunity to miss one year of her studies and then return to the same level which she missed. It is call "academic vacation".

Very often a pregnant woman will choose another alternative, that of continuing on in classes, uninterrupted until the birth of the baby. Women who chose not to miss a year by taking the "academic vacation" do so without any special considerations given to them. They donít want to miss a year and continue going to school as other students. They will be treated as all the other students are and will attend University every day. When it comes to deliver the baby, these women miss about three to five days of school and then return to classes.

The academic pace is very difficult, the courses are very stringent and the hours that need to be devoted to study are very lengthy. The first three years of study have a great deal of attrition. More than a third of the students who enter the first year, drop out by the third year. Virtual all who remain will go on to finish their studies.

Beginning in the third year students study clinical disciplines such as surgery, therapies, opthamology, gynecology and others. Their lessons are conducted not only in school but at special hospitals as well. These hospitals have special auditoriums where the students can study the theoretical part of their curriculum and after classes get to see patients and obtain practical skills. This has nothing to do with the summer internships, which they still must attend from June through the middle of August. After six years of university level classes these student are required to take and pass a government exam. Upon successful completion of the government exam, they are ready to take up residency to continue on being a medical doctor. So, lets do the math. A young woman enters the university system at 17 and spends six years till graduation. That makes her 23 when she gets her medical degree to be called a doctor. That does not mean she has finished her education because she still has to take up residency in a hospital and is still under supervision.

It is not that much different in American system. A young woman graduates high school at 18 and enters a four year university. After that she has three more years of medical school. If all is well, she graduates with her medical degree.

Letís see, enters college at 18 plus 4 years of university and 3 years of medical school. This young women will be 25 when she becomes a resident at a hospital.

In reality there is only one year difference between a young Russian girl and a American girl.

Russian doctors seem to have a heart from gold. Doctors in Russia work very hard and earn very little money and often times work for months before they are paid by the government. But their devotion to their profession is one of being commendable. Their concerns for their patients far out ways their concern for money. Because of this low pay, these women doctors who have placed their name on the Internet are very surprised when a foreign man pays a great deal of attention to the fact that they are doctors.

But in the western world the opposite holds true and if you married a Russian woman who happens to be a doctor, she will be surprised and shocked when she sees how much respect and attention is paid to western medicine. She will even be more astounded to learn the type of life style a western doctor has compared to those of the former Soviet Union.

So, what type of family situation can you expect when you marry a Russian doctor? I want to discuss a few common situations that can occur. I personal know about them, because I know a lot of the Russian doctors thru my own website for immigrants.

1. Woman who have decided to pass the exams and practice medicine in USA.

She has a very supportive husband who respects her wishes and encourages her to study for the one to two years it may take before she can take her board exams He is the type of man who fully supports the family, paying for all the expenses his wife will incur to complete her studies. He is also willing to relocate if his wife needs to set up hospital residency in another state knowing that he will see his wife very little as she spends 12 to 16 hours a day in the hospital.

The number of men willing to go to this length for his wife: a very small percentage

2. Women want to study and pass the exams but is prevented from doing so because of family situations:

Unfortunately, the family unit cannot survive without a two income household. Because she has not had her education recognized by the authorities where she lives, the only jobs available to her are low paying, entry type jobs. This does not allow her the time or the means to get the continuing education she would need to apply for a medical license.

The percentage of women in this position is very large,

3. The husband doesnít want his wife to work at all.

He doesnít care that she is a doctor. He just want a women with "old family values" who will stay at home to cook clean and be a "wife".The chances of finding and keeping this kind of woman is very slim but he may just be lucky enough to find such a woman who is willing to give up her life long profession and trade it in for a apron and title of housewife..

The percentage of women in this category; very small!

4. Women who are content with the situation:

There are many woman in a similar position as number 2 above but are still able to get some education. These woman usually try to find work in the medical field although the income is low. They have given up on being a doctor but still want to work in the medical field and take the low paying jobs that are offered.

Percentage of women in this category is also large.

5. Alternatives to Medicine

Even though the understand the prestige of being a doctor in the western world as compared to Russia, they desire to pursue other avenues and leave their medical degree behind.

Marina Smiley is the author of some of the most popular eBooks about Russian Western marriages: Sex and Love With Russian Women and Your Russian Bride - The Shocking Truth.


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