A total of 543 specialists have received Moscow Doctor status. To learn why medical professionals have to demonstrate their professional skills, how the new status changes their work and what their patients think about it, read this mos.ru interviews with several Moscow doctors.
Tatyana Safronova: The modern world is changing rapidly
Head of the endocrinology department at City Clinic No. 22, endocrinology specialist for the Southwestern Administrative Area
I come from a family of doctors, I am a third-generation doctor. My grandparents, mother and aunt were doctors as well. My cousin and me chose to be doctors because our family would often discuss various medical issues and cases. It fascinated me, and we wanted to see how it went. Today, I am an endocrinologist, and my sister cousin is a gynaecologist in Novorossiysk.
I started working at the clinic in 1995, and kept working as an endocrinologist up to 2008, when I was promoted to head of the department and the district endocrinologist. Despite the increased amount of administrative work, I take great pleasure in seeing patients regularly.
Receiving the Moscow Doctor title gives you a fresh start in your career. There is a certain amount of self-affirmation, too. You have to take a lot of time to prepare for the exams: review every topic, go through the new ones in depth (this includes clinical studies and case studies as well as monographs). This part is important for me, because knowing this information allows me to feel more confident at work on a daily basis. Moreover, the modern world is developing quickly. This preparation allowed me to fill in the blanks and learn new things.
The first exam was a test. In my opinion, the questions were rather complex and hard. They concerned every single discipline in endocrinology. Some even concerned various genetic syndromes, for instance - those are pretty rare, but you have to know about them, too. The next stages included practical exercises and solving clinical cases - those were a bit easier because we see them every day with patients.
After completing all stages of testing, I instantly felt more confident and satisfied with the work I had done. I felt this way even before I was officially granted the status. The financial incentive was also important and pleasant, but the feeling that you managed to pass the test and confirm the quality of your professional knowledge is probably more valuable.
Not every patient knows exactly what Moscow Doctor status is, they are used to other titles like head of the department or board certified doctor. But now this information is spreading fast among patients, and also Moscow Doctor status has become an honorary title in the medical community.
Healthcare in Moscow is changing, I can see it. I like the new electronic medical records and the convenient IMIAS (Integrated Medical Information and Analytical System), which allow us to schedule patients or refer them to other medical institutions, learn about previous examinations and check our colleagues’ schedules. All these things improve patient care.
I also like the introduction of head institutions with all the modern medical equipment. Now the exams that could only be held on an inpatient basis can be carried out on an outpatient basis as well.
Maria Volkova: More respect, trust and attention to my recommendations
Paediatric surgeon at City Children’s Clinic No. 131
I was raised in a family of doctors. I would always listen to my mother and father’s stories about their patients and their studying at a medical university while growing up. While still in middle school, I realised that I wanted to help people as well - plus, I decided to specialise in children. Upon graduating, I got into the Russian National Research Medical University to specialise in paediatrics. I have been working as a doctor since 2007.
I learned about Moscow Doctor status from our administrators, they suggested I participate. After finding out more about it, I became interested; I wanted to test my abilities and professional knowledge and prove myself to be well educated in my profession. I was anxious to take the exams as I didn’t want to fail in any way. The most exciting stage must have been the second one, which included the practical exercises. To prepare for this, I had to revise a lot as well as perfect some skills.
The interview with the examination committee was heart-pounding, too - there, you meet the same experts you see participating in various conferences and congresses. As far as the financial incentives for Moscow Doctor title holders are concerned, they came as a pleasant surprise to me when I was still preparing for the exams.
Moscow Doctor status was granted to me in November. This, without a doubt, cheered me up: the fact that I passed this exam set proved that my skills were in line with my professional requirements. My parents commended the results too; perhaps, they are now more proud of me. It felt great to be congratulated by my colleagues, too. But when it comes to work, there haven’t been any serious changes, really. People continue seeking my advice, entrusting me with their children’s health as usual. I try my best to do everything I can to help them. Many people wonder what Moscow Doctor means upon finding out that I was granted this status. Perhaps, their knowing what it means commands more respect, trust and attention for my recommendations.
The introduction of IMIAS was the most significant change in Moscow’s healthcare system. At first, it was difficult to integrate yourself into the system, switch to an electronic medical record, but now I’m very glad that the visits are scheduled, so that one can pay as much attention to the patient as possible. I prefer to see my patients at scheduled times only - this is far more convenient than visits on a first come, first served basis.
Electronic medical records allow me to stay more informed than ever - now I can see every doctor the patient has ever been to, see every prescription, and, thus, adjust my own recommendations accordingly.
Yelena Semenenko: Pulled through and made it
District paediatrician at City Children’s Clinic No. 133
Our chief medical officer always informs us about the latest innovations and news in healthcare; she was the one to suggest that we take the exams to receive Moscow Doctor status. I hesitated for a long time, but eventually joined my colleagues. Upon learning the participation rules, I started preparing.
While preparing for the first stage, which is the test, I reviewed a lot of material to brush up on what I had forgotten. By the way, the exam included questions not only from my medical field, which is paediatrics, but also on related fields, like healthcare organisation, for instance. In general, I managed to improve my knowledge.
The second and the third stages were the most difficult for me. During the second stage, we were to showcase our practical skills and the ability to work under pressure by conducting CPR. We had to clearly and competently plan our actions and come up with an action plan. I am lucky to have never encountered a situation like this in real life, but prior to the exam, we attended classes at Moscow’s simulation centres, where everything was shown and taught to us.
The third stage includes three tasks, one hour for preparation and eight commission members sitting at a table. You never know what kind of question you will get from them. It was a stressful environment, but somehow, I pulled through and made it.
Moscow Doctor status is a great honour. Everyone working at our clinic - and it’s very large - learned about me.
Healthcare in Moscow has recently been changing for the better. For the convenience of both patients and doctors, the city introduced IMIAS. This system allows you to quickly schedule a doctor’s appointment - to the day, even.
The Moscow Doctor programme was launched on 1 September, 2017. All certified and accredited doctors with least five years of experience in their respective fields are eligible for the title. The exams are held free of charge, and participation is voluntary. Moscow Doctor status is granted for five years after which it expires unless the doctors pass the exams again. Today, the programme encompasses a total of 25 medical fields.
Moscow Doctor title holders employed in Moscow’s healthcare system receive incentive payments of 15,000 roubles in addition to their monthly salaries. Those specialising in several medical fields can be granted this status in every area of practice and they are eligible to receive incentive payments for each of them.