I completed PGY2 in neurosurgery at Kazan State Medical University in Kazan, Russia a year and a half ago. I am now a resident in one of the oldest hospitals in Spain. The first year here consists of rotations in different related neuro-specialties. Currently I am in the radiology department studying brain and spine imaging. One attribute of medical education in Spain is that all residents are actively involved in formation of the treatment process. My working days (and nights on duty) are strikingly different from those I had in Russia, and I am gaining both knowledge and self confidence. We all moved here together: my wife Dinara, our daughter Aida and myself. Dinara is preparing for her residency exam right now, which she will take in one month. Meanwhile Aida began kindergarten. We are waiting for her to become truly bilingual soon.
It is hard to explain, but my six-week participation in the global health program in Uganda truly changed my life. The tremendous experience in internal medicine, infectious diseases, and the biostatistics helped me not only pass the entrance examination to the residency program I am currently in, but furthermore – to dare to try it. My time in the neurosurgery department in Mulago Hospital only strengthened my desire to continue my path in neurosurgery and global health. Neurosurgery is one of the most needed specialties in the developing world, and by becoming a specialist, I may be able to help.