Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Personal view

Learning from the Russians

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 27 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:267
  1. Belinda Hirsh (, unemployed senior house officer
  1. Borehamwood, Hertfordshire

    Liz sneezed again and Alexandr's worried countenance became almost panicky. He summoned his secretary into the office who, in response to a few barked commands, adopted the same anxious look and hurriedly ushered Liz out of the room. It was our first full day in Russia and we did not want to appear rude or lacking in diplomacy, but we were worried by the apparent abduction of our colleague. The interpreter laughed and explained to us that Liz had been taken downstairs to the “salt cave” for treatment of her cold.

    We had been sent from the United Kingdom to conduct a review of the Podmoskovny Lyceum, a charity-funded boarding school near Moscow. The lyceum provides top quality care, education, and accommodation free of charge for a specially selected group of children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, have been victims of terrorism, have lived in areas of conflict, or whose parents serve in the Russian Border Guards in remote corners of the country. The …

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