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April 17, 1992 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-04-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

our house needs to be cleaned.

gible for a formal American
medical training program.
"It's the same for any
physician from a loreign
country, excluding Canada,"
said Dr. Robert E. Bloom,
internist and director of a
new externship program for
Soviet Jewish doctors at
Sinai Hospital. "We can't
help them pass the exams or
get their papers in order, but
we can expedite their train-
ing once they've proved their
eligibility."
Because of a special grant,
Dr. Feinstein and seven
other Soviet doctors rotated
through a special, four-
month externship that in-
troduced them to the Ameri-
can medical system and
brought them up to date on
the latest in medical
technology and phar-
macological techniques.
The grant, made possible
by Mrs. Nedra Kapetansky
of West Bloomfield, was es-
tablished in November in
memory of her late husband,
Donald, a former staff physi-

"The goal is to get
Soviet doctors up
to snuff."

Dr. Robert E. Bloom

cian at Sinai, and in memory
of their son, Robert, who
died recently in a boating
accident.
"Mrs. Kapetansky wanted
the money to go to establish
Soviet Jewish doctors," said
Pola Friedman, Sinai cor-
porate director of public and
community relations. "This
kind of grant fits perfectly
with Sinai's ethic of Jewish
physicians helping other
Jewish physicians."
Sinai has a history of
training foreign externs, ex-
plained Dr. Bloom. However,
this externship program is
the first to accept trainees
who haven't already been
accepted into a residency
program.
"The goal is to get the
Soviet doctors up to snuff,
and then they can go on with
us or continue on with a diff-
erent program at another
hospital," Dr. Bloom said.
Externs function as fourth-
year medical students and
are under constant supervi-
sion, Dr. Bloom said. At the
end of their rotation, they
become eligible for an
American residency pro-
gram. State law requires at
least two years' post-
graduate work before ob-
taining a permanent
medical license.
Dr. Feinstein, who spoke

no English when she came to
Detroit two years ago,
begins a residency program
in internal medicine at Sinai
this June.
"I was in medical school
for six years plus a year of
internship,". said Dr. Feins-
tien, who practiced medicine
for four years in the
Ukraine. "I knew it would
be hard to retrain in
America, but not this
difficult. But I was deter-
mined to become a doctor in
the United States."
After moving to Detroit,
Dr. Feinstein studied 10
hours a day for eight months
at a Stanley H. Kaplan Edu-
cation Center, while her
husband, a Soviet engineer,
looked after relatives, the
house, and their 6-year-old
son.
Dr. Feinstein passed all
three parts of the exam on
the first try.
"Laina is one of the most
motivated people I've ever
known," said Dr. Bloom.
Dr. Feinstein admitted
that, in the beginning, she
resented having to meet new
requirements.
"That was because I didn't
realize how far behind the
American system the Soviet
system was," she said. "It
wasn't that we weren't good
doctors or that we didn't
know medicine, it was that
we didn't have the same
tools, drugs and methods of
diagnosis that the West had.
We were so cut off, we didn't
think anybody else had them
either."
Dr. Bloom said this lack of
technology is common
among physicians from
Eastern Bloc countries.
"The majority of doctors
from the behind the old Iron
Curtain never saw a CAT
Scan (Computerized Axial
Tomography) nor ever saw
or used an MRI (Magnetic
Resonance Imaging)," he
said. "They're not familiar
with Western dosages of
medicines and only know of
about 10 antibiotics. Ameri-
can doctors work with about
70 antibiotics.'!
Dr. Feinstein said the
Soviet system of medicine is
first about the Soviet system
and last about the Soviet pa-
tient.
"I'm much more confident
now; I know I benefitted
from the retraining,' she
said. "There were some
diseases I never heard of."
"In Russia, we practiced
good medicine with the tools
that were available," she
said. "What we needed was
to be taught how to fit the
new technology and terms
into what we already
know." ❑

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

15

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