NSU Conducts VI International Medical Tournament

Novosibirsk State University conducted the only international medical tournament of its kind for the sixth time. This year, 24 student teams participated from Russia, Germany, Austria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. There were 13 Russian-language and 11 English-language teams. The finals were held April 19 to April 22. Overall, 122 medical students participated in the tournament.

The Medical Tournament Project was created by Elizaveta Pustovoit, Veronika Markina, and Anton Khodakov when they were students at the NSU V. Zelman Institute of Medicine and Psychology. They presented their idea at the Vladmir Potanin Summer School in 2013. It subsequently received support from the V. Potanin Foundation and the 2018 Medical Tournament Project (MeDic House) was implemented with the support of the Presidential Grants Foundation.

Every year the tournament expands its geographical boundaries and increases the number of participants and experts from different countries. Currently, it is the only medical tournament that takes place in the format of a team competition to solve complex clinical cases from medical doctor’s practices.

Vladimir Pustylnyak, Deputy Director of the NSU V. Zelman Institute of Medicine and Psychology talked about the event,

These activities bring together an international student community engaged in solving complex professional case studies for several days and greatly expands opportunities for students. Each participating team has its own motivation for doing so, for some it is an opportunity to increase their skills, while others come to win.

Traditionally, the tournament takes place in two stages, distance and the finals that take place in Novosibirsk. This year, 69 applications were submitted from 30 cities in Russia, Germany, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, and Egypt. Representatives from the last two countries were taking part for the first time. Also, “veteran” teams from universities such as Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, University of Belgrade, Novosibirsk State University, and I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University returned for another year.

Mikhail Fedoruk, NSU Rector, spoke at the opening of the Tournament,

I am very glad that every year there are more and more of you and that this event, which is organized by our students, is expanding its geographical boundaries. I wish you a good time in Akademgorodok, lots of positive impressions and experiences, and, of course, I wish you success.


The implementation of this Project helps future doctors go beyond the “book” of clinical thinking. They learn how to assemble a diagnosis in small pieces from symptoms, test results, and examination methods. They must also find a way out of unusual clinical situations by taking into account different approaches in international medical practice.

Natalya Timirtdinova, a 6th year student at the NSU V. Zelman Institute of Medicine and Psychology described her experiences,

When I participated for the first time, I had a lot of new sensations because it was necessary to not only demonstrate my knowledge, but also to learn to argue with my competitors and defend my decisions. This is a great experience for both the students and the doctors, so I decided to participate again. It is great that students are involved in organizing the tournament. It is not easy to attract so many participants, develop the tasks, invite the experts, and I think our colleagues did a fine job.

The latest trends in world health are important at the NSU Medical Tournament. This includes the development of multidisciplinary teams in which specialists from different spheres come together to treat one patient. Today, because of the huge flow of information, it is becoming more and more difficult to be a professional in a single, narrow field. The more medicine develops, the more important it is to be able to work in a team with other specialists who have different approaches and visions.

As part of the tournament, participants had to solve problems from various fields of medical science: dermatovenerology, therapy, surgery, gynecology, intensive care, and others. In addition, an interdisciplinary approach was required even in the individual tasks. For example, participants needed to diagnose a 36-year-old patient with itchy legs, anxiety, headaches, and muscle pain. For two days, the teams had to deal with clinical practice cases that had previously been addressed by professional doctors.

Students also took part in a popular science quest. Here, they had to demonstrate their knowledge of clinical disciplines and apply their practical skills. In addition, they were divided into new groups so they could learn how to work in a team with people they did not know.

Alvirt Sharifullin, a 6th year student in the Pediatric Department at the Surgut State University Medical Institute talked about the Tournament,

All the tasks were very interesting, even the most difficult. This was the first time I have participated in this type of event. It was a very valuable experience for me to find out what I can do in unusual conditions and surrounded by new people. I would be happy to participate in the future, it is too early for me to be an expert since I need to have more knowledge in all areas of medicine and extensive experience as a practicing doctor.

The Project is also designed to foster international contacts among students and universities and promote the dissemination of medical knowledge throughout the world.

Konstantin Röhm, Pediatrician at the Albert Ludwig University Hospital in Freiburg and Medical Tournament expert, explained his history with the Project,

I first visited the Tournament five years ago as a participant. As a student from Germany, it was a very interesting experience. I was not only able to get acquainted with Russian culture, but I also became interested in Akademgorodok. In my opinion, a medical tournament is a very useful event for students because they can experience practical training, work on real clinical tasks, train to make diagnoses, defend their point of view, and work on complex problem solving. It would be accurate to say this is comprehensive immersion in the world of medicine. It is also important that intercultural exchange take place between the participants. This allows everyone to look at the world from different points of view.

Competition results for the Russian-language League were first place to the “Line of Life” team from the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, second place to the "The Brain of Cancer" team from E. A. Wagner Perm State Medical University, and third place to the “Have an Idea!” team from Novosibirsk State University. In the English- language League, students in the first and second places were from Germany: the “Freecastle Med Team” from Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg and the “English Berlin” team from Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Third place went to the “Kurluky” team from the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University.