Ruzanna TevanyanArmenia - Ukraine - Russia - Vogtland. A journey for medicine.

The 38-year-old doctor from Armenia dreams of having her own practice, even in the Vogtland region perhaps. She is working hard to reach her goal.

Ruzanna Tevanyan sits at her desk with a stethoscope around her neck, laughs in a friendly manner and forgets the normal hospital stress that she encounters all around her. The junior doctor works on ward 2, which specialises in internal medicine at the Obergöltzsch Clinic and she loves being able to help patients with her specialist knowledge. She has already taken on a great deal to get this far.

The native of Armenia migrated to Ukraine with her family in the mid-1990s and, having finished her school education, completed her medical studies. She then spent several years in St. Petersburg and set up her own family. Her wish for professional and specialist training brought her to Germany and directly to the Vogtland region. A vacancy at the Clinic for Occupational Sicknesses in Falkenstein caught her eye in 2013 and she was appointed after having attended an interview. She was immediately thrilled by the clinic and the rehabilitation measures that help patients with work-related sicknesses.

“The health system in Germany is so much better than in Russia or even in my home country. It would be a dream for people there if all the needy patients were treated in the same way as here.”

She started her training to become a general practitioner one year ago with the aim of working in a practice or even opening her own. That now means another five years for her – during which the 38-year-old mother needs to gain practical experience – two of them in a practice and three in a clinic – in her case, at the Vogtland Rural District’s own Obergöltzsch Clinic in Rodewisch. She is only allowed to take her specialist examinations organised by the General Medical Council after this.

“The doctors here are really very competent and the team’s friendly. But the stress of a hospital isn’t always easy and I wouldn’t want to stay here forever.”

She still dreams of having her own practice. She will continue the second part of her training to become a general practitioner in Treuen. A GP, Dr med Thomas Dette, took her under his wing a year ago and is supporting her in her training.

The chances of being able to open a practice in the Vogtland region or take over a practice from a colleague who is retiring are not bad for her – once she has completed her specialist examinations.

“We really like it here. When we arrived in the Vogtland area for the first time, we loved the natural surroundings. But I had a few problems with the Vogtland dialect at the start,”

says the junior doctor, laughing, although she speaks fluent German. She then emphasises how important communications are between doctors and their patients, particularly when dealing with symptoms or the results of tests. However, she is particularly disappointed by people who question her specialist and human skills simply because of her background.

“Fortunately, this happens rarely. The people here are very direct, but once you get to know them, the natives of the Vogtland region are very friendly and open people. We feel very much at home here.”

She currently lives in Falkenstein with her husband and their 12-year-old son.

But does she still feel homesick at times? “Yes,” she admits. “Armenia is my home and I sometimes go back there during the holidays to enjoy the warmth and the sun, which I miss a bit in the Vogtland region,” she confesses. She has not made any final plans to remain in the Vogtland region, but she has not ruled it out either.