9-Doctor Exam - what really happens
We'd like to find out more regarding the nine-doctor exam, to help reduce our discomfort and potential embarrassment.

Apparently, you wait in a room and medical professionals come in one-by-one to exam you according to their individual specialty.

But what really happens during the exam...

Do they...
- Simply ask you questions via your translator?
- Perform ultrasound or x-ray scans?
- Make you strip naked (in front of your translator?!)
- Do invasive (penetrating) physical exams?
- Check your body to confirm surgery scars?
- Massage your body and/or head shape to feel for anything unusual (some Russian doctors believe in physiognomy...)
- Go through a checklist to uncover anything that might have been missed in your previous medical report (the one signed off by your family doctor)?

Thanks very much.
Welcome!

I know the 8 doctor exam (Is it 9 now? It was 8 when I did it.) sounds scary. It is in place because in Russia there are no gp's. Every doctor is a specialist.

Like everything, experiences vary. Mine was very cursory.

There are some great stories here about the exam...I hope they'll get shared. If not, search through old threads.

(I've never heard of anything invasive. I have heard of both men and women having to remove their tops. Some people stay in one room and the doctors come in. Some people go to different doctor's offices--in the same complex. I've heard about people getting x-rays. I've heard about a brief psych exam. I've never heard about being massaged or a physiognomy exam. Really it sounds much worse than it is.)
Thank you, K8C and VoteMom....

VoteMom, thanks especially for the detailed information. It doesn't sound very much like a Western medicine-based exam.

I'll search the forum for more -- I earlier used the search phrase "nine-doctor," but now realize I should have used "eight-doctor." I'll try that.

Other Forum Participants, please share your experiences as well; perhaps we'll find some commonalities in the exams.
Yep. That was one of the stories I was thinking about. Wink
Can I just say - WTF???

I guess I haven't heard about this part yet. JEEZ!!
@Votemom - Dang, girl, sounds like you needed the vodka!!

Becky
[url=http://thisreminds.me]This Reminds Me[/url]
HAHAHAHA Votemom......Oh my Gosh! I laughed when I saw that. It must have been terrible though and I have to do the 8 doctor exam next week. But we have to bring quite a bit more money than that.

My husband and I are both in the medical field...and I can't quite figure out what the heck they would have found with that exam! Oh Geezzzzz
I would recommend you ask your adoption agency as it seems to be so region-dependent. I was concerned after some of the stuff I had read on here and so I asked my case worker. Here's her response:

"They are actually pretty benign, Families have blood work and xrays done here not in Russia, they are less invasive than a regular physical here, listen to heart, lungs, look at your skin. One region requires an incountry psych val as part of the medical, but families do first here and then we send to rep to review to make sure it is answered correctly and because of translation issues, and then most everyone fails it anyway. I have never had anyone tell me it was invasive, or offensive in anyway."
The Russian government and Russian adoption and medical professionals are very concerned about the fact that alcoholism is rampant in the country. It causes all sorts of social problems, one of the most significant being the abuse and neglect of children by parents and other relatives. Many kids in Russian orphanages are there because they were removed from alcoholic parents.

The Russian government worries so much about the scourge of alcoholism that it will deny some Americans the right to adopt because they committed a stupid alcohol-related infraction of the law when they were still in their teens, even though they've lived a sober life for 20 years thereafter. The government worries that American adoptive parents may kill their Russian-born kids, due to alcohol abuse, though there seems to be little evidence that the abuse cases had anything to do with parental alcoholism; mostly, they had to do with parental inability to cope with kids who had conditions such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and attachment disorders, which can cause significant brain damage.

Then we hear about exams like this one, where the doctors were paid in bottles of vodka, and did an exam that was so cursory and bizarre that one must wonder what they imbibed BEFORE seeing the adoptive family.

Something's wrong with this picture.
The kind of exam mentioned above is done in order for your translator to be able to get you through this hoop by securing the signatures needed - the doctors are not actually trying to find anything, they are going through the motions so that they can claim they carried the exam out, then they affix their authorization to the forms and receive the small bribes and any fees they agreed on in advance. The public health system in Russia and in other post-communist countries has a lot of problems, chief of which is endemic corruption that leads to these kinds of "exams." People have to pay doctors off there for anything, including conducting exams that are needed to receive a disability status. It is very sad because a lot of people cannot afford to pay for medical care and are instead left waiting. My friend's labor and delivery was "prepaid," but a woman in her ward had not done that and she was left with no care, screaming and in terrible distress, all night long until the last minute, when all the other babies had been born.
Are the children still required a medical exam in order to leave the birth country and proceed home? Our children were required this, and it was much the same type of exam. I agree the humiliation is NOT there as it is for an adult but the exam is really a non-exam. It is a token exam to fill-in blanks on a form. The doctor makes some sort of a remark like "She/He is spoiled already" You pay a fee express your gratitude and go on your way. Sorry I took this off-topic but just something to be aware of if it still is required.

Someone mentioned in an above post about moving ahead of everyone waiting. We NEVER had to wait ANYWHERE we went. We were always escorted to the front of all the government office lines. I did feel bad but we had to go with our translator/coordinator. We could tell this was not always accepted well by the people in line.
Yep. I think all the children heading to the US see the same doctor. And are told the same things. Smile
We were asked to get the exam done in Moscow instead of Kazan, because I had to undergo surgery in mid August for endometriosis, they removed my left ovary. So, the agency said best to get the exam done in Moscow. We entered the building, translator did some paperwork, came back, and we were asked if we have our blood work. Our agency did not ask us to carry it, so we did not have it. So, if you have blood work done, please DO CARRY it with you. Our blood was drawn, then we went into first office. Really nothing more than very basic questions, a lot of time we had to undress, they examined us for any obvious signs of cancer etc (like an obvious mass on body or spot on skin). We were asked if we had any surgeries, I told about mine. We carried our lung X-rays, which was needed for pulmonary exam. We were asked if we had any chronic diseases, I have hypo thyroid, so told about that. The psychiatrist asked us if we had met the child, formed a bond, and if we are ready for the responsibility. We had carried our EKGs also, which were asked for. All in all, pretty simple.
Our 8 doctor exam was almost exactly identical to Votemom's. I suspect the women facing the open window on the busy street for the 'chest' exam is intentional, either to humiliate or for some other reason (you can imagine).

I guess you just have to accept this a part of the "process"
Blood Tests?
I'm so glad I found this thread. Do all regions require a blood test to be done in Russia? My husband literally passes out or freaks when he comes within eye sight of a needle. I don't think he can have blood drawn without sedation and I really don't want it to be a suprise. Any advise?
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