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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Medical Center Has a Family Focus

A Western-style medical center focusing exclusively on family medicine opened its doors Monday within the Meditsina clinic, just north of the Garden Ring.

The Russian-American Family Medicine Center, managed by Russian State Medical University and the University of Iowa, aims to provide comprehensive health care to Moscow patients, while providing training opportunities to Russian and American doctors, the founders said.

Meditsina president Grigory Roitberg said the center was targeting foreigners. The center's entire staff speaks English, he said.

Three Russian specialists in family medicine and one rotating physician from the University of Iowa will see patients. Nine Iowa practioners and UI medical students have already been selected for short stints at the center during the next year.

Richard Dobyns, assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Iowa, who will be seeing patients at the center for a few months, said the center would be the first private practice in Russia that focuses exclusively on family medicine.

"They don't have the concept of family medicine in Moscow," Dobyns said. "Soviet medicine and American medicine did pretty much the same thing at the same time f they got rid of all the general practice people, and they trained only specialists. And in our country, the people didn't like that. In 1970, we started training general doctors again. ? Now 30 years later, we're trying to do the same thing in Russia."

A family doctor, the center's physicians said, focuses on the person as a whole, rather than a particular type of disease, seeks to understand the context of an illness and to maintain communication with patients.

A consultation with one of the center's doctors ranges from $45 to $95. A visit to the American Medical Center, which Dobyns said was one of its principal competitors, costs $225 for non-members.