Featured Doctor


Spain / Russia - Fons Sips Achievement award winner

Elena Klusova was winner of the Fons Sips Achievement Award announced at the recent WONCA Europe conference in Bratislava. She was born in Moscow, Russia and passed through 23 countries, finally settling in Spain - now on the island of Ibiza, Balearic Islands. She was interviewed by Pere Vilanova, Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (semFYC) - Periodismo y comunicación

What can you tell us about your involvement with the Vasco da Gama Movement?
My relationship with the movement of Young Family Physicians of the Vasco da Gama Movement, began in 2014. Ignacio Borque, the Spanish regional coordinator, published the Madrid Exchange proposal, in which Residents were asked to welcome foreign doctors. The goal was to introduce the international community of GPs to the lives of local doctors. This was my first contact, then I attended the second Balearic Meeting and I completely fell in love with Vasco da Gama Movement, the open hearts of the people and their willingness to give.

Now, five years later you are collecting the Fons Sips Achievement Award..
I think it is a bit of a symbolic prize, and there are so many people who deserve to win it before me! The beauty of this kind of recognition is that it comes directly from my colleagues, and that they have chosen me because they think I’m a sincere and honest person. That is very exciting.

Your speech at the closing ceremony of the WONCA Europe conference received a standing ovation!
I wanted to emphasise that when you come from another country, in my case from an ex-Soviet country, everything is more difficult. Also, I think that being a woman makes you professionally ending up running into this glass ceiling, with which they want you to stop improving. As a family doctor and as a woman, I’ve touched this glass ceiling with my own hands.

Soon you will not be a “Young Doctor”. What next?
Interesting question ... I would like to continue my work within the WONCA organisation. I have a lot of energy and a lot of interest and curiosity for everything that surrounds me. I'm going to seek how to get involved in all kinds of projects, also on a creative perspective. I'm also thinking about a PhD.

Do you have any special message for Young Family Doctors?
I have many things to say! The first, as one who is passionate about the Vasco da Gama Movement, I am concerned that many use it as a travel agency. I think it's good not to stay on the surface of the movement, but to get involved, because there are many people dedicating many hours of their free time to make everything perfect. I find it so exciting to be able to get involved in research, workshops, intellectual exchange ... and both WONCA and VdGM offer you the whole world, and they do it for free!

The second thought is that a global revolution is necessary. All the colleagues that I know are exhausted with the disproportion of health care and patients they have to deal with. Professional stress is economically imprudent, humanly irresponsible and ethically unbearable. Our politicians have to rely more on health professionals, how can there be non-medical health ministers? Family doctors can bring health to politics.