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2020 Medical English Olympiad Final

SLC was delighted to be part of the recent final of the 3rd International English Language Olympiad for Medical and Pharmaceutical Students.

The Olympiad is a series of contests designed to test the English language skills of medical and pharmaceutical university students around the world, bringing them together to compete, learn and share ideas using English, the lingua franca of global healthcare. This year it was organised by three high-ranking Russian institutions, Sechenov (Moscow), Ural State (Yekaterinburg) and Krasnoyarsk State Medical Universities, together with SLC.

While hundreds entered the Olympiad, only twenty made it to the final. Originally scheduled to take place in Moscow in April, the event took place online on October 2nd with the finalists Zooming in from Russia, Poland and Slovakia.

On meeting in the morning, the finalists were divided into six groups and were given five hours to make a collaborative presentation on the theme, ‘A humanistic response to COVID-19’. The teams then co-presented their work to both an international and a Russian jury.

SLC’s Managing Director, Chris Moore, chaired the international jury, which also included internationally-renowned medical English writers Virginia Allum and Ros Wright, and Jonathan McFarland, Head of the Academic Writing Office at Sechenov University and organiser of the international Doctor as a Humanist conference.

The quality of the presentations was hugely impressive, especially given the short amount of time available and the fact that the finalists had not met each other before. The level of English was excellent across the board and the ideas articulated were complex, well thought out and impressively expressed. Judging a winner was no easy task.

and the winners areHowever, the jury were unanimous in the end, selecting the team of Richard Ančic from Slovakia and Alena Zakharova and Ekaterina Tolkacheva from Russia. The winning team as well as the second and third placed teams were given access to SLC’s online English for Doctors and English for Medical Academic Purposes courses and all three teams were invited to participate in the international symposium, ‘New Realities in Times of Covid19: a Humanistic Response’, taking place on November 21st.

English for Medical Academic PurposesEnglish for Doctors


Despite the somewhat unexpected challenges which derailed the original final, we’re delighted to say that the Olympiad was a real success, bringing together international medical and pharmaceutical students in the pursuit of linguistic excellence.

We were delighted to be invited to co-organise the Olympiad and very much look forward to the next one.



Written by Chris Moore

Chris works on SLC’s strategic direction, product development, course design and key partnerships with organisations including Health Education England, NHS Trusts and medical universities worldwide. He ensures that the work SLC does with healthcare professionals and students has a significant and lasting impact on patient care, medical research and international projects. Chris has worked in specialist English language training since graduating from Cambridge University in 1989 in teaching, academic management and commercial roles. In 2012, he founded SLC to provide training and resources to those who need to communicate in English in critical environments, using technology to reach learners around the world. Chris is also Trustee for Eaquals, the world’s leading international accreditation body for language teaching.

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