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Tatiana Osipova


From the outset, it seemed Tatiana Osipova was destined to be a doctor. She was born in St Petersburg (then known as Leningrad) into a medical family: her father was a paediatric surgeon and her mother a gynaecologist, who only recently retired, at the age of 76!

And so Tatiana’s childhood dreams of becoming a policewoman, or a detective (inspired by Hercule Poirot) quickly faded. She shone in all subjects at school, picking up the gold medal as the best student in her class – but endured the same traditional English teaching system as all her contemporaries, in which the repetition of sentences like “Moscow is the capital of our country” took precedence over any attempt at real communication, with predictably poor results. 


Her parents worked constant shifts at the hospìtal, and when they, Tatiana and her brother got together around the dinner table, the conversation was all about what had happened there, from the patients to the procedures. Tatiana soon decided for herself to pursue a career in medicine and went off to university.


Nine years later, she graduated, having specialised in gynaecology, and began work at a state hospital and medical centre. But by then she had also married, and her husband’s work took them to Moscow for four years. Life there  was very different from her beautiful home city – the two see themselves as rivals – the economic vs the cultural capital.  What’s more, the couple’s son had been joined by two young daughters, and as a stay-at-home Mum, the hard-working Tatiana looks back on this as a “foggy” period. 


International travel wasn’t much of a feature of Russian life back then and Tatiana was 22 when she took her first trip abroad to neighbouring Finland. Neither had her parents ever travelled until Tatiana and her lawyer husband began to live abroad, following their time in Moscow. The choice had been to move back to St Petersburg or to Spain, which they had visited previously only on holiday. As luck would have it, the first place they visited was Calahonda, where they had friends, so that's where they decided to put down new roots, and where Tatiana now practises at the Campanario Medical Centre.


Today, she speaks pretty fluent English and Spanish, but her social life still involves a lot of Russian, as there’s a fairly large and concentrated community in the Marbella area, complete with their own library. 


On arriving in Spain, it took Tatiana almost four years to have her Russian degree recognised and approved, involving a huge amount of gathering and translating documents and red tape. The only option following that was to become a general practice doctor (GP). The prospect of practising again as a gynaecologist here is unlikely – that would require years more of study, exams and bureaucratic wrangling. 


Anyway, she sees being a GP here as a very rewarding job – it gives you access to a huge swathe of people with different diagnoses and complaints. Her patients have ranged in age from one week old to 96 and she’s had to deal in her time with every possible physical or mental ailment.

Naturally, being a GP can be emotionally exhausting, as the weight of patients' problems can linger even after leaving the office. Tatiana emphasises the importance of self-preservation to counterbalance the collective burden, which was especially heightened during the pandemic. Nevertheless, the necessity of showing up for work during challenging times proved to be a lifeline.

Tatiana remains an optimist: her job is about helping people get better, and that can involve dispensing advice as much as medicines. Perhaps 50% of our illnesses, she estimates, are lifestyle-related, as against 25% genetic and 25% based on prior conditions. As a result of her experience and studies, she’s built up a body of knowledge around anti-ageing, and advocates a healthy work-life balance, plenty of physical exercise and a good diet. Interestingly, she sees work – including social work or volunteering – as a key factor in giving us a sense of purpose and keeping us healthy. Too much leisure time may not necessarily be a good thing…  


Between tourists and the international local community, Tatiana encounters patients from many nationalities, it doesn’t matter what language they speak – Russian, English or Spanish. In fact, Tatiana’s surgery represents a place without prejudice, without borders, where all are treated as a human family.

Comments (1)

Jul 23, 2023

Tatiana is an amazing doctor. Nothing is too much trouble for her and it is so nice too find a doctor that is willing to listen to you and not rush you

I am so grateful to know that i can see her at any time and i always come away with peace of mind.

Thank you Tatiana for looking after me and caring for your patients

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