History of Academy

36011, Ukraine, Poltava, 23 Shevchenko Str., Telephone / Fax of Rector’s Office: +380532 602051 e-mail: mail@umsa.edu.ua

The problem of dentists’ training in Russia became particularly exacerbated in the 19th century. Dental care was not provided to patients due to lack of staff, since they were not trained neither in Russia (until 1881), nor in Ukraine (until 1900). In this regard, at the 6th Congress of naturalists and physicians, an outstanding surgeon M.V. Sklifosovsky initiated a proposal to train dentists with higher medical education at medical faculties of universities. However, only after World War I the issue of training dentists, capable of providing qualified specialized medical care, began to assume the feasible contours.

There was an idea prevailing at Kharkiv and Kiev medical and dental communities of those years that a qualified and specialized dental care will be provided to the population of Ukraine only by doctors who have chosen the profession of a dentist from the very beginning, from the first steps of training at dental faculties of medical institutions or medical dental institutions where the period of study may be limited to four years.

On September 30, 1921, the Board of General Committee of the Vocational and Special Education decided to create the odontology department of Kharkiv Medical Academy along with a number of relevant arrangements, as well as to start the admission of students and recruitment teaching staff. On November 8, 1921, it was decided at the meeting of select board of General Committee of the Vocational and Special Education to restructure Kharkiv Medical Academy into Medical Institute with two faculties: medical and odontological. This historic decision laid the foundation for higher dental education in Ukraine, henceforth dentistry was recognized as an essential branch of clinical medicine.

The legacy of odontology department passed on to Kharkov Stomatological Institute since 1931, to Poltava Medical Stomatological Institute since 1967, and since 1994 – to Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy. In its formation and development, Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy went through a thorny path which can be divided into six periods: the first – from the moment of odontology department of Kharkiv Medical Academy (1921 – 1931); the second – after restructuring the faculty into the independent Kharkov Stomatological Institute (1931 – 1941); the third – the period of evacuation to the town Frunze (Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic) and its functioning as a faculty of Kirghiz Medical Institute (1941 – 1944); the fourth – re-evacuation in Kharkiv after its liberation from Nazi invaders, recovery of training bases and further development of scientific research (1944 – 1967); the fifth – transfer to Poltava and its transformation into Poltava Medical Stomatological Institute (1968 – 1993); the sixth – since 1994, transformation of the Institute into Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy.

Member of the Academy
of Sciences V.P. Vorobyov

The first period (1921 – 1931)

In September 1921, 250 people with secondary education began training at the first year of study at odontology department of Kharkiv Medical Academy. 169 students, who moved to the 2nd year of stomatological school and completed the abridged course of biomedical sciences, were enrolled at the second year of study. The faculty comprised 4 special departments: Conservative Dentistry with Propaedeutical Odontology (headed by Professor Yu.M. Hofunh), Prosthetic Dentistry with Orthodontics (headed by I.A. Baranov), Dental Surgery with Jaw Orthopedics and Surgery of Oral Cavity and Adjacent Areas (headed by Professor M.B. Fabrikant). Theoretical and general clinical disciplines were studied at the relevant departments of the institute. Kharkiv State Stomatological School became the faculty’s specialized base.

Over the period of its existence, the faculty formed the capable, qualified and friendly staff, which made a significant contribution to the development of medical science, apart from dealing with educational problems. Faculty staff published 13 textbooks in dentistry and a large number of manuals for students. Among the teachers who worked at that time was the well-known anatomist, member of the Academy of Sciences V.P. Vorobyov, the author of famous works in modern methods of embalming. It was he who performed the embalming of the body of Lenin in 1924.

Summing up the first decade of the faculty’s activity, it should be noted that along with odontology faculty at Kharkiv Medical Institute, this faculty became the first specialized higher institution for training dentists in Ukraine.

Head of Department giving consultations

The second period (1931 – 1941)

The process of formation and further development of dental faculty and the institute was held under very difficult conditions prevailing in the early 30’s. The economic difficulties that the country was going through, and looking for a way out of them, demanded measures to protect human health, expanding the network of hospitals, sanatoria, rest homes, clinics, dental clinics, and so on. Settling these and other problems could only be possible upon condition of high quality training of dental personnel.

During this period, in August 1931, Stomatological faculty of Kharkov Medical Institute was reorganized into an independent Kharkov Stomatological Institute with training period of 4 years. 3 special departments were created: Dental Surgery, Therapeutic Dentistry, and Prosthetic Dentistry. Each department had its training base. The Institute was staffed by highly qualified teaching personnel. Director of the Institute was M.V. Nezhdanov, deputy for scientific and educational work – Professor Yu.M. Hofunh. Almost all teachers at special departments had higher medical education.

From September 1931 to September 1941, the institute trained 650 doctors and in total since 1921 – 913 dentists. In addition, more than 2500 dentists completed the extra-mural department, external and retraining courses; they obtained the qualification of dentists.

The third period (1941 – 1944)

On June 22 1941, the scientific conference was held in the building on 7 Pushkin Str. At 11:15 AM there was a break, during which the treacherous attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union was reported. This message caused anger and resentment of teachers and students. They understood what kind of evil befell their nation, their state, their homeland.

On June 23, the Graduation ceremony was held at the Institute. 180 students obtained diplomas. 62 students moved to the second year of study, 132 – to the third, 130 – to the fourth year of study. The same day, Director of the Institute H.A. Lychman issued an order that required to release those who were subject to general levy to the Red Army from study or work, to find a replacement, to pay full wages and to hand over all the affairs and property. The order also required to reorganize the groups of all courses and to form a schedule according to the reduced training plan of People’s Commissariat of Public Health of USSR in compliance with special instruction. During the first period, Kharkov Stomatological Institute sent 45 people to the army: 27 teachers, 16 staff members and 2 students.

The fourth period (June 1944 – May 1967)

This period of UMSA is characterized by re-evacuation of the Institute to Kharkiv, its formation and development in the post-war period. Professor P.V. Vlasenko – an experienced organizer, an outstanding scientist, a biologist by training – was appointed the director of the Institute in July 1944. Institute’s authorities and some biomedical departments were placed in a 4-storied building on 53 Pushkin Str. Anatomical departments were common for students of medical and stomatological institutes. General clinical departments were located on the basis of municipal hospitals. Department of ENT diseases and eye diseases – on the basis of relevant research institutes, skin and venereal diseases – at the 4th Dermatovenerologic Dispensary.

Working in the operating theatre

In 1954, by the decree of the Soviet government, dental institutions were reorganized into dental faculties of medical universities, but two of them – Moscow and Kharkiv – remained independent dental health institutes. The main scientific directions of institute’s employees in the post-war years were the continuing morphological, clinical and microbiology researches of dental diseases and the development of methods of treatment. During these years, prosthetic dentists, along with therapeutic dentists and dental surgeons, made a significant contribution into the development and improvement of comprehensive treatment of periodontal diseases, injuries of maxillofacial area and restoration of defective dentition.

The researches of the post-war period are summarized in doctoral and candidate’s theses. During these years, the foundations of a number of doctoral and several dozens of candidate’s theses were laid.

The fifth period (1968 – 2015)

On May 12 1967, the Council of Ministers of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted the resolution №294 on the transfer of Kharkiv Medical Stomatological Institute to Poltava. In this regard, on May 18, the Ministry of Public Health of Ukraine issued the decree №269 to transfer the Kharkiv Medical Stomatological Institute to Poltava during 1967-1968. The transfer was carried out in two phases.

During the first phase (July – August 1967) redeployment of medical and biological departments was conducted; they were resettled in Poltava in the 4-storied building on 23 Shevchenko Str. before September 1 1967.

At the second phase (July – August 1968) clinical departments, including dental profile were relocated and accommodated before the beginning of academic year. In 1994, Poltava Medical Stomatological Institute obtained the highest (IVth) level of accreditation and the status of Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy. In 2014, the IVth accreditation level was confirmed by the Accreditation Commission of Ukraine.

Students of all faculties are fully equipped with workstations and modern facilities. Lectures are held in 7 classrooms for 150-250 seats each, which enable the Academy to conduct classes in one shift. Rectors and management bodies of the Academy ensure the necessary conditions for high-level educational work by optimizing the methods and content of training, increasing complexity and objectivity in evaluating knowledge, improving the material of the educational process, its individualization, activating education in the learning process.

In 2011, Higher State Educational Institution of Ukraine “Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy” celebrated its jubilee – the 90th anniversary of Alma Mater founding.

Over the period of 90 years, Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy has progressed from being the odontology department of Kharkiv Medical Academy to the modern multidisciplinary institution, which has five faculties, Medical College, Research Institute, specialized Academic Council for thesis defence, academic dental clinic.

Over the period of its existence, the Academy has trained 28.700 dentists, 12.000 doctors of other specialities, about 1.600 specialists of nursing staff.

Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy has taken an important step towards joining the European educational space and enables its graduates to become the competitive, recognized specialists in any country of the world.