History and Activity of the Medical Faculty for International Students at BSMU
1964 - the present
The training of foreign citizens in medical specialties has been provided at Minsk State Medical Institute (MSMI) since the year 1964.
The first international students were admitted to the Faculty of General Medicine on September 1, 1964.
Those first eight foreign students, welcomed to our Alma Mater, came from four states of Africa and included three citizens of the Republic of Togo, two citizens of Kenya, one citizen of the Republic of South Africa and two citizens of the Republic of the Gambia.
The first international graduates of MSMI received their diplomas on June 27, 1970. It was a hallmark year for the Medical University when the first eight young physicians of foreign origin graduated from MSMI, having trained in the specialty of General Medicine and qualified as General practitioners. Additionally, the graduates were awarded the title of the Doctor of Medicine.
The second admission of international students took place in 1965 and included two citizens of the Republic of Ruanda: Alfonse Butera and Augustine Kalisa. These students completed their course of training successfully and graduated in 1971.
The third enrollment of international students occurred nine years later in 1973 and, accordingly, the third graduation was in June 1979 and included 24 graduates from Burundi, Bulgaria, Panama, Rwanda, Sudan, Ecuador, Tanzania, Kenya, Jordan and Mali.
In 1964, from the beginning of training international students, the Russian language was taught by Margarita Vladimirovna Eliseeva, the graduate of the M. Gorky Literary and Linguistic Faculty of the Minsk State Pedagogical majoring in 'Teacher of Russian Language and Literature of Secondary School'. In MSMI she held classes in Russian with foreign students from September 11, 1964 to August 26, 1967 at the Department of foreign languages of MSMI.
In the academic year 1973/1974 due to the systemic training of international students, the independent Russian language course was organized, and in 1975 an independent Department of Russian as a foreign language, the basic Department for active support and training of students in MSMI in the Russian language. Alla Vladimirovna Sannikova was appointed as the first head of the Department. The first teachers of the Department were Z.N. Saharova, M.K. Gladysheva, M.L. Gubar.
Before 1975 the training of international students was supervised by the deans and deputy deans of the faculty of General Medicine. Vitaly Makarovich Kazachenok, associate Professor of the Department of General surgery, was in charge of this work on voluntary basis since 1974. By to the order of the Rector dated September 10, 1975 No. 181-l he was appointed as Dean in charge of international students and the same order dismissed him from the post of Deputy Dean of the faculty of General Medicine. Finally, he was re-appointed as the Dean by the order of the rector of the Institute of September 18, 1975 No. 190-L.
Thus, on September 18, 1975, the Dean's office for international students was established, with the Dean at the head.
After V. M. Kazachenok the following Deans were:
• from 11.11.1979 to 5.05.1984. – PhD, associate Professor Pyotr Grigoryevich Pivchenko
• from 4.06.1984 to 12.05.1988. - Doctor of biological Sciences, Professor Alexander Nikolaevich Stozharov
• from 05.1988 to 31.08.1992. - PhD, associate Professor Vladimir Aleksandrovich Manulik.
The Dean's office functioned as part of the faculty of General Medicine first, as the training of all international students was carried out in the specialty of General Medicine in the Russian language.
Medical faculty for International Students of the Minsk state medical institute was established by the order of Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus dated July 31, 1992 'On the transfer of medical students at the newly formed faculties' and according to the Rector's order dated 31 August 1992 No. 394 account 'On the organization of the Medical faculty for International Students”.
The first Dean of this faculty was Vladimir Alexandrovich Manulik, previously the Dean in charge of international students’ work, Associate Professor of the Normal Anatomy Department, MD, PhD. In this position he worked until April 2001.
In the following years the faculty was headed by:
Over the years, the curricular and material base in the various specialties was formed and improved. Since 1964, the training has been done in the specialty 1-79 01 01 'General Medicine'. From 1992 to 1995, the training was conducted in the specialty “General Medicine and Preventive Care”.
In the specialties 1-79 01 07 “Dentistry”, 1-79 01 03 “Sanitation, hygiene and epidemiology”, and later “Medical and Preventive Care”, foreign citizens’ training has been carried out since 1984 to the present.
The training of pharmacists in the specialty 1-79 01 08 “Pharmacy” at the faculty of Pharmacy has been carried out since 2011.
In the specialty 1-79 01 02 'Pediatrics' the first experience in pediatricians’ training started in 1975 and has been carried out so far.
In total, over 55 years there were 43 graduations from this faculty. The total number of graduates was 3055, including 2086 general practitioners, 925 dentists, 22 pharmacists, 12 sanitary doctors, and 10 pediatricians. 70 specialists graduated from the institute and university with honors. Among them 58 trained in the specialty 'General Medicine (Medical and Preventive Care)' and 12 in 'Dentistry'.
13 citizens from the Republic of India and the Lebanese Republic, 7 from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, 6 citizens from the Islamic Republic of Iran, 3 from the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and the Syrian Arab Republic, 2 citizens from the Cooperative Republic Guyana, Hellenic Republic, Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Lithuania, one citizen from the Republic of Belarus, the State of Israel, the People’s Republic of China, South Koria, the Republic of Poland, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Sudan, the Republic of Turkmenistan, Ukraine and the Republic of Ecuador.
In the last decade of the 20th century, the process of the international students’ training underwent certain changes. Since 1990 the international students’ training at the MSMI has begun on a paid contract basis.
Mastering the Russian language by foreign students was the key to a high level knowledge and practical skills. Students from different countries studied in the same groups with home students, which greatly simplified adaptation to the new living conditions. In addition, Russian preparatory courses gradually transformed into the preparatory department, which also began to prepare foreign citizens for the entrance exams in Chemistry, Biology and Physics.
One cannot fail to notice the fundamental role of medical specialists of the university’s department for international relations in attracting foreign citizens to train at the institute and the university, as well as the personal contribution to this work of vice-rectors for international relations.
In 1981, the post of Vice-rector for international relations appeared at Minsk State Medical University, in charge of international students' training, and responsible for developing international relations and partnerships with scientific, educational and medical organizations, healthcare institutions, and educational institutions worldwide.
At different times, it was occupied by Petr Grigorievich Pivchenko, Doctor of medical sciences, professor (1981-1985 and 1994-2001); by Leonid Ivanovich Kaskevich, M.D. Ph.D., associate professor (1985 - 1994).
Since 2004, this position has been held by Vasily Vasilievich Rudenok, Doctor of Medical sciences, professor.
The department of international relations was created in 1998 in order to improve the organizational, technical and methodical support of international activities, to integrate the University into European and global educational systems, to gain additional opportunities for accelerated development and to strengthen the authority of Belarusian State Medical University. Varvara Vadimovna Boyko is currently the head of the department.
In 2008, the Academic Council of MFIU was created at the faculty, headed by its chairman - Dean E. Dotsenko, and A.P. Veremeychik was appointed Secretary of the Council.
Today, the Medical Faculty for international students, together with the university departments, is constantly working to improve the curriculum, especially taking into account the specific pathology in different countries, teaching materials are being adapted for international students and written in English.
The main goal of all activities of the Medical Faculty is to attribute an international status to the diploma of the BSMU.
In 2018, a new pilot project “Testing the model of practical training at the first stage of higher education in the specialty 1-79 01 01“General Medicine” for international students with a bachelor's degree in related biomedical specialties and studying in English appeared at the University.
It is based on the preparation of foreign citizens for subsequent examinations according to the international standard of medical education in the USMLE system (United States Medical Licensing Examination) for the medical faculties of universities in Israel, the USA and Canada.
Although the faculty’s main focus of attention is teaching, a huge attention is paid to students’ social life. International students live in comfortable dormitories, have an opportunity to communicate with each other within the framework of international communities, and celebrate national and religious holidays. The administration of the University and the Dean's office hold regular meetings with community leaders to discuss current problems and exchange views on various issues of life.
With unfailing regularity, at least once a month, the dean, his deputies and faculty staff hold meetings with student groups to discuss their problems and needs in order to give an immediate feedback and response.
The positions of Deputy Dean in charge of academic work and the dormitories were held by: Aleksandr Vladimirovich Sysov, Ph.D., associate professor (09.1995. - 11.1999); Tereza Iosifovna Ostrovskaya, Ph.D., associate Professor (05/19/1998 - 07/19/2007); Igor Vladimirovich Grinko; Aram Rubenovich Avetisov, Ph.D., associate professor; Aleksandr Viktorovich Yurenya; Stanislav Fadeevich Khomich; Yuri Leonidovich Gorbich, PhD, associate professor; Galina Vladimirovna Medved (2012-2019).
Currently, Andrey Mikhailovich Kapitonov, Ph.D., Evgeny Anatolyevich Chernous, Ph.D., Yaroslav Nikolaevich Borisevich, associate professor, and Kristina Grigoryevna Burdashkina are in charge of the Dean’s office.