At the beginning of the last week of October, a delegation of Fergana Medical Institute of Public Health (Republic of Uzbekistan) visited Belarusian State Medical University. The delegation was represented by specialists from various fields of medicine ranging from epidemiology and public health to therapy and surgery. Among them were also representatives of the dental and pharmaceutical schools.
The visit of Fergana Medical Institute of Public Health academic staff to the Republic of Belarus is related to the internship of managers and specialists at Polytechnic Science and Technology Park. However, the internship program would not be complete without a visit to the country’s leading medical university.
The guests were met by Rector in charge, Professor Irina Moroz. The meeting was also attended by Dean of the General Medicine Faculty, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Alexey Volotovsky, Dean of the Preventive Medicine Faculty, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Associate Professor Andrey Gindyuk, Head of the Normal Anatomy Department, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Natalia Trushel, Head of the Department of Medical and Biological Physics, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Associate Professor Mikhail Goltsev, Head of the Department of Foreign Languages, Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor Marina Petrova, Head of the International Relations Department Varvara Boika.
The main purpose of the visit was to explore the university’s history and structure, the system of higher medical education in Belarus, organization of the educational process in a complicated epidemiological situation, including implementation of distance learning elements.
Professor Irina Moroz delivered a presentation about Belarusian State Medical University. Having briefly outlined the main milestones of the 100-year history of the leading medical institution of higher education, she paid considerable attention to the characteristics of educational, scientific, medical and international activities of the university. It was noted that the medical university offers students all conditions for obtaining quality medical and pharmaceutical education: highly skilled academic teaching staff, modern clinical bases and comfortable accommodation.
The quality of the educational process is ensured by modern curricula, a sufficient number of modern textbooks in Russian and English, electronic learning and teaching units, control of independent work, training in a simulation centre, use of an electronic journal and personal electronic account, a modern approach to final examinations (introduction of OSCE – an objective structured clinical examination).
Describing scientific and therapeutic activities, Professor Irina Moroz noted that Belarusian State Medical University is a leader in terms of performance among scientific organizations of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus. In the complicated epidemiological situation, the academic teaching staff and senior students are currently involved in the “front-line” care of the outpatient segment of the healthcare system.
Irina Moroz stressed that more than 2000 foreign citizens from more than 50 countries study at BSMU. The university is included in the database of the World Directory of Medical Schools under the auspices of the WHO, it meets the criteria and standards of medical schools/universities in Israel, and also it has been recognized by the Medical Council of Sri Lanka. The partner network of international inter-university cooperation includes over 100 foreign universities from 29 countries.
The representatives of Fergana Medical Institute of Public Health expressed keen interest in BSMU experience of organizing educational process using IT, what is particularly relevant with the implementation of distance learning during COVID-19 pandemic. The guests were shown the possibilities and the main structural elements of the official university portal: e-journal and e-library.
The Dean of the General Medicine Faculty, Professor Alexey Volotovsky spoke in more detail about the e-journal. He stressed that electronic journal allows to influence promptly the educational process, carry out closer communication of departments and dean’s offices, including the Medical Faculty for International Students, and most importantly, by entering the number of student card, it is possible to see his/her academic performance, attendance of lectures and practical classes.
Alexey Volotovsky also said that distance teaching and learning have become real lifesavers. Academic and methodological complex is implemented in the modern Moodle system, which allows you to create and store electronic teaching materials, specify the sequence of the study, and use as a ‘textbook’ not only the text, but also interactive resources of any format.
Our guests also visited the practical training laboratory, where the classes are held with the use of modern equipment, simulators, mannequins and phantoms. The tour was conducted by Associate Professor of the practical training laboratory, Candidate of Medical Sciences Alexey Sapotnitsky who demonstrated the educational opportunities in “Therapy”, “Obstetrics and Gynecology”, “Anesthesiology and Reanimatology”, “Pediatrics”, “Neonatology”, “General medical practice”, “Surgery”, “Nursing and manipulation techniques”, “Urology”, “Otorhinolaryngology”. Such classes give students a wide range of competencies and skills without risk of doing any harm to a patient, allowing them to develop the ability to make quick decisions and perform a number of manipulations or interventions flawlessly.
The Head of the Normal Anatomy Department, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Natalia Trushel showed the guests the Anatomical Museum of Belarusian State Medical University. It has a century-long history and a large number of specimens which are not only of educational, but also of historical value.
Deputy Head of the Normal Anatomy Department, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Associate Professor Anna Pasyuk demonstrated the functions of the anatomy table and prospects of its use in the educational process.
In the end, Varvara Boika, Head of the International Relations Department, met with the guests to exchange contacts in order to continue bilateral cooperation.
Author: Varvara Boika, Head of the International Relations Department at BSMU, photos by Dmitry Zelenkovsky
Translation: Tatiana Malkovich