The history of the academy

 The Poltava State Medical University is one of the oldest leading institutions of higher education in Ukraine, the history of which begins with the Faculty of Odontology, organized at the Kharkiv Medical Academy in 1921. The faculty became the first academic specialized educational institution for training dentists. In 1931 the faculty was reorganized into the Kharkiv Stomatological Institute, which in 1967 was transferred to Poltava.

Mykola Sklifosofsky

The History of the University

The problem of training dentists in Russia became especially urgent in the XIX century. Dental care was not provided to patients due to lack of professionals, because they were not trained in Russia (until 1881) or in Ukraine (until 1900). In this regard, the outstanding surgeon of that time M. Sklifosovsky at the VI Congress of Natural Scientists and Physicians substantiated a proposal on the need to train dentists with higher medical education at medical faculties of universities. But only after the First World War the solution of the question of training dental professionals capable of providing qualified specialized care began to acquire real features.

At that time, in Kharkiv and Kyiv medical and dental communities there was an opinion that qualified and specialized dental care for the population of Ukraine can be provided only by medical specialists who have chosen the profession of a dentist from the very beginning, from the first steps of training at dental faculties of medical institutes or medical dental institutes, where the period of study may be limited to four years.

On September 30, 1921, the Board of Ukrgolovprofos decided to establish a Faculty of Odontology as a part of the Kharkiv Medical Academy and conduct appropriate organizational activities, as well as to enroll students and staff members. On November 8, 1921, at the meeting of the Small Board of Ukrgolovprofos, a decision was made to transform the Kharkiv Medical Academy into the medical institute with two faculties: Medical and Odontologic. This historic decision laid the foundation for higher dental education in Ukraine, and dentistry is recognized as an integral part of clinical medicine.

The legacy of the Faculty of Odontology was inherited by the Kharkiv Stomatological Institute in 1931, the Poltava Medical Stomatological Institute in 1967, the Poltava Medical Stomatological Institute in 1994 and the Poltava State Medical University in 2021.

In  its formation and development, the Poltava Medical Stomatological Institute has passed a thorny path, which can be divided into six periods: the first: since the organization of the Faculty of Odontology at the Kharkiv Medical Academy (1921 - 1931); the second:  since the transformation of the faculty into independent Kharkiv Stomatological Institute (1931 - 1941); the third is the period of evacuation to Frunze city (Kyrgyz SSR) and its functioning as a faculty of the Kyrgyz Medical Institute (1941 - 1944); the fourth: re-evacuation to Kharkiv after its liberation from Nazi invaders, restoration 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: from the transformation of the institute into the Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy (1994-2020), the seventh: since 2021 from reorganization of the UMSA into the Poltava State Medical University.

Academician V. Vorobyov

The First Period (1921 - 1931)

In September 1921, 250 people with secondary education began their studies at the first year of the Faculty of Odontology at the Kharkiv Medical Academy. The second-year-students involved 169 people who were enrolled for the second year of study at the dental school and during the summer holidays studied a shortened course of medical and biological disciplines. At the faculty, 4 special departments were formed, namely, Conservative Dentistry with Propaedeutic Odontology (headed by Professor Y. Gofung), Prosthetic Dentistry with Orthodontics (headed by I. Baranov), Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery  (headed by Professor M. Fabrykant). Theoretical and general clinical disciplines were studied at the respective departments of the institute. Kharkiv State Stomatological School became the specialized medical facility of the faculty.

During its existence, the faculty has formed a capable, highly qualified, friendly team, which, along with solving educational problems, has made a significant contribution to the development of medical science. Faculty members have created textbooks on dentistry and study guides for students. Among the educators who worked at the faculty in those years was a well-known anatomist, Academician V. Vorobiov, the author of outstanding works on the latest methods of embalming. It was he who was commissioned in 1924 to embalm Lenin’s body.

Summing up the first decade of the faculty’s existence, it should be noted that together with the Faculty of Odontology at the KhMI they became the first specialized higher education institutions for training dentists, and methodological centers of dental education in Ukraine.

The Second Period (1931 - 1941)

Head of Department is providing counseling

The process of the formation and further development of the faculty, and then the institute, happened in very difficult conditions that developed in the country in the early 30’s. The economic difficulties experienced by the country and the search for ways out of them required measures to protect people’s health, expand the number of hospitals, sanatoriums, health resorts, dispensaries, dental clinics, etc. These and other problems could be solved only with better training of dental staff.

It was during this period, in August 1931, that the Stomatological Faculty at the Kharkiv Medical Institute was reorganized into independent Kharkiv Stomatological Institute with a 4-year term of study. 3 special departments were organized: Oral Surgery, Therapeutic Dentistry, and Prosthetic Dentistry. Each department had its own affiliated training medical facility. The institute employed highly qualified teaching staff. M. Nezhdanov was appointed to the position of the Director of the Institute, and Professor Y. Gofung was appointed as a Deputy Director for Research and Academic Activities. Almost all educators at the special departments had higher medical education.

From September 1931 to September 1941, the institute trained 650 physicians and a total of 913 dentists since 1921. In addition, more than 2,500 dentists graduated from the correspondence department, externship and retraining courses; they got qualification of a dentist.

The third period (1941 - 1944)

On June 22, 1941, in the Building 7, Pushkinska Str., a scientific conference was held. At 11:45 a break was taken, during which it became known about the treacherous attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union. This message caused anger and indignation among educators and students. They understood what kind of trouble befell the people, the nation, the Motherland.

Graduation ceremony of dental specialists was held on June 23, 1941. Dentists’ diplomas were awarded to 180 students. On the same day, the Director of the Institute, G. Lychman, issued an order demanding the dismissal of all those who were subject to conscription into the Red Army, to find alternatives of them, to pay their salaries in full, and made acceptance of all their files and materiel. Further, the order required to reorganize the groups for all courses, to make a schedule, to organize training according to the shortened academic plan issued by the People’s Commissariat of Health of the USSR in accordance with special instruction. In the first period, 45 people from the Kharkiv Stomatological Institute joined the army. Among them were 27 educators, 16 staff members and 2 students.

The Fourth Period (1944 - 1967)

This time in the history of the university is characterized by the re-evacuation to Kharkiv, its formation and development in the post-war period. In July 1944, Professor P. Vlasenko, an experienced manager, an outstanding scientist, and a biologist by education, was appointed as the Director of the Institute. The administration of the institute and some medical and biological departments were located in a 4-storey building on 53, Pushkinska Str. Anatomical departments were shared by students of medical and dental institutes, based at KhMI. General clinical departments were located on the affiliated city hospitals (Children’s Hospital, 2nd Soviet Hospital, etc.). Departments of ENT- and Ophthalmological Diseases were based on the corresponding scientific research institutes, and Dermatovenereal Diseases on the basis of the 4th Dermatovenereal Dispensary.

Work in the operating room

In 1954, by the Decree of the Government of the USSR, stomatological institutes were reorganized into stomatological faculties of medical HEIs, though two of them, in Moscow and Kharkiv, remained as independent medical stomatological institutes. The main areas of scientific research of the institute’s staff members in dentistry were the continuation of clinical, morphological and clinical-microbiological studies of dental diseases and the development of methods for their treatment. In the same years, together with therapists and oral surgeons, prosthodontists made a significant contribution to the development and improvement of methods for the complex treatment of periodontal diseases, maxillofacial injuries and the restoration of malocclusions. Post-war research materials have been compiled in post-doctoral and PhD theses; during these years, foundations were laid for the writing of a number of post-doctoral and several dozens of PhD theses.

The Fifth Period (1968 – 1993)

On May 12, 1967 the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted Resolution №294 on the transfer of the Kharkiv Medical Stomatological Institute to Poltava. The transfer was carried out in two stages. At the first stage (July - August 1967), the departments of medical and biological profile were relocated and settled in Poltava in a 4-storey building in 23, Shevchenko Street before the start of the academic year, that was until September 1, 1967. At the second stage (July - August 1968), the departments of clinical, including stomatological, profile, were redeployed and the bases for their placement before the beginning of classes were prepared. All the difficulties in organizing the educational and scientific process in the first years of existence of the Poltava Medical Stomatological Institute were experienced by Professor Nina Denysivna Lisova. By 1973, under her leadership, departments were set up, a few clinical bases were re-equipped and new, more modern ones were built. In 1971 the Medical Faculty was opened.

In the 80's and 90's, under the leadership of the Rector, Delva Viktor Oleksandrovych, an active reconstruction and construction period in the activities of the university continued. Particular attention was paid to reinforcement of the material and technical base, improving research, publishing and educational work.

The Sixth Period (1994 - 2020)

In 1994, on the initiative of the Rector Mykola Serhiiovych Skrypnikov, the institute obtained the IV level of accreditation and the status of the Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy. Under his leadership, new buildings, complexes of family and student dormitories were built; new departments were established; the Faculty of Postgraduate Education (now the Academic and Research Institute of Postgraduate Education) was organized. The Faculty of Nursing and Dental Technician Department (now a Vocational College of Medicine and Pharmacy) were opened.

The construction of the fourth dormitory, a physiological building with a central research laboratory, was completed. A Preparatory Department for Foreign Citizens (now the Educational and Research Center for Foreign Citizens Training) has been organized. In 2000, for the first time the University was licensed to train specialists in Pediatrics.

In 2003, Professor Zhdan Viacheslav Mykolayovych became the Rector.

In 2005, the name was changed to the Higher State Educational Establishment of Ukraine “Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy”.

In 2018, the HEI was renamed in the Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy. In the same year a historical event took place in the life of the university. It joined the signatories of the Magna Charta Universitatum, stating its adherence to the basic principles declared in this document.

In 2020, in order to ensure high-quality training of specialists, the Medical Education and Research Institute was established, which includes a Vocational College of Medicine and Pharmacy

The Seventh Period (from 2021)

By the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine №335 as of February 24, 2021 the Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy was reorganized by joining the newly formed Poltava State Medical University (according to the Order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of December 9, 2020 № 1537-r “On the establishment of Poltava State Medical University”).

This period is marked by profound positive changes in all spheres of the PSMU activity: renewal and reinforcement of the logistic base, introduction of the new degree programs, expansion of the international cooperation, implementation of important projects and programs. Agreements are concluded with foreign medical universities for the exchange of students and teaching staff. The work of student self-government bodies is expanding.

Under the leadership of the Rector Zhdan V.M., the staff of the University implements grandiose ideas and plans to establish the leadership of the university in providing educational services.

Currently, the PSMU conducts undergraduate training of specialists at 4 faculties: Dental, Medical №1, Medical №2, International; postgraduate training at  the Academic and Research Institute of Postgraduate Education; pre-medical training at the Preparatory Department for Citizens of Ukraine, at the Educational and Research Center for Foreign Citizens Training. The University has organized the Academic and Research Clinical “Dental Center”, where the experts of the university provide multidisciplinary consultative and medical dental care to the population of the city and the region.

 There are 57 Departments in PSMU; 11 Departments of the University obtained the status of basic ones. Clinical training of students, interns and trainees of the Academic and Research Institute of Postgraduate Education is conducted at 42 clinical departments located at the affiliated medical facilities (58) of Poltava region, between which cooperation agreements have been concluded.

Scientific potential of the university involves 632 staff members: Doctors of Medical Sciences - 86, PhD - 426; Professors - 83, Associate Professors - 270. The university is proud of its 8 Laureates of the State Prize of Ukraine, 12 Honored Doctors of Ukraine, Honored Workers of Science And Technology of Ukraine, 1 Honored Health Worker of Ukraine, 1 Honored Innovator of Ukraine, 2 Honored Workers of Education of Ukraine.

Currently, 4,948 students study at the PSMU, including 1,352 foreign citizens from many countries around the world. For English-speaking students, the teaching is conducted in English.

Foreign citizens study in accordance with the curricula and programs of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine; on an equal footing with domestic students they use classrooms, reading rooms and the library; they are allocated with premises for cultural, religious events and gatherings of fellow countrymen. The educational process is provided by educators who have special training and extensive experience working with foreign citizens at the initial stages of their education. After graduating from the University, foreign citizens are awarded with internationally recognized diplomas.

In order to implement the state policy in the field of higher education, the Scientific and Methodological Laboratory of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine for the training of dentists is operating in the PSMU. The Center for Practical Training has been established, which includes educational and practical training centers, where students of all faculties and interns have the opportunity to prepare for state attestation.

In order to perform basic and applied research in the relevant scientific areas in the structure of the University operates the Research Institute of Genetic and Immunological Foundations of Pathology and Pharmacogenetics.

The Poltava State Medical University trains specialists in accordance with the Information on the implementation of educational activities in the field of higher education in specialties at the level of:


  • Dentistry (221);
  • Medicine (222);
  • Pediatrics (228);
  • Public Health (229);

Bachelors (the Junior Specialist Diploma is required):

  • Nursing (223, educational program “Nursing Care”) (the Junior Specialist Diploma, Junior Bachelor Diploma is required);
  • Bachelors (11 years of complete secondary education is required):
  • Nursing (223, educational programs “Paramedic”, “Nursing Care”) (general secondary education is required);

Professional Junior Bachelors (9 years of general secondary education is required):

  • Nursing (223, educational program “Nursing Care”);
  • Dentistry (221, educational program “Prosthetic Dentistry”);
  • Pharmacy, Industrial Pharmacy (226, educational program “Pharmacy”);
  • Professional Junior Bachelors (11 years of complete secondary education is required):
  • Nursing (223, educational program “Nursing Care”);
  • Dentistry (221, educational program “Prosthetic Dentistry”);
  • Pharmacy, Industrial Pharmacy, full-time study (226, educational program “Pharmacy”);
  • Pharmacy, Industrial Pharmacy, distance study (226, educational program “Pharmacy”);

The University offers:

  • training of citizens of Ukraine for admission to higher education institutions;
  • training of foreign citizens for admission to higher education institutions;
  • advanced training (specialization) in basic areas (specialties);
  • training of foreigners and stateless persons in accredited areas (specialties);
  • training of specialists in internship (primary postgraduate specialization);
  • training of foreign citizens in clinical residency.

The PSMU has introduced an information system of accounting and monitoring of attendance and academic success of students – “Electronic Register”, which provides open access to current and final learning outcomes, working off missed classes and unsatisfactory grades. To eliminate academic debt, the University has three electronic centers and a powerful test base.

The Poltava State Medical University is a regular participant of prestigious international and national exhibitions ("Modern Educational Institutions", "Education and Career", "Innovation in Modern Education"), which has repeatedly been awarded Grand Prix, Gold Medals, Diplomas; it has been awarded the honorary titles "The Leader of Higher Education of Ukraine", "The Leader of Scientific and Technical Activities", "The Leader of International Activities".

Research work at the University meets the current needs. More than 100 research works are being carried out, two of which are funded by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Poltava State Medical University is included in the State Register of Scientific Institutions supported by the state.

The results of scientific research of the PSMU staff members are published in international periodicals. Rating indicators in Scopus and Web of Science databases are constantly growing.

International cooperation is one of the leading activities of the University to create conditions for collaboration with foreign institutions of higher education. Cooperation agreements have been signed with educational institutions in Austria, Belarus, Armenia, Great Britain, Greece, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, Tajikistan, etc. The PSMU is a member of the Consortium of Medical Higher Education Institutions within the Erasmus + program, the French-Ukrainian program "ASFUDS" for health and pharmacy professionals (France), the International program of internship and development of medical professionals of Ukraine "Polish Erasmus +".

The university administration is concerned about the logistical support of the educational process. The Poltava State Medical University campus involves 5 academic buildings, which houses departments, lecture and laboratory classrooms, computer classes, administrative premises, sports and recreation complex, canteen, utility building, vivarium, hangars. The medical center provides emergency medical care, preventive physical examinations, etc. Students of the University live in 4 dormitories, which form a residential complex. Housing is 100% for the non-local students. In summer, the PSMU has the sports and recreation camp for students, staff members and educators.

The National Museum of the History of the University has been operating since 1987.

The Center for Youth Humanitarian and Educational Activities helps to reveal creative potential of students which promotes implementation of the state policy in the field of education and culture, adhering to principles of humanism and democracy.

It is gratifying that the HEI will celebrate its glorious centenary in 2021 in the new high status of the University, which is evidenced by the state's recognition of significant achievements of the university as the renowned scientific center of higher medical education in Ukraine.

Poltava State Medical University is an international educational institution, admitting young people from all over the world to acquire professional knowledge. Rapid development of the PSMU, opening of new faculties and specialties, training of highly qualified scientific and pedagogical staff, introduction of progressive forms and methods of work, remarkable achievements in educational, research and treatment-and-prophylactic activity, awareness of high mission of higher medical school is the strong guarantee of continuing development of the University.