newlogo with heart LAT 17.01.2018  Medical faculty
University of St Volodymyr
foundation history
and activity of its clinics
in the 19th century

The History of Establishment of the Faculty of Medicine at Saint Vladimir University and Operation of its Clinics in XIX century 

Faculty of Medicine of the University of St. Volodymyr

The Imperial Saint Vladimir University (now Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv) was established in 1834. A royal decree was issued on April 28, 1840 establishing a medical faculty at the university. Due to lack of classroom space, the opening of the faculty had been postponed until 1842 when the construction of the main university building was finished. However, due to the spread of epidemics and the great need for hospitals, classes at the faculty began in the 1841-42 academic year. A three-story house on Liuteranska Street was rented for the temporary placement of the faculty, and as early as September 9, 1841 twenty-two medical students listened to the first lecture in Anatomy, and on September 12 – on The Encyclopedia and Methodology of Medicine.

The faculty was given a part of laboratory equipment and teaching materials from the Medical and Surgical Academy of Vilnius, which had been closed by the government as one of the centers of the Polish National Liberation Movement. Given that the majority of its teachers were Polish, only a small number of them, who were considered politically reliable, were able to transfer to the Kyiv's university. At the time, the Russian Empire had functioning Medical and Surgical (later, Medical Military) Academy of Saint Petersburg, medical faculties at the universities in Moscow, Dörpt, Kazan, and Kharkiv. However, the Kyiv's university, during the establishment of the medical faculty, was assigned an important role in the country’s medical education system: it had to become the leading center for other medical faculties of southern Russia.

Twenty-nine graduates of upper secondary schools (gymnasiums) were accepted for the first year of studies at the faculty and were funded by the government. The first medical professors were invited to the university before the approval of the Statute in 1842. Among them the graduates of other universities of the Russian Empire: V.O. Karavayev (Kazan), O.P. Walter and E.E. Miram (Dörpt), F.S. Tsytsurin (Kharkiv), O.P. Matveyev (Moscow) and others. It is they who founded and organized the clinics of the university.

According to the approved Statute of 1842, the medical faculty of the Imperial Saint Vladimir University had to consist of 10 departments:

The Department of Physiological Anatomy and Macrography. Heads: M.I Kozlov (1841-1844), O.P. Walter (1844-1868), V.A. Bets (1868-1890), M.A. Tikhomirov (since 1890);
The Department of Physiology of Healthy Person. Heads: Е.Е. Miram (1842-1862), O.P. Walter (1862-1864), V.B. Tomsa (1865-1884);
The Department of Physiology of Diseased Person, or Pathological Physiology and Pathological Anatomy;
The Department of General Therapy and Medical Substance. Heads: M.I. Kozlov (1842-1843), V.V. Becker (1843-1859), O.P. Walter (1859-1861), O.O. Scheffer (1861-1864), E.G. Geibel (1865-1868, 1877-1897), V.I. Dibkovsky (1868-1870), P.P. Sushchinsky (1871-1876);
The Department of Operative Surgery with a Surgical Clinic. Heads: V.A. Karavayev (1841-1861), Yu.K. Shymanovsky (1861-1868), O.Kh. Rinek (1879-1894);
The Department of Theoretical Surgery and Ophthalmology. Heads: V.A. Karavayev (1843-1844), V.V. Becker (1844-1845), O.C. Tsilhert (1846-1848), V.K. Kurdyumov (1848-1850), Kh. Ya. Gubbenet (1850-1870), M.V. Sklifosovsky (1870-1871) O.P. Walter (1871-1872), S.P. Kolomnin (1872-1879), O. Kh. Rinek (1878-1881), O.S. Yatsenko (1882), F.K. Bornhaupt (1883-1903);
The Department of Special Therapy. Heads: F.S. Tsytsurin (1844-1846), S.P. Alferiev (1846-1857), F.F. Mering (1857-1864), Yu.I. Matson (1865-1866), V.T. Pokrovsky (1866-1877), L.K. Goretsky (1876-1877), K.G. Tritshel (1877-1879), Ye.I. Afanasyev (since 1893);
The Department of Therapeutic Clinics and Semiotics. Heads: M.I. Kozlov (1842-1843), F.S. Tsytsurin (1844-1857), S.P. Alferiev (1857-1864), F.F. Mering (1864-1886);
The Department of Theoretical and Practical Obstetrics with the teaching of diseases of women in labor and newborns; obstetric clinic. Heads: I.K. Kramarenkov (1841), O.P. Matveyev (1844-1882), G.Ye. Rhein (1883-1900);
The Department of State Medical Science. It was responsible for teaching a) Forensic Medicine; b) Medical Police and Hygiene; c) Medical Law, that is: an overview of legal proceedings, the performance of service and the structure of the system of medical management in the state, as well as information on civil service and jurisprudence to the extent necessary for the doctor; d) Veterinary Police and Epizootic Diseases. Heads: I.F. Leonov (1842-1853), F.F. Mering (1853-857), F.F. Ergardt (1857-1889), M.A. Obolonsky (since 1889).

The period of study at the medical faculty was five years. In 1846, the first graduation of doctors took place: 20 persons; and in 1848, the number of graduates increased to 299 (46% of 656 people who were studying at the university). From that time on, the enrollment of students was constantly growing (for example, in 1895 it amounted to 986 people). The faculty had had the largest number of students compared to other faculties of the university until the beginning of the twentieth century. Clinical and educational facilities were expanding. In 1853, the Anatomical Theater was built for the faculty of medicine.
Later on, after the establishment of the Statute of 1863, a number of new departments were opened:

The Department of Comparative Anatomy and Embryology. Heads: E.E. Miram (1842-1862), P.I. Peremizhko (1868-1891);
The Department of Medical Chemistry and Physics. Heads: M.I. Kozlov, O.O. Scheffer (1863-1868), O.S. Shklyarevsky (since 1869);
The Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacognosy. Heads: L.F. Seghet (1843-1853), I.M. Fonberg (1853-1854), M.M. Neyeze (1854-1863), E.G. Nemetti (since 1864);
The Department of General Pathology. Heads: N.A. Chrząszczewski (1869-1887), V.V. Podvysotsky (since 1887);
The Department of Ophthalmology. Heads: V.A. Karavayev (1843-1844), V.V. Becker (1844-1845), O.K. Tsilhert (1846-1848), Kh.Ya. Gubbenet (1850-1870), O.V. Ivanov (1870-1876), E.Kh. Mandelstam (1876-1880), A.V. Khodin (1881-1902);
The Department of Hygiene, Medical Police, Geography and Statistics. Heads: V.A. Subbotin (1871-1893);
The Department of Encyclopedia, Methodology and History of Medicine. Heads: M.I. Kozlov (1842-1846), N.Ya. Kozhevnikov (1848-1850), F.F. Mering (1854-1860), Kh.Ya. Gubbenet (1861-1862), O.P. Walter (1869-1872), E.G. Geibel (since 1874). 

By the early 1860s, the Faculty of Medicine had had 16 departments. The number and quality of the teaching staff had increased. In addition to seminars, laboratory and practical classes were introduced into the educational process. The classes were held in laboratories, clinics and the Anatomical Theater. The establishment of new departments is associated with the names of the professors who found the priority areas for research: N.A. Chrząszczewski, P.I. Peremezhko, V.A. Subbotin. According to the Statute of 1884, the Faculty of Medicine had 24 functioning departments, providing the opportunity to teach the treatment of childhood, nervous, mental, eye, skin and other diseases.

In 1885, the buildings for the surgical and therapeutic clinics of the faculty were constructed with the money allocated by the government for the 50th anniversary of the university (1884). In 1888, an obstetric clinic was built, which made it possible to fully form the university’s medical training complex on Bibikovsky (now Taras Shevchenko) Boulevard, 17. At that time, the university had 45 teaching facilities, including 4 faculty clinics, 3 hospital clinics, 2 clinical departments within city hospitals, the Anatomical Theater, as well as laboratories and classrooms.

In the period of 1847-1849, professors O.P. Walter, F.S. Tsytsurin, Kh.Ya. Gubbenet were directly involved in the fight against the epidemic of cholera in Kyiv. In 1856, professors F.F. Mering and S.P. Alferiev visited the theatre of military operations to fight the epidemic of typhus. In the period of 1877-1878, professors V.T. Pokrovsky and M.S. Afanasyev died in the fight against the epidemic of typhus in Kyiv. Professor G.M. Minh was fighting against epidemics of plague and leprosy in southern Russia (Astrakhan province), Persia, Palestine and Egypt. The selfless fight of professors V.V. Vysokovych and D.K. Zabolotnyi against the epidemics of cholera and plague both in Russia and abroad: in India, Mongolia, Mesopotamia, Portugal, Morocco, China and Manchuria in the late 19th and the early 20th century is widely known. The medical faculty had scientists who were widely recognized in Europe, among them: V.O. Bets, P.I. Peremozhko, V.V. Pidvysotsky, V.V. Vysokovych, V.Yu. Chagovets, V.P. Obraztsov, M.M. Volkovych, V.E. Chernov, I.V. Troyitsky, and many others. Among the recognized founders of scientific medical schools in the university are V.O. Bets, G.M. Minh, P.I. Peremozhko, Yu.K. Shymanovsky, V.P. Obraztsov, F.G. Yanovsky and M.M. Volkovych. A significant contribution to the development of medical science in Ukraine is associated with the names of the university’s professors V.V. Podvysotsky, N.A. Chrząszczewski and others.

The Guild of Kyiv Physicians, one of the first medical societies in Ukraine and Russia, which initiated the establishment of a number of medical institutions and the first Emergency Medical Service in the Russian Empire, was founded at the faculty. Clinical activity of the medical faculty was not limited to the faculty clinics. On the basis of the "Regulations on clinical departments at the Kyiv Military Hospital" (Annex II to Article 7 "The Military Code, Book XVI, 1869/1878") the clinical departments of the university: therapeutic, surgical, dermatological and syphilological, forensic, as well as the offices of the university’s department of Pathological Anatomy, and an explorative office for neuromuscular diseases were opened at the Kyiv Military Hospital. After the introduction of the university Statute of 1884, a propaedeutic clinic of nerve diseases and a children's clinic were opened at the Alexander Hospital of Kyiv, which operated on the basis of the "Regulations on clinical departments at the Kyiv City Hospital". 22,500 rubles from the state treasury and 14,531 rubles from the special funds of the university – together 37,031 rubles – were released for the maintenance of all the clinics of the faculty. In 1886, the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology was established, headed by Professor G.Ye. Rhein. In 1894, the Society for Combating Infectious Diseases was established. In 1896, the Physical Medical Society was established; its purpose was drawing on medical and natural science, and wide usage of results of fundamental research and medical practice. In 1897 – Psychoneurological Society, headed by professor I.O. Sikorsky; in 1899 – the Society for Combating Tuberculosis, and in 1900 – the Derma syphilological Society, headed by Professor S.P. Tomashevsky, and the Society of Pediatric Doctors, headed by V.Ye. Chernov. The organizer and the head of the Surgical Society was professor M.M. Volkovych.

Along with scientific societies for specialists, a student’s scientific community was first established at the medical faculty of Saint Vladimir University, which was organized by a medical student O.A. Kyssil together with F.G. Yanovsky, P.V. Nikolsky and O.G. Chernyakhivsky. In 1910, one more union in support of students – the Society for Emergency Assistance to Students of Higher Education Institutions  started its activity. In April 1920, the Institute of Health Protection was established and based at the medical faculty of Saint Vladimir University, the Women's Medical Institute, and the medical faculty of the Ukrainian State University (established in 1917). In December 1920, it was reorganized into the State Medical Academy, and in December 1921 – into Kiev Medical Institute (now: Bogomolets National Medical University).

Therefore, the opening of Kiev University of St. Vladimir became a great cultural, scientific and social event; and the organization of the medical faculty played a part in bringing new scientific and medical personnel to Kyiv and improving the quality of health care for the population. The first clinics of the medical faculty (therapeutic, surgical, eye, obstetrics and gynecological, headed by leading specialists) became not only a place for medical education and science, but also the center of highly qualified medical care.


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