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History of the Ternopil State Medical University

Training students at the Ternopil State medical Institute was inaugurated on September 1, 1957 by the resolution of the Ukrainian government on April 12, 1957. It was the first higher educational establishment in the city that had been almost completely destroyed during the World War II and just begun its reconstruction. Three days after the governmental resolution Director (Rector) of the Medical Institute, Candidate of Medical Sciences, surgeon P.O. Ohiy (later M.D., Professor) arrived to Ternopil. By the decision of the Regional Council two educational buildings and two hostels were allotted to the Institute. Its clinical base became the City Hospital that simultaneously functioned as the Regional Hospital. The construction of Morphological building, Regional Hospital and the third hostel was begun. 19 departments began functioning at the Institute, 66 teachers were working there (with 1 M.D., and 17 Candidates Sc., among them).

From the very first days of the Institute young teachers-scientists who now are professors, honored scientists K.V.Kovanov, Yu.T.Komorovsky, A.I. Lokay, I.O.Sytnyk, M.P.Skakun, connected their lives with this educational establishment. Among the founders was an assistant teacher of General Hygiene Department Ye.H. Honcharuk. Today he is Academician of the National Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine and many foreign academies, Rector of the Kyiv National Medical University named after O.O.Bohomoletz.


Yuriy T. Komorovsky
MD, Professor, author of more than 200
scientific and educational works,
2 monographs. He has prepared 12 MDs,
and 26 Candidates of med. Sc.

Kostyantyn V. Kovanov
MD, Professor, author of more than 200
scientific and educational works.
He has prepared 1 MD,
and 6 Candidates of med. Sc.


There were three courses at the Institute with 624 students, 210 being first-year students 120 second- and 224 third-year students were transferred from medical institutes of Ukraine, Russia and other republics of the former USSR. Scientific Council, the Central Methodical Commission, Chairs began their intricate work as for organizing educational and methodical process, determining strategic directions of scientific work, controlling the level of students' background. In 1959 the first scientific forum was held on the basis of the young Institute the Conference of the Ukrainian Pathophysiological Society. The 7th Plenum of the Ukrainian Scientific Society of Surgeons held in October 1960 had become an important event. The students' scientific circles were functioning successfully.

Thus, the Institute started its activity as a pedagogical, scientific, medical, cultural and educational center of the region. Its best amateur groups were of great success at the city and regional amateur talent reviews, sports competitions. Sanitary-educational work of the teaching staff was connected with their consultative aid for the population directly on the basis of village and district hospitals.


Anatoliy I. Lokay
MD, Professor, author of more than 100 scientific and educational works.
He has prepared 3 Candidates of med. Sc.


1960-1961 academic year came into the Institute’s history as the year of the final Institute formation. The Morphologic building and the regional polyclinic began functioning. The construction of the Institute main clinical base the Regional hospital was finished. The institute amounted to 1360 students, 30 chairs with 148 teachers (7 MDs and 66 C. Sc. were among them). The first graduation of 203 physicians with Diploma of the Ternopil State Medical Institute took place in June, 1961. Later on 10 persons of that graduation became Medicine Doctors and 16 ones became Candidates of Medical Sciences. Here are only some examples. I Chekman became Medicine Doctor, Professor, the Head of the Pharmacology Department of the National Medical University. He is a Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences, Laureate of Ukrainian State Prize. Professor V. Antoniv is the Head of the Otolaryngology Department of the Moscow University of Peoples Friendship, the leader of the Ukrainian National Cultural Society "Slavutych" in Moscow. Professor D. Seimivsky is the Head of the Children's Urology Department at the Kyiv Research Institute of Urology, the Chief Children's Urologist of the Ukrainian Ministry of Public Health. Professor S. Yakymenko is the Head of the Burn Traumas and Eye Plastic Surgery Department at the V.P. Filator Research Institute of Eye Diseases in Odessa. Much new appeared in the Institute activity in the 1970-80s Despite the severe reglamentation of life by the Soviet regime, the further establishing and rise of the institute educational authority went on, many good traditions were formed in those years should not be lost nowadays. First of all, it is a high level of the educational process, conscious discipline, and impartial insistence to the students' knowledge, inspiration of the teachers' scientific research. All of these resulted in considerable strengthening of scientific and pedagogical potential of the higher educational establishment in the 1970s. Such a raising of the creative enthusiasm of young scientists and students was valued in the results of the All-Union competition where the Ternopil Medical Institute took the 4th place among the higher medical educational institutions.


Ivan O. Sytnyk
MD, Professor, author of more than 175
scientific and educational works,
1 monograph. He has prepared 4 MDs,
and 16 Candidates of med. Sc.

Mykola P. Skakun
Honored worker of higher school of Ukraine,
author of more than 450 scientific and educational works,
11 monographs, 8 manuals.
He has prepared 8. MDs,
and 34 Candidates of med. Sc.


During the first ten years of the Institute existence its material and educational scientific base has considerably increased. 2 hostels and a vivarium with laboratories have been built. 178 teachers (13 Doctors and 82 Candidates of Medical Sciences) have already worked at its Departments. On the basis of the Institute numerous republican conferences were held. The preparatory department was opened in 1969, it had been functioning up to 1992. In 1997 the department renewed its work. In 1972 sports sanitation camp "Berizka" was built in Bilche-Zolote for the health-improvement of the students and the teachers. The construction of the sport building was finished in 1971. The prophylactic care building was opened in 1989.

Due to the construction in 1979 of a large regional phychoneurological hospital the department of Nervous Diseases and Psychiatry was provided with proper conditions for studies.

Owing to the presence of qualified pedagogical staff and powerful clinical base the second faculty for in-carcer training doctors was opened in 1979. There are some educational museums at the institute: the Biology Department Museum, the Anatomy Department Museum, the Museum of the Institute History founded in 1982. The Anatomy Department Museum is considered to be one of the best museums in Ukraine. In April 1982 the institute celebrated the 25th anniversary. New hostels for 1000 students had been put into operation by this memorable event. This allowed to provide accomodation for all the students. During these 25 years the teaching staff's professional and scientific level had been constantly improving. The training population amounted to 2500 students, in-career doctors and interns. 36 departments included 310 teachers, with 27 M.D. and 207 C.Sc., One third of the staff consisted of the graduates of the institute. The opening of the central scientific-research laboratory was a memorable event in 1989.

Even under the communist regime some teachers and students demostrated great courage with their non-standard ideas. The student generation of the 1960s remembers the lectures of philosophy teacher V.S. Lisovy, unusual institute wallpapers that he edited. After his arrest for "anti-soviet activity" V.S. Lisovy spent 11 years in jails and concentration camps. At present, Candidate of Philosophy V. Lisovy is the Head of the History Department at the Philosophy Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and Professor at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. It is worth mentioning that such graduates as Heorgy Petruk-Popyk, Stephan Babiy, Hanna Kostiv-Huska made their literary debut at the institute and became famous poets. The development of the institute is closely connected with the name of its rectors: Assistant Professor I.I. Hetman (1972-1981), Prof. I.S. Smiyan (1881-1997), vice-rectors: Professors O.A. Yarosh, O.N. Lulka, I.V. Shust, I.O. Sytnyk, V.H. Koveshnicov (nowadays, he is the Rector of the Luhansk Medical University). In the independent Ukrainian state new opportunities appeared for the institute development: the possibility of developing market relations and joining the European educational community. Some changes are presented below.

On July 1, 1992 by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers the Institute was named after I.Ya. Horbachevsky, a famous scientist, member of the T.G.Shevchenko Scientific Society and All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, born in the Ternopil region. In 1994 the institute was attested and received the highest IV-th degree, the licence providing 400 students to be trained at the Medical Faculty. In 1995 there were founded the Nursing faculty in the specialties of "Nursing Affair" (training nurses and nurses-bachelors) and "Laboratory Diagnosis" (training laboratory assistants-bachelors), the educational complex medical institute-lyceum (nowadays Halytsky College). 82 students, studied at the lyceum in 1995, but in 1997 there were 450 ones. On January 30, 1997 by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine the institute was awarded the status of Academy. In April 1997 the I.Ya. Horbachevsky Ternopil State Medical Academy celebrated the 25th anniversary. For 16 years professor I.S.Smiyan was its rector. He was awarded Coresponding Member of A.M.S of Ukraine, Honourary Worker of Higher school of Ukraine. In 2003 the rector prof. L.Y.Kovalchuk was awarded Coresponding Member of A.M.S of Ukraine. Professor M.P.Skakun also became Honourary Worker of Higher School of Ukraine. Professors L.Ya. Kovalchyk, M.A. Andreychyn, Ya.I. Fedonyuk, M.I. Shved are Honourary Workers of Science and Technology of Ukraine. Professor O.M. Yedynak is Honourary Inventor of Ukraine. Nowadays, the apparatuses of his construction are widely used for the regeneration of bone tissues in osteosynthesis. In 2002 the same degree has V.V.Demyanenko. Since 1997 the Specialized Council for defending theses in the specialities of "Surgery" and "Normal Anatomy" (the Head of the Council is M.D., Prof. L.Ya. Kovalchuk, ) has been functioning. In 2004 the Specialized Council for defending theses in the specialities of "Pediatrics" and "Obstetrics and Gynecology" was founded. In August 1997 Honourary Worker of Science and Technology of Ukraine, M.D., Professor L.Ya. Kovalchuk headed the Academy. The rector's motto is: "We must create the higher educational establishment of European type". In 1999 the Academy confirmed the highest IV-th degree of accreditation. In 2000 the first students were admitted to the pharmaceutical faculty that will train future pharmacists and since 2001 clinical pharmaceutists. In 2000 the Academy received the licence providing obstetricians, doctor's assistants and nurses-laboratory assistants to be trained, the nurses' training faculty having been reorganized into the faculty of bachelors of junior medical personnel. Since 1997 foreign citizens have been studying as students and clinical interns as well. Since 2000 the Preparatory Courses have been functioning for them. In 2000-2001 academic year 154 students and 18 clinical interns from 16 countries studied at the Academy.

There have appeared some new departments: Hospital Therapy No.2, Medical Informatics with the Course of Physics and Special Equipment, Emergency Medicine (on the basis of the Rivne regional hospital), Pharmacognosy with Biology and Medical Genetics, Physiotherapy, Medical Rehabilitation and Treatment at Health Resorts. There appeared much new in the upbringing, national-patriotic and patriotic activity, in spiritual life. The system of tutors and students' self-governing have been regulated. There is a brass band, a choir, a dancing group, an ensemble of folk instruments, sports sections, Club of Talented Youth, a students' theatre, a students' discussing club. The Academy has its own picture-gallery. A new generation of poets is growing among the teachers and students. Poetic anthologies by teachers Lesia Romanchuk, (a member of the Ukrainian Society of Writers), Valery Didukh, Roman Ladyka have been published. Great changes are taking place in the material-technical resourses: almost all the buildings have been reconstructed and re-equipped. The educational base of the Academy is extensive: 8 buildings, 16 medical institutions. The hostels have been repaired, the network of students' cafes and canteens has been created. In 1998 Sport-Health Centre "Berizka" where the teachers and students of the Academy may rest was renovated. In 2001 the Academy bought a new sport-health centre "Red Guelder rose" at the distance of 28 km from Ternopil.

The Head of the Military-Medical Academy (Kyiv) General H.A.Pasko:
“I can say that I saw Ternopil state medical Institute from its birth. Last time I was here two years ago….I’d like to notice it’s very impressive”
The Head of the History of Ukrainian Philosophy Department, the Philosophy Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine V. S. Lisovyy:
“I’ve got acquainted with the authority that together with its staff fulfils successful work and is optimistic in spite of all difficulties”


In January 1999 while being in Ternopil the President of Ukraine L.D. Kuchma visited the Academy. He had talks with the students and the Academy staff. He was impressed by the achievements and the results of the staff's work.

In 2000 the Academy took the third place among all the Ukrainian higher medical schools having the IV-th accreditation level according to the total appreciation of all the Academy activities. The highly qualified teaching staff includes many graduates of the Academy, including the rector, 5 vice-rectors, 3 deans, 29 heads of the departments. At present, 68 Medicine Doctors, professors, 265 Candidate of Sciences, lecturers are working at the University. The University is one of the best higher schools in Ukraine as for the number of the teachers with scientific degrees, this index being 75-85 per cent within 3 last years. Nowadays there is one Corresponding member of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, 6 Honorary Workers of Science and Technology, 2 Honorary Workers of Higher School, 2 honorary inventors of Ukraine, 2 Honorary Doctors of Ukraine are training students at the University. During its existence the University has trained about 13 thousand doctors, 17,000 specialists have improved their qualification at the Post-graduate faculty.

The educational process is being developed in confirmity with the world demands upon qualification characteristics of specialists. New educational curricula have been put into life. Mighty publishing house "Ukrmedknyha", computer center "Internet", the studio for compact-discs recording are functioning at the University. There are 7 computer classrooms, the library with its reading-rooms, all the departments have been equiped with computers.

The network of telecommunication is widely used for giving lectures, holding confrerences.

In 1999-2000 academic year telecommunications were used in giving 9 lectures, holding 4 scie ntific educational forums, Academicians H.V. Knyshov, O.O. Shalimov and other famous Ukrainian scientists having taken part in the forums.

The University has initiated and publishes 6 All-Ukrainian scientific-practical journals, newspaper "Medical Academy" having the regional status and being published twice a month, "Ukrmedknyha" has initiated a new series of medical literature "Doctor's Practice".

Investigating the theme "Osteoporosis" is prevalent in the scientific work, a half of the departments taking part in developing the subject. Year in year out one can observe quite a better dynamics of introducing new inventions into practice.

Swine lyopholized xenodermagrafts created by Prof.V.V. Bihunyak are being successfully applied for treating burns in all the Ukrainian burn centers.

To improve and to increase treatment prophylactic work the University has created Consultation Treatment Centre. The reconstruction of the building for the academic surgical clinic is being performed.

According to the Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No 831-p of 17.11.2004 and the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine No 596 of 02.12.2004 the Academy has been reorganised into I.Horbachevsky Ternopil State Medical University.

The staff is not going "to rest on the laurels", but does its best to make new advances in reforming the higher medical education, in training highly qualified specialists for Ukraine's revival.

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