Conference of the University staff of ONMedU: Despite all the challenges of time

On February 20, the Conference of the University staff of Odesa National Medical University was held remotely.

106 delegates (out of 133) took part in the work of the Conference. Members of the Supervisory Board were invited, including the rector of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy named after Grigore T. Popa (Iasi, Romania) — Professor Emeritus of ONMedU Viorel Skripcariu. He congratulated the delegates on the important event and expressed his willingness to participate in the work of our university on the way to creating the best conditions for the development of Ukrainian higher medical education and the sustainable development of Odesa National Medical University in the difficult historical conditions.

Academician Valerii Zaporozhan, Rector of ONMedU, spoke with the Annual Report for 2023.

In his report, Valerii Mykolaiovych detailed all aspects of the university’s activities in 2023 — educational, scientific, educational, medical work, training of health care specialists, scientific and scientific-pedagogical personnel, international activities of the university and many other issues.

“For two years in a row, the university has been operating under martial law. Despite anxiety and uncertainty, we continue to live and carry out serious and complex statutory tasks aimed at the implementation of educational activities for the training of specialists in the field of health care, scientific activities, ensuring the fulfillment of state orders, implementation of consultative-diagnostic and treatment-prophylactic work aimed at forming a healthy nation and improving the health of the population of Southern Ukraine, for educational activities focused on the cultural and spiritual development of the personality of future doctors, the education of higher education graduates in the spirit of patriotism and national dignity, ensuring the stable financial and economic situation of the university,” Valerii Zaporozhan emphasized.

The training of specialists was carried out at five faculties: medical No. 1 and No. 2, the Faculty of Dentistry, the Faculty of Pharmacy and the International Faculty. Three professional educational programs “Medicine”, “Dentistry”, “Pharmacy, industrial pharmacy” have been updated.

The organization and implementation of the educational process was carried out in a mixed format, using distance learning technologies under martial law. As of January 1, 2024, the scientific and pedagogical staff includes 728 employees in 42 departments who participate in the implementation of all accredited educational programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. From the total number of professors and teaching staff at ONMedU, there are 118 doctors of science, 375 doctors of philosophy, 94 professors, 234 associate professors, 2 academicians and 2 corresponding members of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 16 honored figures of science and technology of Ukraine, 28 honored doctors, 1 honored inventor and 1 honored worker of education of Ukraine.

Last year was distinguished by a variety of educational-methodical, scientific and scientific-practical events in which ONMedU scientists participated: conferences, congresses, symposia, forums of various levels, including international ones, a wide range of methodical seminars, workshops, webinars, trainings, master classes. To ensure the quality of the educational process, 4 textbooks (collective), 13 collective training manuals, 19 teaching and methodical manuals, including in English, and many other materials were prepared and published.

Scientific and student libraries provide informational support for the educational process. Students and researchers are given access to sources of special literature from around the world, collections of biomedical literature, as well as to the funds of more than 500 libraries in Europe and the USA.


During 2023, scientific and pedagogical workers of ONMedU took an active part in the activities of working groups of various directions, cooperated with NAQA (National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance), expert councils of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, state administrations and public organizations. Thus, at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor Valeriia Marichereda is the head of the expert group of experts of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in the direction of “Obstetric and gynecological care”. Professor Volodymyr Artyomenko is a member of the Ministry of Health’s Research Commission. At the Department of Pediatrics, Professor Mykola Ariaev is a member of the higher education sector “Pediatrics” of the Scientific and Methodological Council of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Ukraine. At the Department of Physical Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine and Physical Education, Professor Olha Yushkivska is a member of the Coordination Council of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on Physical Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine.

Many leading specialists of other departments are also represented in institutions of various directions.

In 2023, the volume of the international cooperation of ONMedU increased in such areas as internships and advanced training of scientists abroad, online participation in educational events, development of student academic mobility, deepening of cooperation with higher education institutions of Great Britain, Lithuania, Romania, Georgia, Austria and Sweden; activation of the opportunities of the “Erasmus+” project programs within the framework of cooperation, in particular, with the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, many other projects are being developed.

As of December 2023, ONMedU has about 60 signed agreements with educational and scientific institutions and organizations of 25 countries. Active cooperation continues with the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (Kaunas), the Medical University of Vienna (Austria), the Romanian Grigore T. Popa Medical University (Iasi), Queen Mary University of London, the Georgian National University and the Caucasus International University (Tbilisi).

The departments of propaedeutics of pediatrics, propaedeutics of internal diseases and therapy, pharmaceutical chemistry and drug technology, obstetrics and gynecology made a significant contribution to the development of international relations.

Academician Valerii Zaporozhan highlighted many other issues, in particular, regarding the activities of the Student Scientific Societies and the Society of Young Scientists, student self-government, as well as medical and consulting work aimed at the prevention and treatment of patients in the Multidisciplinary Center and the Center for Restorative and Reconstructive Medicine, financial and economic work.

The speaker answered the questions of the delegates of the Conference of the University Staff, which were related to the most urgent problems of today and prospects for the development of the university.

Conference delegates took an active part in the discussion of the rector’s report.

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine No. 1, Professor Alla Volyanska, focused her speech on the development of academic mobility of students and teachers as a prerequisite for the training of highly qualified medical personnel in the modern world.

“A vivid example is the cooperation of ONMedU under the program of support of Ukrainian universities “Twinning” in partnership with the National Representation of Universities of Great Britain. Queen Mary University of London became our twin, where two groups of higher education seekers underwent internships in London hospitals. They stayed in university dormitories and attended the library. The sensitive attitude of British people towards our students left the most wonderful memories. The deputy director for health care, Sir Mark Caulfield, noted that the English side was very pleased to receive the Ukrainian higher education seekers. The prognostic tool developed together with the English side and translated into Ukrainian, which was designed to help traumatologists determine the success of the prognosis of limb-sparing surgery after a combat injury became the attainment of this program. Considering the ongoing war in Ukraine and the frequency of combat injuries of the lower extremities, this tool can be useful for military surgeons and traumatologists.

Also, three higher education seekers were trained under the academic mobility program at the Medical University of Vienna,” emphasized the dean of medical faculty No. 1.

She thanked the university leadership represented by the rector Valerii Zaporozhan for the comprehensive support of the academic mobility of higher education seekers and teachers.

Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, Associate Professor Volodymyr Valda, spoke about the modern technologies introduced last year at the faculty, which celebrated its 65th anniversary since its establishment.

“One of the most important events is the successful implementation of the introduction of simulation technologies into the educational process, which helps to train higher education seekers in more realistic conditions and prepare them for professional activities with a higher level of confidence and competence. Simulation technologies provide an opportunity to use virtual models and training situations, which significantly reduces the risk of errors and increases the safety and quality of dental care.

The leadership qualities of the rector, his strategic vision, which contributes to changes in the educational environment in accordance with modern requirements, play an important role in the renewal process. I am deeply grateful to the rector for his support and tireless desire to improve the quality of education for higher education seekers” noted Volodymyr Valda.

The head of the department of disaster and military medicine, associate professor Volodymyr Maidaniuk, spoke about the hard work of the department in providing assistance to wounded defenders of Ukraine. “Creating comfortable conditions for our heroes, in which they are during treatment, is of great importance. We thank the rector for his help in organizing the department’s medical work, as well as for the opportunity to train reserve officers ,” Volodymyr Maidaniuk emphasized.

The head of the student trade union Valeria Ladyzhenska reported on the work of the trade union committee for the past year. One of the important directions was the support of socially vulnerable and privileged categories of higher education seekers, displaced persons and children of military personnel, psychological assistance and volunteer work. Together with representatives of the student self-government, members of the trade union visited our defenders in hospitals, and were prepared gifts for them during the New Year holidays.

The students held events for the Independence Day of Ukraine, the Day of Unity, the Day of Ukrainian Statehood and other holidays, round tables on the topic of national symbols and history of Ukraine.

“In these difficult times, in the conditions of martial law, the ONMedU student union has a clear work plan and is very grateful for the good cooperation and help from the leadership and all structural units of the university,” said Valeria Ladyzhenska.

Associate Professor of the Department of Family Medicine and Polyclinic Therapy Volodymyr Synenko pointed out the increased activity of the university in planning, organizing and holding scientific and practical conferences for higher education seekers and teachers. Most of them, taking into account the current challenges, are held in a mixed format, where the listeners have the opportunity to choose between the presence of the hall and the online connection. “Many departments of the university have sufficient experience of such work. Without a doubt, holding conferences is a useful and interesting way for the university to communicate with the medical community of the region, the country, and the whole world. Odesa Medical University has outstanding results in this. I suggest that we continue to pay sufficient attention to this aspect in the planning of the university’s work,” Volodymyr Synenko pointed out.

Associate Professor of the Department of Pediatrics Viktor Biriukov commented on the rector’s report and noted the absolute importance of constant quality control of the educational process and the positive results of ISO 9001 monitoring: “Since 2015, we have been certified according to this very influential standard. And compliance with it requires passing an annual supervisory audit.

As a member of several teams preparing for accreditation, I would like to note that, more than ever, the new young employees of the university worked with great enthusiasm. The selection of team members, conducted by the university leadership and vice-rector Eduard Buryachkivskyi, turned out to be very successful and fruitful!

I assure you that in our environment there are very creative young people who are fighting for the honor of the university, and this gives reason to look optimistically into the future. I ask you to support Valerii Mykolayovych’s report.”

Head of the Department of Ophthalmology, Professor Lyudmila Wenger, drew attention to the fundamental changes in the health care system. The last four years turned out to be the most difficult test for our country, which had never happened before. “The COVID-19 and the period of martial law in Ukraine mercilessly tested our strength, endurance and dedication to the profession.

The fundamental changes that have taken place in the health care system and the leadership show that we have not only resisted, but also been able to adapt and improve our practices. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the rector for his visionary approach to medical management. Currently, we are witnessing a technological revolution, namely digitalization in the field of medicine. The decision to restore the position of vice-rector for medical work opens the way to the integration of the latest technologies and methods in both the educational and the medical process. Communication between directors of clinics, preparation for concluding contracts with the National Health Service of Ukraine, improving the quality of education thanks to the possibility of acquiring competencies by students of higher education at their own clinical bases are priority tasks specifically for the vice-rector for medical work. This step will open significant prospects for the alma mater for the future, improve the quality and make the provision of highly specialized care to the population more accessible and ensure the sustainable progressive development of university clinics.

Our friendly community of scientific and pedagogical staff and medical workers of university clinics has the potential and power to change and improve the medical system in the Southern region,” Lyudmila Wenger emphasized.

Delegates of the Conference of the University staff unanimously approved the Annual Report for 2023 of Rector Academician Valerii Zaporozhan.

In his closing speech, the head of the university expressed his gratitude to the Conference delegates and the entire university community: “Thank you for your fruitful work and dedication to the university despite all the difficulties of wartime. Our course, as always, is high-quality education and research, fulfillment of the tasks assigned to us by the state and the people.”