Valentyna Velychko: “Thanks to the activities of Academician Valerii Mykolayovych Zaporozhan, our university is actively developing its clinical bases.”

Velychko Valentyna Ivanivna, Doctor of Medicine, Professor, Head Department of Family Medicine, Odessa National Medical University

Your department is one of the youngest in the university, tell us about it.

The Department of Family Medicine was established in 1998 on the basis of the Department of Therapy №2 of the Faculty of Advanced Training of Physicians. The first head was Professor, Doctor of Medical Sciences Popyk Halyna Stepanoivna.

There were years when more than 40 teachers worked at the department. Today the department has 24 employees. Two of them are professors, six associate professors, seven candidates of medical sciences, two honored doctors of Ukraine, nine assistants, two of them have already completed candidate dissertations – they are in the Council at the stage of preparation for defense, four assistants are already at the planning stage. All our employees have the highest qualification category in various medical specialties (family medicine, therapy, pediatrics, neurology, anesthesiology, cardiology, endocrinology, etc.) and extensive practical experience.

The Department of Family Medicine conducts undergraduate training of 6th year students, postgraduate training: primary specialization of interns and secondary specialization of doctors in the specialty “general practice – family medicine” and “therapy”, as well as advanced training courses (internships, thematic improvement etc).

Since 2013, 18 clinicians and 5 graduate students have been trained at the department.

The department has branches in Mykolayiv and Kherson. Tell us about them. Kherson branch was opened in 2014. What was the reason for it?

Yes, the department has branches in Mykolayiv and Kherson. In Mykolayiv the branch was opened in 1990, there are our clinical bases – Primary Health Care Centre #4 and a regional clinical hospital.

The Kherson branch was opened in 2014 due to the martial law of Crimea, as Kherson region belonged to the Simferopol Medical University. The clinical base of the department is the city clinical hospital named after E.Ye. Karabelesha.

Existence of branches in Kherson and Mykolayiv gives the chance to doctors of these areas to pass both an internship, and postgraduate improvement of the professional skill, without leaving the region.

You have been heading the department since 2013. How has the department and the university in general changed during this time?

Over the past seven years, the department has been developing rapidly with the assistance of the administration. 635 family doctors and therapists, 162 interns of the Kherson region, 659 family doctors and therapists and 164 interns of the Nikolaev area, 938 family doctors and therapists and 212 interns of the Odessa region have received postgraduate education.

The department organizes and participates in Ukrainian and international scientific and practical conferences, seminars, round tables and workshops on topical issues of family medicine.

The Association of Family Medicine of the Odessa region has been opened at the department, which regularly holds monthly meetings.

The School of Diabetes and Overweight for Patients has been established at the department since February 2020. It was conceived as a social project.

And if we talk about changes in the university in general, then thanks to the activities of the rector of Academician Valerii Mykolayovych Zaporozhan, our university is actively developing its clinical bases. Valerii Mykolayovych, one of the first rectors of medical universities in Ukraine, organized a multidisciplinary university clinic, on the basis of which innovative medical technologies are developed.

The opening of stimulation classes gave students, interns and doctors of various specialties the opportunity to improve their practical skills in conditions as close as possible to the clinical situation.

Our university is constantly being improved and reorganized taking into account the changing international modern recommendations, which allows our staff to take a competitive position among the leaders of medical education and the provision of quality medical care. Wide opportunities for international cooperation have been created for the medical community, in which absolutely everyone can participate: from a student to a specialist.

In the future, of course, there are great opportunities for the development of the university as a whole and its departments.

What is your scientific direction today, what are you working on?

Today’s topic of research work of the department is: “Age features of treatment and rehabilitation of pulmonological, endocrinological diseases in overweight patients in the practice of a family doctor.” Three dissertations have been defended on this topic and patents were obtained for inventions “Method of complex treatment and prevention of complications of shoulder periarthritis in patients with overweight or obesity”, “Method of modeling obesity”, “Method of complex treatment and prevention of patients with bronchial asthma, overweight or obesity”.

Employees of the department have published more than 236 articles and abstracts on scientific and methodological work, six of them – in SCOPUS, WEB-Science. Employees of the department are co-authors of the national textbook “Family Medicine” in three books in three languages. In addition, he co-authored six textbooks and three guidelines for family physicians, national protocols for health care.

What are the plans of the department for 2020?

Among the plans for 2020 – to continue growing, developing for the benefit of the university and for the health of Odessa. And, of course, all this will succeed if V.M. Zaporozhan, who has always created conditions for the improvement of absolutely all employees of our truly unique university, returns to the position of rector