This year, St Petersburg University has shown a twofold increase in applications for medical programmes. Petr Iablonskii, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at St Petersburg University, said this during a press conference in TASS that was dedicated to the first results of the admissions campaign at universities of St Petersburg.

p.k. yablonskiy tass

The briefing was also attended by: Elena Parmon, Director of the Institute of Medical Education at Almazov National Medical Research Centre; Andrei Yaremenko, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at the Pavlov First St Petersburg State Medical University; Sergei Artyushkin, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at North-Western State Medical University named after I I Mechnikov; and Viktor Puzyrev, Executive Secretary of the Admissions Office at St Petersburg State Paediatric Medical University.

At the press conference, Petr Iablonskii said that St Petersburg University admits students for all levels of education in the field of healthcare and medical sciences. Secondary education programmes are available at the Medical College of St Petersburg University, and there are: two specialist’s programmes (‘General Medicine’ and ‘Dental Medicine’); 28 clinical residency programmes; and four doctoral programmes.

In 2020, the University Admissions Committee has registered a threefold increase in the number of applications for secondary vocational education programmes. There was a twofold increase in the number of applicants for specialist’s programmes. The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at St Petersburg University explained such a snowballing growth by the increasing interest of applicants in the opportunities offered by a classical university. First of all, it is a multidisciplinary and fundamental education: future doctors are trained at St Petersburg university by teaching staff from 11 faculties and institutes.

In 2020, the average score of those applying for government-funded places at St Petersburg University was: 94.5 points for the General Medicine programme; and 93 points for Dental Medicine.

We see both qualitative and quantitative growth in all areas. For the past six years, St Petersburg University has been sharing the place with Moscow State University in terms of the quality of admissions to universities in healthcare programmes. We are becoming one of the medical Meccas not only in our city, but also in the country.

Petr Iablonskii, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at St Petersburg University

The experts also discussed the imminent changes that the pandemic has made in the teaching and learning process. According to the heads of medical universities and faculties, distance learning has an indisputable advantage: lectures began to be ‘attended’ by a larger audience. This implies that revising for exams is more serious. However, the participants in the press conference stated that it is impossible to teach future doctors only online without live communication with the patient. ‘The chemistry of clinical resident rounds and night shifts has disappeared. And without this, a doctor cannot become a doctor,’ noted Petr Iablonskii.

According to Petr Iablonskii, St Petersburg University is now fully ready for the new academic year: combined training is proposed. Lectures will be online, and practical classes should continue to be held on the territory of clinical sites: outpatient and inpatient facilities, and medical centres. St Petersburg University has about a hundred of them.

The decision to admit us to clinical sites depends on the decisions taken by the Health Committee and our regional office of the Russian Federal Agency Rospotrebnadzor (the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing).

Petr Iablonskii, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at St Petersburg University

The rapid spread of the new coronavirus disease, in addition to the need to make split-second decisions and to unite forces, has raised ethical questions for the medical community: are young doctors ready to take risks and take responsibility for the lives and health of patients. According to the experts, this may also affect the teaching and learning process. ‘The experience of the red zones, which we have now gained, has opened our eyes to those moral issues that we have talked about a little less often than they deserve. We must create all the conditions for the moral education of a student during their studies,’ noted Petr Iablonskii.