A delegation from the Fergana Medical Institute of Public Health has visited St Petersburg University to discuss possibilities for future cooperation.

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The Fergana Medical Institute of Public Health was a branch of Tashkent Medical Academy, and in 2020 it received the status of an independent educational institution. ‘Our institute is still quite a young institution, so we would like to immediately lay a strong foundation that will enable us to become as successful as St Petersburg University. We are honoured to cooperate with your University,’ said Akmal Sidikov, Rector of the Fergana Medical Institute of Public Health.

One of the topics discussed at the meeting was the development and implementation of joint academic programmes. Currently, in order to obtain a double degree, the students of the institute have to pass exams twice. This problem can be solved by holding state examinations with the involvement of attestation committees that will include specialists from both universities.

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‘We want to educate real professionals in the field of medicine, so we are interested in joint academic programmes,’ said Akmal Sidikov. ‘We are ready to adopt the experience of the University without changing anything in the programmes you already have’.

Maxillofacial surgery and infectious diseases were identified as promising areas for the creation of such programmes. Ivan Pchelin, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at St Petersburg University, pointed out the need to compare the curricula and experiences of the two universities in order to find points of convergence in the academic programmes. He suggested that cooperation should start with short-term internships for residents and staff exchanges.

In 2019, Russia and Uzbekistan signed an intergovernmental agreement on mutual recognition of degrees. As a result, applicants, students and graduates of Russian universities do not have to undergo the procedure of educational documents recognition in Uzbekistan, and vice versa.

Particular attention was paid to the discussion of the clinical residency programme ‘Health Organisation and Public Health‘. Ekaterina Chesnokova, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Care Organisation and Medical Law at St Petersburg University, in addition to staff exchange, suggested active involvement of colleagues in general research activities.

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‘Our priorities include the digitalisation of healthcare, digital medicine, legal ethical regulation and the use of artificial intelligence in medical activities’, listed Ekaterina Chesnokova. ‘These areas have not yet been sufficiently explored, so we mainly focus on research now. The staff of our department are even involved in drafting normative acts of international importance. We would therefore also be interested in cooperating with your institute in this area.’

Petr Iablonskii is Senior Vice-Rector for Medical Care of St Petersburg University.

Stressing the importance of joint research and publication activities, he said that the University publishes the journal ‘Vestnik of St Petersburg University. Medicine and it is ready to accept publications by foreign specialists.

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He approached the partners from Uzbekistan with a proposal to join the editorial boards of the University scientific journals and take part in preparing issues. In turn, professors of St Petersburg University would be ready to cooperate with scientific journals of the Fergana Medical Institute. Additionally, Petr Iablonskii suggested considering the possibility of target recruitment for students from Uzbekistan.

The programmes of the Faculty of Medicine at St Petersburg University differ from those of classical medical schools in having a special university module. The curriculum for medical students is 12,800 hours instead of 10,000.

During the meeting, the possibility of Uzbek applicants participating in St Petersburg University Olympiad for School Students in Medicine was discussed. This is the only Russian first-level competition in this field of knowledge: all medalists and winners of this Olympiad are admitted without examination to almost any medical university in Russia. Representatives of St Petersburg University suggested inviting applicants from Uzbekistan to participate, while representatives of the Fergana Medical Institute suggested considering the Olympiad as a form of student selection.

In conclusion, representatives of St Petersburg University invited their colleagues to participate in the University scientific events. Some of the upcoming events will be: the scientific and practical conference ‘Medicine and Law in the 21st Century‘, which will be held on 25 December; and the international biomedical scientific conference of young researchers ‘Fundamental Science and Clinical Medicine. Homo and Health. At the end of the meeting, the parties agreed to discuss possible formats of cooperation in more detail and exchange forms of framework agreements to create a common official document.

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