Medical Practice

< Back

Medical academy

The study and research traditions of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) date back to 1919, when the Higher Medical Courses were established. At the end of January 1920 they became the Department Medicine of Higher Courses. In 1922 after the opening of the University of Lithuania in Kaunas,  the Faculty of Medicine of this university  was established on the basis of the Department of Medicine.

On 16 February 1922, Petras Avižonis was confirmed as the first dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lithuania. The Statutes of the University adopted by the Constituent Seimas provided for and started operating the Departments of Medicine, Pharmacy, Odontology and Veterinary Medicine (since 1936 LVA) at the Faculty of Medicine. In 1933 the new building of the Faculty of Medicine was opened in A. Mickevičius Street (architect V. Dubeneckis).

HISTORY OF THE MEDICAL ACADEMY

In 1937 by the initiative of Vladas Lašas, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, the construction of the Clinics of the Vytautas Magnus University was begun, the Clinics received the first patients in 1940. The hospital then had 663 beds and was one of the most modern medical facilities in Europe.  

In the autumn semester of 1940, the academic plans and the whole curriculum were harmonised with the academic plans and curriculum of the Soviet Medical Schools and Soviet Education System. With the outbreak of World War II, the University returned to its former order of study. After the end of the war, the studies were reorganised according to the general curricula of the Soviet Higher Medical Schools. In 1946 the University moved to a session exam procedure. In the post-war years, a great deal of attention was paid to political, general theoretical, medical subjects, and the teaching of practical subjects in the speciality was greatly reduced. 

In 1950 Kaunas State University  was reorganised into Kaunas Medical (KMI) and Kaunas Polytechnic (KPI) institutes. On 29 December 1950 by the order of the USSR Minister of Health, Prof. Juozas Kupčinskas was given the post of Director of KMI. This date is considered to be the date of establishment of an independent medical school in Kaunas. 2 faculties have been established at the Institute of Medicine: Medical and Pharmaceutical-Dental. 1950-1989 KMI trained 9,500 physicians, 2,300 pharmacists, 2,200 dentists, and 67 biophysicists. KMI was one of the best medical schools in the USSR, with which foreign universities and medical research institutions cooperated.  

In 1989 Kaunas Medical Institute became Kaunas Medical Academy (KMA). In 1990, the Academic Clinics were returned to the Academy’s structure, in 1991 – Institutes of Endocrinology and Cardiology, in 1992 the Institute of Psychophysiology and Rehabilitation were established, the Institute of Biomedical Research was reorganised, profile academic clinics were established, some departments were reorganised, and the reorganisation of studies was begun.  

The academy grew into 5 faculties: Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, in 1990 the Department for Nurses with Higher Education was founded (present-day Nursing), in 1994 – the Faculty of Public Health. The structure of the faculties corresponds to the programmes of most European universities: the principle of gradation of studies has been introduced, disciplines are taught in blocks, pre-diploma studies are linked to postgraduate studies. In 1989-1998 the KMA trained 2,532 physicians, 587 pharmacists, 846 dentists, 364 nurses, and 28 public health professionals. 

Reforms of the study structure were completed for the beginning of the academic year of 1995. In 1998 Kaunas Medical Academy  became Kaunas University of Medicine (KMU). 

In 2006 the university had 4,800 students, 7,500 specialists in various fields, more than 120 professors and 718 doctors of science. About 77 % of the doctors who defended their dissertations remained in the university structure. Students from 20 countries of the world studied at the university. 

On 6 March 2007 a building was opened on the Clinics Campus, which consists of a library with 400 places, a health sciences information centre and Prof. Juozas Kupčinskas reading room. The 4 – storey building of one of the most modern libraries in Lithuania is designed according to the model of European university libraries (arch. Gražinos Janulytės-Bernotienės Studija). The complex has a 56-seat computer room, a 12-seat training classroom, a 40-seat seminar room and a 72-seat conference rooms. The library’s repository contains about 700 thousand medical publications. 

By the resolution of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania of 18 March 2010, Kaunas University of Medicine and the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy were merged into the University of Health Sciences.

Important dates

1919

Establishment of Higher Medical Courses were established, which at the end of January 1920 became the Department of Medicine of the Higher Courses.

1922

Petras Avižonis confirmed as the first Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lithuania. The Statutes of the University adopted by the Constituent Seimas provided for and started operating the Departments of Medicine, Pharmacy and Odontology.

1937

By the initiative of Vladas Lašas, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, the construction of the Clinics of the Vytautas Magnus University was begun, the Clinics received the first patients in 1940.

1950

Kaunas State University reorganised into Kaunas Medical (KMI) and Kaunas Polytechnic (KPI) Institutes.

1989

Kaunas Medical Institute is renamed as the Kaunas Medical Academy (KMA). In 1990, the Academic Clinics were returned to the Academy’s structure, in 1991 – Institutes of Endocrinology and Cardiology, in 1992 the Institute of Psychophysiology and Rehabilitation were established, the Institute of Biomedical Research was reorganised, profile academic clinics were established, some departments were reorganised, and the reorganisation of studies was begun.

1998

Kaunas Medical Academy is renamed as the Kaunas University of Medicine (KMU).

2010

Following the merger of Kaunas University of Medicine and the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy, the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences is established.

RECTORS

  • 1946 – 1953
    Juozas Kupčinskas
  • 1953 – 1984
    Zigmas Januškevičius
  • 1984–1991
     Vilius Grabauskas
  • 2002 – 2020
    Remigijus Žaliūnas