Shaping the face of public health in Russia

Posted on 07/22/11




Medical students and PhD candidates learning about public health.

By: Natasha Arlyapova, PIH-Russia 

MOSCOW –– PIH-Russia’s summer school for young scientists – now in its fourth year – is helping set a new standard in public health care in Russia.

Led by staff from Harvard School of Public Health, First Moscow State Medical University (MSMU) and the Federal Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Perinatology (FRC), the institute teaches medical and graduate students to plan and conduct scientific research according to international standards. Participants include some of the brightest medical and PhD candidates from Russian and a number of former Soviet countries.

“Every year the institute improves the types of innovative methods available to students,” says Natalia Dolgushina, head of FRC’s Service for Scientific and Organizational Support.

“This year the summer school participants will benefit from practical sessions using statistical software Statistica 10 (StatSoft USA) to improve their knowledge and skills in biostatics,” says Natalia.

Harvard professors Drs. John Orav and Daniel Singer will deliver lectures – broadcast via satellite – on survival analysis and interventional studies.

Though Drs. Orav and Singer may not be present, many of the institute’s Russian trainers – Natalia Dolgushina, Sergey Morozov, Dmitry Voronov and Evgeny Belilovsky – are graduates of the Harvard School of Public Health.

As in former years, the institute will focus on quantitative research methodology, including: hypothesis formulation and testing, planning research studies, statistical analysis, and writing and submitting publications. In the end, the summer institute refines the skills needed to participate in post-graduate academic research.

Impacting the direction of health research performed in Russia

Because MSMU and FRC play a leading role in medical science and education, certification and advanced training, the summer school impacts national conversations about health care and health science research.

More specifically, the summer program has significant impacted the types of courses and curriculum used to train clinicians and public health workers at MSMU. 

“The 2011-2012 MSMU curriculum includes a new two-year program for Masters of Public Health,” says Sergey Boyarsky, dean of MSMU’s public health department and head of the summer institute. “In addition to adding major classes such as ‘Organization of Public Health,’ ‘Economics in Public Health,’ and ‘Epidemiology,’ new curriculum includes ‘Biostatistics’ and ‘Evidence-based Medicine’.”

By expanding the training and expertise of future physicians and medical researchers, PIH-Russia’s summer institute hopes to cultivate changes that will permanently alter Russia’s health care landscape. In the end, programs like this foster a relationship between leading medical and health programs in the US and Russia, while also establishing a foundation for future scientific achievements in medicine.

PIH-Russia’s summer program began in 2008. Funding for the program comes from both the Eli Lilly and Ford Foundations. 

Learn more about PIH-Russia.


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