Medical education — growth vectors

A demand for quality medical education in Kazakhstan goes up every year. The country’s medical institutions need highly-skilled professionals who are ready to learn new technologies and develop their skills. However, the medical profession is a destiny of stout-hearted altruists utterly devoted to humankind since the learning process is not limited to study in the university, but continues throughout life. 

The medical universities and colleges develop and implement new educational programs, expand the number of clinical sites for in-service education programs, and develop training programs.

South Kazakhstan Medical Academy, founded in 1979, is one of the country’s most dynamically developing medical universities.

Rector of the university — Ryssbekov Myrzabek Myrzashevich, MD, Professor, Academician of the Academy of Sciences of Clinical and Fundamental Medicine.

Mission of SKMA

To be an acknowledged leader in the area of competitive personnel training.

Purpose of SKMA

To obtain  a status of research university

The quality of medical education — unity of science and practice.

SKMA trains medical and pharmaceutical personnel at the level of technical and vocational education, post-secondary, higher, postgraduate education and then at the level of continuous professional development, as well as process engineers for pharmaceutical production at the level of Bachelor’s programme.

All the educational programs are accredited by the Independent Association of Accredited Registrars (IAAR) for all levels of training.

The number of students at the academy in recent years has increased by half, currently the number of students is more than 7,000, of which about 1,500 are foreign students. The departments employ highly qualified specialists: doctors and candidates of medical science and pharmacy, Physicians of Superior Merit, distinguished physicians of the Republic of Kazakhstan, academicians of public and national academies of sciences, holders of the “Healthcare Excellence” badge, “Best faculty member of the RK”, “Best scientist of RK universities». The academic degree holders rate of SKMA is more than 40%.

As part of polylinguistic space policy implementation, education is provided in 3 languages. The personnel are trained in close cooperation with employers; dual learning model is implemented. The modular academic programs are implemented in the educational process, active teaching methods, simulation technology, and standardized patients in clinical training are widely used. 

In 2022, according to the results of the national rating of educational programs conducted by “Atameken” National Chamber of Entrepreneurs and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan SKMA has taken a dominant position.

Currently, of 44 departments, 19 are clinical departments, being well positioned for practical training of students at more than 42 clinical sites. The total area of SKMA premises located in healthcare organizations of Shymkent city for the last three years has increased from 3000m2 to 5000m2.

The bachelors of the Faculty of Pharmacy are trained in 17 specialized teaching and research laboratories equipped with the necessary modern equipment to strengthen students’ professional skills: pharmaceutical analysis of pharmaceutical products; preparation of compounded and commercially manufactured drugs under conditions as close to production as possible; compounding, drying, storage and analysis of medicinal plants and raw materials.

There is a computer-testing and publishing center equipped with modern computers with licensed software combined into a local network and connected to the Internet (speed 600 Mbit/s), printing and other equipment of the new generation. SKMA has a library and information center with multimedia library, which provides students and academic teaching staff with educational, learning teaching and scientific literature on blocks of disciplines and educational programs by language of tuition and access to international full-text databases. 

Research activity 

The students and professors are actively engaged in scientific research. Only for 2022, SKMA employees have published 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals indexed by world databases of Scopus and Web of Science, this is twice as much as in 2021. The number of citations is 4379. The research work is carried out as part of 18 development projects, 9 of which were launched in 2018.

SKMA takes part in the Targeted Financing Program as a co-contractor in Shymkent, Turkistan and Kyzylorda regions in framework of implementation of the “National Program for Introduction of Personalized and Preventive Medicine in Kazakhstan”, topic — “Prevalence of risk factors for non-contagious diseases in Kazakhstan: a cross-sectional trial”.  

The level of participation in conferences has increased, particularly the number of published abstracts of employees (420 to 428) and students (280 to 394). The same upward trend is observed in relation to protection document: over the past three years, faculty staff has received 32 patents, 2 world wide patents, 82 certificates of authorship, 120 books, monographs, study guides. 

Another important and interesting novelty — since 2020, the academy has been publishing a “Central Asian Journal of Medical Hypotheses and Ethics” scientific journal (CAJMHE), which was included in Publons being one of the tools of the Web of Science platform of Clarivate Analitics, as well as in the NCBI database (Pubmed).

To develop the scientific activity of the university, Office of Commercialization and Project Management has been in operation at SKMA since September 2022, which provides consulting assistance in scientific research, publication of scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, and commercialization of research and development results. 

International cooperation 

Medical Academy cooperates with more than 50 universities and research centers of near and far-abroad countries. Key areas of cooperation: implementation of educational and visiting professor programs; academic mobility of students and faculty members; development of innovative educational technology, particularly the distance learning; implementation of joint scientific research; scientific internships of Master’s student, PhD students, and clinical internships (rotations) of residents; engaging foreign students; implementation of international projects of the Erasmus+ program, etc.

SKMA graduates are the sought-after specialists in health care, with 95-100% employment rates each year. The famous alumni of the Academy — Tsoy Alexei Vladimirovich, Burkitbayev Zhandos Konyssovich, Assylbekov Nurlybek Abibullayevich, Pashimov Marat Orumbassarovich, Pozilov Bakytzhan Joldassbekovich, Kashkymbayeva Lyazzat Rssymbekovna and others.

University hospital 

In 2023, the academy has taken the count of new period of its activity. In order to expand the material and technical facilities of the Academy and its bringing it to a new level, construction of a multi-field university hospital with 800 beds and a clinical diagnostic center (outpatient clinic) with 700 visits per shift has been commenced. The new large-scale and modern health care institution will be not only a place of training and internships for students, but also a major research center on a national basis. The university hospital will be one of the largest present-day clinics, meeting the requirements of the world-class healthcare delivery. 

In order to develop the medical and pharmaceutical infrastructure and support the research activity, the “South Kazakhstan Medical and Pharmaceutical Cluster” coordinated by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan and SK-Pharmacy is created.