The S. M. Kirov Military Medical Academy (Военно-медицинская академия имени С. М. Кирова) is the oldest school of military medicine in Saint Petersburg and the Russian Federation. Senior medical staff are trained for the Armed Forces and conduct research in military medical services.
The origins of S.M. Kirov Military Medical Academy go back to the years of Peter the Great. In 1715 by the Tsar's order the Admiralty Hospital in the Vyborg Side of Saint Petersburg was founded. In 1717 next to in the Land Military Hospital was opened. Since 1773 surgical schools attached to both hospitals were operating. In 1786 those schools were consolidated into the Main Medical College. It became the principal training center for army and fleet physicians.
The Medical and Surgical Academy was established by the order of Emperor Paul I of 18/29 December 1798 on the initiative of Baron Alexei Vasilyev, General Director of the Medical College. At the same time a Neoclassical building for the Academy was designed by Antonio Porta. It was decorated with a set of panel paintings by Giuseppe Bernasconi.
Ranked as one of the best educational institutions in the Russian Empire, it was known as the Imperial Medical and Surgical Academy from 1808. According to the order of Emperor Alexander I, a member of the Medical and Surgical Academy had the rights, liabilities, and benefits of a member of the Academy of Sciences.
Sir James Wylie, a Scottish baronet, managed the academy between 1808 and 1838. His contributions have been commemorated with a monument which stood in front of the academy until the October Revolution. The monument was designed in 1859 by David Jensen. It was later relocated and replaced with a statue of Hygieia.
In 19th century the Imperial Medical and Surgical Academy played a major role in the development of Russian natural science and medicine. In 1840 — 1856 one of its professors was Nikolay Pirogov, considered the founder of field surgery.
Since 1861 Sergey Botkin, one of Pirogov's disciples, worked at the Academy. He is considered one of the founders of modern Russian medical science and education. Botkin introduced triage, pathological anatomy, and post mortem diagnostics into Russian medical practice.
In 1881 the Academy's official name was changed into the Imperial Military Medical Academy. In the late 19th century, its physiology laboratory, founded by Ivan Sechenov, was at the forefront of medical research. Ivan Romanovich Tarkhanov conducted some important experiments there.
The Nobel-prize winning physiologist Ivan Pavlov graduated from the Academy in 1879 with Gold Medal award. Since 1895 he headed Department of Physiology at the Academy for three decades.
In 1904 — 1924 Nikolai Kravkov, the founder of Russian national school of pharmacologists, headed the Academy's Department of Pharmacology.
In 1903 — 1936 one of the Academy's professors was Sergey Fedorov, the founder of the largest national school of surgery and «the father of Russian urology».
The academy was also among the pioneers of medical education for women, launching the courses for nurse-midwives in 1872. Nadezhda Suslova, the first female physician in Russia, attended Sechenov's classes at the academy. A school of gymnastics (now the Military Institute of Physical Culture) was launched in 1909.
In 1956 S. M. Kirov Military Medical Academy was united with the Naval Medical Academy established on the basis of Obukhovskaya Hospital and the Third Leningrad Medical Institute in 1940. The academy had six faculties, 61 departments, 30 clinics, 16 research laboratories, and two research centres in 2002.
Late in 2011, minister of defense Anatoliy Serdyukov declared his intention to move the academy from the historical centre of Saint Petersburg to one of its suburbs. This decision was overturned after Serdyukov had been sacked.
By contemporary standards, it is a full-scale medical school complete with a network of teaching and research clinics and affiliated hospitals. Graduates are commissioned as officers with medical doctor credentials. The institution also provides advanced training for mid-career military medical doctors and trains graduate students on the Ph.D. level.