History of the University
The Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU, Lietuvos sveikatos mokslų universitetas) is the largest university-type school in Lithuania preparing health specialists. It unites the Veterinary Academy and the Medical Academy. LSMU traditions of studies and scientific work go back to the times of the Faculty of Medicine at Vytautas Magnus University, which was later turned into Kaunas Institute of Medicine.
The prewar period was difficult for both the Faculty of Medicine and its Department of Veterinary because it was closed in 1929. An attempt to prepare veterinary surgeons at Kaunas State University was not successful because there was a lack of pedagogues and the teaching base was small. When the Department of Veterinary was closed, the students were sent to continue studies to various foreign countries. Soon it was acknowledged that it was necessary to establish the higher school of veterinary. Thus, the Veterinary Academy was opened in 1936.
During the difficult postwar years, the then Institute of Medicine managed to become one of the best higher medical schools in the former Soviet Union. The Institute was found as a desirable partner by foreign universities and medical schools. From the first days when Lithuania restored its independence, Kaunas Academy of Medicine was provided with the possibility to become an active partner of European universities and a participant of various international scientific programmes. The Veterinary Academy was also gradually improving and recovering after the spring flood in 1946, which destroyed part of the laboratory equipment and damaged the buildings. All the laboratory animals and 30 serum-producing horses were killed in the waters of the river Neris in the flood. With time, the scientific sector was founded, the teaching base of the Academy was continuously expanding, and the number of students as well as scientific and pedagogical employees was also increasing.
Lithuanians do not have any expensive natural resources, effective industry or agriculture, but the scientific achievements, human mind and diligence may become their assets. That is the priceless value of the nation. When the nation and the State understand the importance of science and health, the science of medicine and the art of healing will become an important part of the welfare of Lithuanian people and a stimulus of the economic development.
When the integration of Lithuanian higher medical studies into the European model was started, it was necessary to reform the medical studies in the Institute of Medicine and to reorganise the structural units of science and practice of medicine and their work. Lithuanian doctors understood this when they gathered in the 6th restorative congress in 1989. This congress declared the necessity to reform medical studies following the principle of unity of studies, science and the art of healing.
The main reforms of medical studies and science started in 1990. In 1989, Kaunas Institute of Medicine became the Academy. In 1990, the academic clinics were returned to its structure. The Institutes of Endocrinology and Cardiology were established in 1991 and the Institute of Psychophysiology and Rehabilitation in 1992. The Institute of Biomedical Research was reorganised, the academic clinics of different profiles were established, certain departments were reorganised, and, most importantly, the first steps to reorganise the studies were made .
In 2001, the Lithuanian Institute of Animal Husbandry and Lithuanian Institute of Veterinary were affiliated to the Veterinary Academy. In the same year, the continuing education centre of veterinary and animal husbandry specialists and employees was established. The structure of the Veterinary Academy was constantly changing as it was attempted to adapt to new requirements, development of science and manufacture. In 2004, the departments of LVA were reorganised.
The studies of the Medical Academy grew from three traditional faculties (Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy) to five. The Faculty of medical nurses with higher education (now Faculty of Nursing) was established in 1990 and the Faculty of Public of Health in 1994. Although the content of the study programmes still needs to be modified, their structures already correspond to the programmes of the majority of the European Universities: the principle of gradation of studies has been introduced, the disciplines are taught in blocks, and the undergraduate studies are related to the postgraduate ones. The reforms of the study structure were completed for the beginning of the school year 1995. Their objective was to make the higher medical studies of the Academy closer to the European standards. This reform of the Academy was implemented while actively cooperating with Belgian, Danish, French, Finnish, Swedish and German universities.
On 30 June, 2010, the Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania passed a resolution to merge Kaunas University of Medicine and the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy.
The new institution was named the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU).