St. Petersburg Institute of Osteopathy
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20 Years of State Licensed Osteopathic Education


The beginning of the path. The Institute of Osteopathic Medicine at St. Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies (SPbMAPS)

The history of state osteopathic education in Russia began in 2000, when the Educational and Scientific Center for Osteopathic Medicine (ESCOM) was founded on the basis of SPbMAPS, the leader of postgraduate education for doctors. The Academy became the first state educational institution to start teaching osteopathy, and the opening of the Center actually marked the emergence of Russian osteopathic education and appeared to be the first step towards the recognition of osteopathy as a medical specialty.

The ESCOM curriculum corresponded to international standards, according to which training lasted three years and a half (3000 academic hours). Dmitry Mokhov was appointed head of the Center, and the teaching staff of the new unit included both Russian osteopathic physicians, educated in Europe, and their foreign colleagues.

St. Petersburg State University Institute of Osteopathy. Development of fundamental science

In 2006, the Institute of Osteopathy (IO SPbSU) was established at the Faculty of Medicine of St. Petersburg State University (SPbSU), which continued the implementation of the initiative of the Educational and Scientific Center for Osteopathic Medicine of SPbMAPS. 

According to the Regulation on the activities of the new unit, the IO SPbSU took on one of the priority tasks at that time — the preparation and implementation of continuing professional education programs in restorative medicine and osteopathy. In January 2006, the programs were approved and the training of the first osteopathic physicians began. The training was held on a part-time (seminar) basis and was supervised by the Academic Council of the St. Petersburg State University Medical Center.

In the same year, a scientific laboratory was opened at the IO SPbSU, which included well-known Russian physiologists, osteopaths, physicists and engineers. Objectification and scientific understanding of the foundations of osteopathy became the vector of its development. The laboratory focused its interest in the field of confirmation of the effectiveness of osteopathic treatment, as well as the study of endogenous rhythms of the human body.

A unified school. St. Petersburg Institute of Osteopathy

In 2008, an Agreement on interuniversity cooperation in the field of osteopathic education was signed between SPbMAPS and St. Petersburg State University (SPbSU), which allowed two renowned universities to unite their efforts to train osteopathic physicians. The result of the merger was the formation of a strong pedagogical team, consisting of more than 40 talented osteopathic teachers, known both in Russia and abroad. This stage was the moment of the foundation of St. Petersburg Institute of Osteopathy — a unique interuniversity union and the largest Russian osteopathic school.

In 2011, SPbMAPS merged with the Mechnikov St. Petersburg State Medical Academy, having formed the Mechnikov North-West State Medical University. It continued training osteopathic physicians in collaboration with St. Petersburg State University under a common brandname «St. Petersburg Institute of Osteopathy».

Since 2012, an independent institute for further education «Institute of Osteopathy», has joined the partnership between St. Petersburg State University and Mechnikov North-West State Medical University. The institution has become another training base of the school, which implements educational programs in osteopathy within the framework of the interuniversity cooperation.

Cooperation agreement between St. Petersburg State University and the independent institute for further education «Institute of Osteopathy»

Cooperation agreement between SPbMAPS and Institute of Osteopathy

The first specialized department of osteopathy in Russia

In January 2014, the first courses of professional retraining were opened at the Department of Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine of the Mechnikov North-West State Medical University for physicians who already have basic osteopathic knowledge. A month later, Deputy Minister of Health of the Russian Federation I.N. Kagramanyan signed a letter addressed to the heads of the country's higher educational institutions. In this letter, the North-West State Medical University was defined as a methodical center for the training of osteopaths, and on its basis the first Department of Osteopathy in Russia was established. It was headed by Dmitry Mokhov, MD, D.Sc., who was appointed chief osteopathy specialist of the Russian Federation Ministry of Health in May 2014.

The activities of the department focused on the development of osteopathy in the educational, scientific and public spheres such as:

  • professional retraining and continuing education courses;
  • residency and postgraduate training programs;
  • justifying osteopathic care for the population and studying the effect of osteopathic treatment on the morpho-functional and psycho-emotional state of patients of different age groups;
  • participation in the organization of the international scientific and practical conference Osteopathy Open, etc. 

Since 2016, the Federal Methodical Center for Osteopathy started its work on the basis of the Mechnikov North-West State Medical University Osteopathy Department. Established by order of the Russian Federation Ministry of Health, it took over scientific and organizational work in order to improve osteopathic education in Russia, and to develop clinical guidelines and training programs on osteopathy. Thanks to its work, the professional competencies of specialists and the criteria for their assessment were clarified, osteopathy was included in the list of basic specialties of higher medical education, the Federal state educational standard for the specialty «osteopathy» and the professional standard for an «osteopathic physician» were developed.

St. Petersburg Institute of Osteopathy today

The largest osteopathic school in Russia

We train students in 9 cities of the country and continue to grow. Since our foundation, more than 1200 certified osteopathic physicians have graduated from St. Petersburg Institute of Osteopathy. They work in 55 Russian regions from Kaliningrad to Sakhalin in public and private medical organizations, in clinics and sanatoriums, in maternity hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

Unique union which includes leading universities of the country

  • St. Petersburg State University Institute of Osteopathy
  • Mechnikov North-West State Medical University Osteopathy Department (Federal Methodical Center for Osteopathy)
  • Independent Institute for Further Education «Institute of Osteopathy»

Strong teaching staff

In the team of teachers of the institute, we have gathered more than 70 specialists — practicing physicians, PhD and D. Sc. During the existence of the institute, they published more than 800 scientific papers, presented over 160 conferences, received 8 patents for inventions, held 38 scientific and practical seminars, workshops and round tables within the framework of the largest national and international scientific forums.

Implementation of all training programs in osteopathy

Today we train students in accordance with the professional retraining, residency and postgraduate programs following all the requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation. We organize training cycles and postgraduate seminars with accreditation in the CME system. Since 2020, we have been developing and preparing for implementation a specialty (full-time) program in osteopathy, according to the new Federal State Educational Standard of Higher Education.

From the day of our foundation, we have striven to ensure that osteopathy becomes a part of official Russian medicine, receives deserved recognition and respect of colleagues. Today we can say with confidence that we have succeeded! We are not going to stop at what has been achieved, and we invite you to collaborate in order to promote osteopathy together!