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The 125-year-old history of the St.-Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies dates back to its foundation in 1885 as a first in Europe Institute for postgraduate education of doctors. It was named "Clinical institute of Grand Princess Elena Pavlovna", and in 1896 received the title of "Imperial".

The idea of its creation belongs to two prominent persons of XIX century - Russian therapist, royal family doctor professor E.Eikhvald who later has become the first director of Clinical Institute and Grand Princess Elena Pavlovna, who was a bright highbrow personality and a patroness of medicine and arts in St-Petersburg. It took over 15 years to embody this idea when in 1885 the Institute was opened by her daughter Grand Princess Ekaterina Mikhailovna, who took an active part in establishing the Institute and was its trustee after her mother’s death. The Institute was constructed under the project of architect R.A.Gedike.


Grand Princess Elena Pavlovna                  E.E.Eikhvald
with her daughter Maria

The founder of the First Clinical Institute, German princess of Viurtemberg Frederika-Charlotte-Marija, came to Russia in 1823 to merry Grand Prince Michael Pavlovich and after acceptance of Orthodoxy gained the name of Grand Princess Elena Pavlovna. Being highly educated and very much interested in cultural and social life in St-Petersburg very soon Elena Pavlovna has become one of the most literate and respected women in Russia of those time. Emperor Nikolas the Ist named her «the scientist of our family». Throughout all her life she patronized many outstanding Russian scientists, musicians and artists. Elena Pavlovna was also distinguished for her liberal views, she actively promoted and supported abolition of serfdom in Russia and was the first who has emancipated her own serfs.

During Russian -Turkish war the first in the world Community of sisters of mercy named after Exaltation of Holy Cross (Krestovozdvizhenskaya) for nursing the wounded was organized on the initiative of Grand Princess Elena Pavlovna. There were some more establishments which were under her patronage: the first out-patient clinic named after Duke Maksimilian Lejhtenbergsky and clinics for the poorest population of St-Petersburg. It was Grand Princess Elenf Pavlovna who was the first to organize trainings for young doctors to improve their professional skills.

Therefore Grand Princess Elena Pavlovna supported the idea of creation special institute of postgraduate medical training and thanks to the conception of professor E.E.Eikhvald very soon it has become the "free medical school not giving any rights, but believing in love of Russian doctors to science and in their conscious relation to sacred tasks of treatment».

From the date of its foundation in 1885 till 1917 the Clinical Institute of Grand Princess Elena Pavlovna has been under the patronage first of her daughter Grand Princess Ekaterina Mikhailovna and later on under the patronage of her grandsons Dukes George and Mikhail Mecklenburg-Strelizkyi, who were trustees of the Institute and are known for their numerous acts and deeds of charity and mercy.

Throughout all period of existence the Clinical Institute carried out its main mission and provided continuous medical education to doctors of different specialties and experience. Its history is closely connected with the names of prominent Russian physicians, scientists and professors: E.E.Eikhvald, M.I.Afanasev, N.V.Sklifosovskyi, G.F.Tiling, D.O.Ott, N.D.Monastyrskyi, O.O.Mochutkovskyi, A.K.Limberg, D.L.Romanovskyi, N.A.Mikhailov, G.V.Khlopin and others.

In 1924 the Institute was renamed the Leningrad Institute of advanced medical training and the period of 20s-30s was marked by new achievements in science and medicine thanks to outstanding personalities - the founder of Russian school of oncology academician N.N.Petrov, professors J.A.Lovtskyi, R.R.Vreden, G.D.Belonovskyi, R.V.Kiparskyi, Z.G.Frenkel, V.A.Oppel, E.S.London, V.L.Polenov, O.N.Podvysotskaja, V.G.Baranov, S.N.Davidenkov, A.A.Limberg, F.G.Uglov and others.

During the Great Patriotic War many of the Institute’s stuff members were recruited and the Institute’s clinic was turned into military hospital to treat the wounded.

Post-war decades of the Institute’s history were famed by outstanding names of academicians and professors who significantly contributed to science, research, postgraduate training and treatment of patients: M.F.Glazunov, L.A.Orbeli, V.S.Iljin, N.I.Blinov, P.N.Kashkin, G.V.Golovin, V.L.Vanevskyi, S.A.Gadzhiev, K.P.Kashkin, O.K.Khmelnitsky, M.S.Kushakovskyi, A.G.Zemljanoy, A.V.Vorontsov, A.G.Zemskaya and others.

In 1993 the Leningrad Institute of advanced medical training was renamed the St-Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies (SPbMAPS).

In June 2010 the Academy marked its 125th anniversary and it was a real triumph of recognition its achievements and distinction as a world-wide known institution for postgraduate medical training.

Today the St-Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies is one of the most prestigious institutions in Russian Federation of postgraduate training for doctors, biologists, microbiologists and mycologists, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, public health managers etc.

The Academy is proud that such honorary scientists and professors represent St-Petersburg school of postgraduate medical training as: prof. S.A.Simbirtsev, prof. V.A.Mikhailovich, prof. M.A.Repina, prof. V.V.Retnev, prof. N.V.Orlova, prof. A.A.Krylov, prof. N.P.Elinov, prof. V.P.Alfyorov and others.

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