MU – Varna is the Best University for Medical Education in Bulgaria

January 16, 2018By Antonia GenovaScience and education, Student activity No Comments

Medical University – Varna began 2018 with a new, highest award of honour for quality of training, which is recognition of the extremely successful strategy for development, implemented by the academic management. The Minister of Education Mr. Krasimir Valchev awarded the well-deserved distinction – first place for quality of medical education to Medical University – Varna. This happened at a formal ceremony for awarding the best universities in Bulgaria, which was held at the Central Military Club in Sofia and was organized by the 24 Hours newspaper. The prize of MU-Varna is in the field of Medicine and is awarded for high quality of education in line with labour market needs, based on the rating of higher schools, done by the Ministry of Education and Science.

The upward trend in the development, expansion and modernization of the University over the last few years has had its profound impact and has led to a sustainable high interest on the part of Bulgarian and foreign students. Each year the number of students willing to study at MU – Varna has been growing, with 7 people applying for 1 place and 3 applicants competing for each place in the English language training programmes. Undoubtedly, the Affiliates in Shumen, Veliko Tarnovo and Sliven have contributed to the development of education and science in these cities. In 2017 MU-Varna received scores of awards and prizes, among which the first place in the category “Best Innovation for Education” at the prestigious World Webit Festival, which brings together the elite from the five continents in the field of IT technologies. The world-renowned TV leader BBC has selected MU-Varna to produce a report on medical training, and the team was impressed by the high technology in training. The new building of the Faculty of Pharmacy was awarded with the highest prize in “Building of the Year” Competition, in the category of educational infrastructure immediately after its construction. In 2017 the Rector Prof. Krasimir Ivanov received the award “Personality of the Year” by the Mayor of Shumen Municipality, “Honorary Citizen of Sliven” by the Mayor of Sliven Municipality, he was awarded with the golden Honorary Sign “For Merits to Varna” by the Mayor of Varna Municipality in 2015, and in 2016 with a gold Medal for Merit by the BRC General Manager.

This is yet another award for the high quality of training at MU – Varna, which is due both to the high level of training in the different disciplines, the application of medical simulators and the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies in training, following the model of the leading universities in the world, and also to the practical training at one of the most high-tech hospitals in Bulgaria – University Hospital “St. Marina” – Varna. All this is the foundation for the high evaluation given by the consumers for the quality of the graduates of MU-Varna, who find 100% realization on the labour market after graduation.

The integration of modern IT solutions, systems and innovations in the educational process is a part of the strategy of the management of MU – Varna for high-tech training of the students in medical and healthcare specialties in Bulgaria, which ranks it among the most modern medical higher schools in the world. The videoconference system, which is implemented at all training facilities of the University and the Affiliates, provides an opportunity for telecommunication with any part of the world during conferences, for connecting different participants in joint sessions, for conducting distant lectures, presentations and discussions. At MU-Varna there is an opportunity for interactive content creation and dissemination since undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students attend international lectures during their education. This is the other key to success-working with international partners and international teams. The University hosts prominent international lecturers and clinicians who perform operations with their own and with Bulgarian teams. This attracts and motivates young doctors to reach for the highest level both in theoretical and practical training.

The Mayor of Varna Awarded the Winners from MU-Varna in the Competition for the Most Beautiful Christmas Decoration

January 16, 2018By Antonia GenovaCultur activity No Comments

The prizes for the winners in the competition for the most beautiful outdoor Christmas decoration “Decorate Varna for Christmas 2018” were awarded today at a ceremony in Varna Municipality.

Universities, training centres, kindergartens, schools, cultural clubs, shopping centres, citizens took part in the second edition of the competition. The first place, with 650 votes, was awarded to Medical University “Prof. Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov-Varna after voting on the Facebook page of the competition.

The Vice Rector for Innovations and Translational Medicine Prof. Dr. Christina Grupcheva and the designer at the University Christina Tacheva received a plaque and an honorary diploma from the Mayor of Varna Mr. Ivan Portnih.

He addressed the audience with the words, “This competition is a part of our efforts to change Varna and make it still more beautiful. I thank all participants for being a part of this cause and for decorating their homes and administrative buildings with warmth and love. I believe that our joint efforts are the foundation to make our city beautiful not only at Christmas, but to  make it  more and more beautiful every single day, and when we join our efforts  in this cause, I believe we will succeed. Thank you! I wish you good health and happiness!”

Prof. Grupcheva thanked the management and the team of the University for the job well done and for the everyday efforts for the development and prosperity of MU-Varna, “I personally have witnessed the way Hristina checks every single detail. And the merit for this award goes entirely to her and to all people who have been working together with her all the year round.” When the journalists asked whether the content and the form really mattered, she replied, “The form is of particular importance. Anything that does not meet certain standards is doomed to ruin, regardless of its content. So, that is why we take care of both.”

Designer Christina Tacheva revealed that that year there would be plenty of new projects and surprises that would fascinate the visitors to the University and all Varna citizens.

“Our decoration has been created for 5 years, constantly brought up-to-date and appreciated by the students, which is in fact our ultimate goal. It has been done with a great desire, a lot of efforts and enthusiasm. Every year we take into consideration the new trends in lighting, trying to build it up and to make it more and more attractive not only to the students, but also to all visitors, guests and people from Varna. I am absolutely sure that teamwork is the best way to achieve and succeed in anything. In the future I hope we will work in the same way with the same awesome people,” she said.

For the First Time in Bulgaria Training of Specialists in Ocular Diseases with Simulators Has Been Launched at MU – Varna

January 11, 2018By Antonia GenovaScience and education No Comments

A three-day training session with simulators for diagnostics and surgery in Ophthalmology has been launched at MU – Varna. Since 2010 a basic course for ophthalmologists from all over the country has been conducted at MU – Varna, but in 2018 the first nationwide training with diagnostic and surgical simulators was launched. “More than 80 people will be trained during the course with ophthalmic simulators,” said Prof. Dr. Hristina Grupcheva, Vice Rector of MU – Varna and Head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Ophthalmology is one of the most dynamically developing medical specialties due to the fact that we receive more than 90% of the information from the surrounding environment through our eyes, and the preservation of the eyesight is one of the most important prerequisites for a good quality of life. Consequently, high technologies, which are dominating in Ophthalmology, require a high level of training. The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Medical University – Varna boasts its half-century training tradition at different levels. However, one of the major priorities is training young specialists and postgraduates from across the country and Europe. There are scores of initiatives and training events, organized by the Department or conducted in partnership, but undoubtedly, the use of virtual reality in training is an innovation with a direct benefit.

One of the diagnostic simulators provides the opportunity for direct ophthalmoscopy, and it enables trainees to go through the entire physical examination process in a dynamic, realistic environment – the patient is blinking, moving his eyes and reacting to light. The other diagnostic simulator provides the trainees with the opportunity to master the art of indirect ophthalmoscopy to the fullest extent. After creating basic skills, virtual patients with pathological changes are available at all times.

Trainees can practise on them independently and as frequently as it is necessary, and each virtual examination is evaluated objectively. Both the learner and the trainer get information on the progress of the skills and the need for further training in a particular aspect.

Undoubtedly, the hit is the surgical simulator, which has two modules for cataract and vitreoretinal surgery. Vitreoretinal surgery is the most serious ophthalmic surgery – it involves the posterior segment of the eye, i.e. the most difficult to access areas of the eye – the vitreous body and the retina. Cataract is the most commonly performed surgical intervention on a global scale. The technology of this operation is constantly developing. This requires not only the acquisition of surgical skills but also their continuous improvement. Realistic simulations of cataract and vitreoretinal procedures increase the experience of learners at each level without posing a risk to a real patient. Procedures with varying degrees of complexity are available at any time through the surgical simulator – regardless of the flow of patients. The device improves the capabilities of making surgical decisions and the manual skills through a wide range of surgical tasks.

At the end of each training task the simulator provides the learner with a detailed summary of her performance. The training system records various parameters related to the work with the tools and microscope, the surgical efficiency and treatment of tissues. This allows learners to focus on their weaknesses and to systematically improve their skills.

The main advantages of virtual training are fewer complications in real intraocular surgery, realistic experience and acquisition of skills, unlimited independent practice, competence assessment and online training.

Simulators have long been used in aviation, ship and automobile navigation systems, and other industries. Their popularity has increased tremendously in medicine, especially over the last decade. Undoubtedly, this is the future, and the sooner we adapt to it, the more effective and safer medical training will be, and in particular in Ophthalmology.

MU-Varna Is the Winner in the Competition of Varna Municipality for the Most Beautiful Christmas Decoration

January 6, 2018By Antonia GenovaCultur activity No Comments

MU-Varna has won the competition for the most beautiful Christmas decoration in Varna with the uncompromising 650 votes. The competition entitled “Decorate Varna for Christmas”, in which the University has taken part for the first time, was organized by Varna Municipality for the second consecutive year.

The first place was awarded on the basis of the votes received on the Facebook page of the initiative. Despite the fact that MV-Varna joined the competition only 10 days before its final stage, it managed to surpass all competitors in no time at all. The second place was for “Bell Education” Training Centre with 276 votes, and the third – the University of Economics – Varna with 271 votes.

Each year the Management of the University strives to create a warm and beautiful Christmas atmosphere for its students and employees as well as for the Varna citizens. The best evidence of this is the thousands of passers-by who stop for a while every day to admire the facade decorations and to take pictures of it.

Institutions, universities, language and business centres and plenty of Varna families took part in the competition, showing their festively decorated buildings.

The organizers of the initiative announced that thanks to the active participation of the citizens of Varna, the competition for the most beautiful outdoor Christmas decoration of a residential or public building in Varna would be held in 2018 again.

Pediatricians from University Hospital “St. Marina” Have Saved the Life of a Two-Month-Old Baby with a Rare Genetic Disease

December 21, 2017By Antonia GenovaHealth news No Comments

Pediatricians from Varna have saved the life of the two-month-old Christian, who was admitted to the emergency department at University Hospital “St. Marina” in an extremely serious condition. At the hospital the young patient stopped eating and drinking water, he had disorders of consciousness and increased levels of ammonia. After performing urgent life-saving actions and medical tests, the doctors diagnosed the child with a rare congenital genetic enzyme defect in the amino acid metabolism. This is a recessive disease that is passed down from generation to generation, but it only occurs when two genes of that type are joined up. Its incidence is 1 in 70 000 up to 100 000 newborns, and Christian is the first such case for the Pediatrics team at University Hospital “St. Marina” – Varna.

The two-month patient has had a clinical picture since his birth, but since rare diseases are not easy to be identified, and his doctors had not encountered such disorders before, the disease had remained unidentified at first. On the other hand, the mother thought that the deteriorated health condition of the child was due to a recent vaccination.

“We wouldn’t have coped with the case on our own without the help of the National Centre for Rare Metabolic Diseases because they deal with similar cases of children all over the country and are better equipped with regard to the medications needed. In the very beginning we made the differential diagnosis between 2 and 3 major diseases. We have enough hope for the child because there are several big centres in the world, the greatest of which is in the United States. There are more than 150 patients there and according to their data, it is possible the child to be cured without any consequences for him, provided there is well thought-out and properly applied care”, explains the head of Pediatrics at University Hospital “St. Marina” Prof. Dr. Violeta Yotova.

Little Christian has already been stabilized, and he is about to be taken to the National Centre for Rare Metabolic Diseases in Sofia over the coming days. A nutrition regime will be prepared for him there, and his mother will be taught how to feed him, the specifics of the care required for such a disease, and in which cases she needs to seek medical aid.

The mother Maria Nikolova says, “It is hard for a parent not to know if her child is going to survive. He is only 2 months old, and he is everything for us. I am grateful to the whole team of the Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital “St. Marina” in Varna, who saved Christian and provided the necessary daily care in the way I would have done it at home.”

Support MU-Varna in the Competition of Varna Municipality for the Most Beautiful Christmas Decoration

December 19, 2017By Antonia GenovaCultur activity No Comments

Medical University “Prof. Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov” – Varna has joined the initiative of Varna Municipality “Let’s Decorate Varna for Christmas”.

Everyone, willing to support the University and its magical Christmas decorations, can do that through liking the album published on the page of the competition in Facebook.

The competition is held for a second consecutive year and aims to distinguish the most beautiful outdoor Christmas decoration of a public or residential building, facades, terraces, courtyards, inter-block spaces, commercial premises. The campaign goes on until 29th December.

Literary Evenings at the Library of MU-Varna Have Become a Tradition

December 18, 2017By Antonia GenovaCultur activity No Comments

The second meeting within the series “Under the Magic Pen of Medics” was held on 14th December 2017. Once again the big hall of the library at Medical University – Varna gathered together guests and friends of the gift of speech. The management, lecturers and students had the opportunity to communicate informally and exchange their experience and new ideas.

Emotional and touching, inspired by the accumulated wisdom of life, was the presentation of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yonko Yonkov, who shared quite a few of the “hushed truths” with his audience. Besides his long-term experience as a university lecturer, head of the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Assoc. Prof. Yonkov is also a member of the Writers’ Association in Varna, and a winner of the Owl Statue of the Bulgarian Teachers’ Syndicate. He is the author of several poetry collections, the last one of which is “Hushed Truths”, with three revised and supplementary editions.

His associates in the mastery of speech were the 4th-year medical students Rostislava Petrova and Magdalena Bliznakova. They presented poems and sketches in an intriguing dialogue with each other, seeking answers to the eternal questions of love and happiness.

The series “Under the Magic Pen of Medics”, initiated by the library, is becoming a sought-after scene for the creative expression of doctors.

MU-Varna Participated in the World Congress of Digestive Disease in Japan

December 15, 2017By Antonia GenovaInternational activity, Science and education No Comments

At the invitation of the Organizing Committee, Prof. Dr. Nikola Kolev – head of the Department of General and Operative Surgery and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dimitar Tomov presented the scientific and practical potential of the scientists and doctors at MU – Varna and University Hospital “St. Marina” at the 2nd Annual World Congress of Digestive Disease (WCDD), which took place on 4-7 December 2017 in Fukuoka, a city with more than one million citizens in Japan.


Assoc. Prof. Tomov made an original presentation on ” Dynamic Institutionalization of Research in the Field of Colorectal Tumour Markers”, prepared by a team, including Prof. Dr. Krasimir Ivanov, Prof. Dr. Nikola Kolev, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dimitar Tomov and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ivan Donev. Within the forum Prof. Kolev and Assoc. Prof. Tomov had meetings with leading experts from Europe, the USA and Asia, who expressed their willingness to cooperate and participate in scientific forums, organized by Medical University – Varna.

Velina Markovska

Prof. Dr. Silva Andonova Has Been Appointed as Representative of Bulgaria in a Project of European Stroke Organisation – ESO EAST

December 15, 2017By Antonia GenovaInternational activity, Science and education No Comments

Prof. Dr. Silva Andonova, Ph.D. – head of Second Clinic of Nervous Diseases at University Hospital “St. Marina” Varna, a lecturer at the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience at MU Varna and a national consultant on Nervous Diseases, was appointed as the National Representative of Bulgaria in a project of the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) – ESO EAST for 2018 and 2019. The appointment of Prof. Andonova is a high evaluation of her professional skills as a leader, who has the entire capacity to improve the care for people suffering from stroke in Bulgaria.

The enhanced and accelerated treatment of stroke through ESO (ESO-EAST) is aimed at improving the care for people with stroke in the participating countries through various tools, particularly through joint training and quality improvement programmes, targeted at optimizing and implementing the best practices in taking care of people with stroke in these countries, as well as launching a beneficial collaboration.

Within ESO-EAST project, currently RES-Q – REgistry of Stroke Care Quality evaluates the availability of care for people with stroke in order to define the strategies and tools, which will result in improving the care for stroke patients. The Register is free for use by all participants.

The main focus of the work of the organization is the development of activities and tools targeted at improving the care for people with stroke, and maximizing the coordination of the efforts in stroke treatment.

In her capacity as a representative of Bulgaria for ESO-EAST, Prof. Andonova is going to coordinate the activities of ESO-EAST in Bulgaria for achieving the goal of improving the quality of care for patients with stroke.

The Past and the Future of Medicine Interwoven in the Calendar of MU-Varna for 2018

December 14, 2017By Antonia GenovaCultur activity No Comments

MU-Varna presents a calendar for 2018, in which the past and the future of Medicine are interwoven in 12 stylish photographs. The calendar can be purchased now at the University bookshops at MU – Varna and at University Hospital “St. Marina”.

Models of the 12 months are students from different specialties at the University, and the scene of the photos is the Museum of History of Medicine, which has carefully preserved and provided exhibits from the practice of Bulgarian medics from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. In the charity calendar of MU-Varna for 2018 you can trace the history of Medicine through an ophthalmic frame and a glass eye wash cup, a pair of gloves for X-ray examination, made of leather and lead, diathermy apparatus, glass spatulas, a baby weighing scale, syringes dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, soldier sanitary packages. The merit for the concept and elaboration of the calendar belongs entirely to a team from MU-Varna, including Petko Momchilov, Hristina Tacheva, Katina Dimitrova, Ivelina Dimitrova and Ognian Antov.

Velina Markovska