Nazarbayev University School of Medicine Celebrates Graduation of Inaugural Class

By: Mattie Winowitch

In August 2015, the Nazarbayev University School of Medicine enrolled its first class of students. Now four years later, that same inaugural class has graduated.

In 2012, NUSOM, a school of Nazarbayev University in the Republic of Kazakhstan, selected the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as its strategic academic partner to assist in the development of the medical school.

When it was established, NUSOM became Kazakhstan’s only physician-training program modeled on a U.S.-style four-year post-baccalaureate curriculum. In the intervening years, the University of Pittsburgh has helped NUSOM institute a curriculum based on the Pittsburgh model, as well as state-of-the-art teaching facilities, school leadership and faculty, policies, courses and more, allowing the new school to stand out in the republic.

“This is the School of Medicine’s most ambitious educational partnership undertaken to date and meets the university’s goal of building its presence on the global health stage,” said Arthur S. Levine, Pitt senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean, School of Medicine, in an August 2013 article in the Pitt Chronicle.

The commencement ceremony for NUSOM, alongside the rest of the university graduates, took place May 31. Out of 937 graduates, 41 received degrees from NUSOM, with 14 medical doctors, 27 master’s graduates, and 42 RN to BSN graduates. The Pitt Med delegation at the event included Ann Thompson, MD, MCCM, vice-dean; John Mahoney, MD,MS, associate dean for medical education; Saleem Khan, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs; Michael Elnicki, MD, director of international educational programs; and Margaret McDonald, PhD, MFA, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and international programs, health sciences.