Kushch N.L. – the Outstanding Doctor of the Donetsk Region

  • Authors: Bukharov B.A.1, Proskurina O.I.1, Proskurina A.N.2
  • Affiliations:
    1. Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko
    2. Voronezh State University
  • Pages: 422-424
  • URL: https://new.vestnik-surgery.com/index.php/2415-7805/article/view/9061

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A doctor’s profession in all times and in all countries is considered to be respected and honored. Doctor is an intelligent person, who never stops studying and strives to get new knowledge every day. [1] This article highlights the principal moments of the biography and professional activity of one of the outstanding pediatric surgeons Donetsk region Nikolay Leontievich Kushch. He was a great scientist, talented teacher, wonderful children’s surgeon, founder and organizer of pediatric surgery service in Donbass.

Full Text

The history of pediatric surgery in Donbass dates back to the opening in 1958 of a pediatric surgical department in the village of Maslovka (now the city clinical Hospital No. 6 in Donetsk). In a year, this department was relocated to the city’s Clinical Hospital No. 1 and became the part of the Faculty Surgery Department of the Donetsk Medical Institute named after M. Gorky, headed by Professor L.G. Smolyak.

In 1968 the independent department of pediatric surgery, headed by Prof. Nikolay Leontievich Kushch was established. He had been leading this department for 22 years. Nikolay Leontievich Kushch was a great scientist, talented teacher, wonderful children’s surgeon, founder and organizer of pediatric surgery service in Donbass.

N.L. Kushch was born on June 14, 1935 in the village of Andreevka of Starobeshevo district of Donetsk region in a peasant family. His mother worked as a milkmaid, the father was as a machine operator.

Nikolay Leontievich was accustomed to labor since childhood. The ability to work at pick efficiency is a hallmark of N.L. Kusch. After finishing secondary school in 1953 he entered pediatric faculty of Donetsk State Medical Institute named after M.Gorkiy, from which he graduated in 1959. While still being a student, he showed great interest in surgery and scientific research, had made multiple scientific reports at students' conferences. A corresponding member of the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS USSR) S. D. Ternovsky put an emphasis to the excellent report of curious student at the III All Union Student Conference on Pediatric Surgery in Saratov and predicted him a wonderful future. [2]

After getting his medical degree, Nikolay Leontievich went through all stages of clinical proficiency - resident, head of pediatric surgical department, assistant and associate professor of pediatric surgery course. His teachers Professors L.G.

Smolyak and L.I. Snezhko had a great influence on his development as a clinician.

Nikolay Leontievich embodied his remarkable qualities of a surgeon, pedagogue and a talented scientist. In 1963, he defended his master’s thesis on "Treatment of Favali-Hirschprung's disease in children by Duhamel's operation". In 1964 N.L. Kusch was elected to the position of associate professor and head of children surgery course, and in 1967 he defended his doctoral thesis on "Сhildren’s chronic constipation caused by malformations of large intestine". In the same year, the independent department of pediatric surgery was established and Nikolay Leontievich had been heading and directing it ever since and till the end of his life.

Prof. N.L. Kushсh put special emphasis on medical work, was diplomatic, sympathetic when working with patients, parents and staff members. He was an expert in surgeon’s art; he personally performed over 16,000 operations.

Under the leadership of Prof. N.L. Kushch the Department and the Clinic of

Pediatric Surgery reached the forefront of science not only in Ukraine, but also in the former USSR. By Nikolay Leontievich's initiative the Regional Children's Clinical Hospital became the base of the Pediatric Surgery Department. Along with the planned and urgent departments, there were established urological department, intensive care department, anesthesiology department, hyperbaric oxygenation and laser therapy department. In 1973 the second children's oncology department in Ukraine was opened in the clinic.

Extensive work was done to train the staff of pediatric surgeons through subordinate training, internship, clinical residency, postgraduate and doctoral studies.[3] N.L. Kushch was the mentor to more than 200 young perspective surgeons and research workers, who now work in the cities of Donbas and abroad.

N.L. Kushch participated in forming in interregional children surgical departments in major cities of Donetsk region - Mariupol, Makeyevka, Gorlovka, and Kramatorsk. Nikolay Leontyevich took an active part in the construction and commissioning of the new operational building, which was put into operation in 1990. There were deployed intensive care department for 12 beds, endoscopy department, 6 operating rooms and a spacious training block.

The most advanced methods of examination and treatment of patients, new surgeries were developed and introduced into practice in N.L. Kushch's clinic. It concerns first of all methods of treatment of malformations of gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, lungs and purulent-septic diseases. Great attention was paid to the development of newborn surgery, diagnostics and treatment of oncological diseases, surgical correction of sexual development anomalies and other.

In 1968, for the first time in the world, a laparoscopy technique for acute abdominal cavity processes in children was carried out and put into practice in N.L. Kushch's clinic.

N.L. Kushch is the author of more than 500 scientific publications, including a large number of fundamental articles, 12 monographs, and chapters in various reference books, textbooks and Big Medical Encyclopedia (BME), 9 patents for invention, more than 50 innovation proposals. The most important monographic works of N.L. Kushch were "Favalli-Hirschprung's Disease in Children" (1970), "Laparoscopy in Children" (coauthor A.D.Timchenko, 1973), "Essays on Purulent Surgery in Children"(coauthor M. L. Dmitriev, A.G. Pugachev, Moscow, "Medicine", 1973), "Surgery of abnormal genital development in children" (co-author V.P. Sleptsov, T.I. Kushch, Tashkent, "Medicine", 1983) and others. These books have become the handbook for several generations of pediatric surgeons and pediatricians.

The staff of the Clinic and the Department headed by N.L. Kushch took an active part in the work of congresses and conferences of different levels. The outstanding scientist himself was a participant of many international symposiums on pediatric surgery in many countries - Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Czechoslovakia, etc.

Nikolay Leontievich's character combined the personality traits of exactingness and adherence to the principles, kindness and friendliness. In the house of N.L. Kushch his students often met with outstanding surgeons: academicians Y.F. Isakov, G.V. Bondar, corresponding member of AMS G.A. Bairov, professors A.G. Pugachev, E.A. Stepanov, A.I. Lenushkin, M.L. Dmitriev, V.S. Topuzov and others. Besides friendly talks, they also discussed problems of pediatric surgery development.

During the period of his scientific and practical activities, N.L. Kushch has created a large school of pediatric surgeons: he was the research adviser of 10 doctors of medical sciences and 42 candidates of medical sciences. Many of his students are now heads of various medical institutions and departments in many regions of the former Soviet Union.

Nikolay Leontievich constantly took an active part in social life of the university, the city and the region: he was a secretary of the party committee of the medical institute, was elected a deputy of Donetsk municipal and regional council, headed the permanent commission of the Regional public health department and worked hard to improve medical care of the working people of Donbass.

For his work N.L. Kusch was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, badge "Excellent Public Health Worker", three medals.

At the age of 55, an insidious disease ended the life of the great surgeon at the peak of his professional activity.

In conclusion, it can be said that in the memory of those who knew him, Nikolay Leontievich remains an extremely modest man, a demanding leader, a charming interlocutor, a benevolent and sensitive senior comrade, always ready to help in word and deed.


About the authors

Bogdan Artemovich Bukharov

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko

Email: reditypokgeb@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2749-4242

student, International institute of medical education and cooperation, Dental department

Russian Federation, 10 Studencheskaya Street, 394036 Voronezh, Russian Federation

Olga Ivanovna Proskurina

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko

Email: proskurina-olja@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6896-1372
SPIN-code: 1077-4215

lecturer, chair of foreign languages

Russian Federation, 10 Studencheskaya Street, 394036 Voronezh, Russian Federation

Anastasya Nikolaevna Proskurina

Voronezh State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: dinosaur27@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0009-0003-6806-6399

student, Romance and Germanic Philology Faculty

Russian Federation, 1 Universitetskaya pl., Voronezh, 394018, Russia


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  2. [Электронный ресурс] Врач, ученый, педагог (к 40-летию организации кафедры детской хирургии Донецкого национального медицинского университета им. М.Горького. В.Н. Грона, В.Н. Мальцев, В.К. Литовка, И.П. Журило, К.В. Латышов. http://www.mif-ua.com/archive/article/7366 (дата обращения 10.11.2022).
  3. Goodi Youssef. Medicine in Tunisia: past, present, future / Goodi Youssef, Proskurina O.I. // Молодежный инновационный вестник. - Том 8. - №1, Воронеж, 2019. - С. 97.

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