On 22 April, the Finnish Medical Students Association in Rīga (RiSLO) celebrated its 5th anniversary by hosting an official reception and its 1st academic ball in the premises of the Riga Latvian Society House. In his welcoming speech the President of the Association Niko Turkka emphasised the importance of upholding the traditions of the Finnish Medical Community rooted in mutual cooperation and valuable support.
N. Turka highlighted the quality of medical education in Latvia noting that, “I am convinced that entrenched educational traditions and methodology, strict and comprehensive academic culture, small study groups and motivated academic staff are a condition precedent for providing the members of the Association with outstanding basic medical education allowing to start medical practice and participate in fostering overall well-being of humanity.”
In congratulating on the occasion the Ambassador of Finland to Latvia Olli Kantanen pointed to the interrelationship between current political, public and diplomatic tendencies and medical profession, speaking for the necessity to develop not only professional skills but also a good understanding of international processes and cultural diversity. Studies in Latvia within a multicultural academic environment enhance this understanding.
The celebration was also devoted to presenting various Association awards in different categories. Association members from Finland, Estonia, Russia and other countries had arrived to greet their Latvian colleagues on the occasion. In her address to the members of the Association, the Director of RSU International Department Baiba Pētersone complemented the dynamic Finnish student community and appreciated their engagement in organizing diverse professional, public and culture events in Riga and regular participation in educating and charitable activities.
Founded in 2012 the Finnish Medical Students Association with its initial 30 members has grown into an organization bringing together 180 members. Although the majority of Association’s members (168 students) represent RSU, it also involves students from other universities of Central and Eastern Europe and Latvia. The Association closely cooperates with its finish umbrella association – FiMSA.