On 2 February 1920, Swedish professor Gaston Bakman held the first lecture on anatomy in the Theatrum Anathomicum Rigense (present Anatomical Theatre in Rīga). This lecture was the forbearer of higher education in medicine in Latvia. Professor Gaston Bakman believed that this was also the beginning of the Institute of Anatomy and Histology, as well as the Museum of Anatomy.
After World War II, only two professors of medicine remained in Latvia and one of them was Professor Pauls Stradiņš, who in a very short time as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine managed to rebuild and renew the education and science of medicine from scratch. In 1950, Rīga Medical Institute was established on the basis of the Faculty of Medicine of the State University of Latvia. The initiators were Pauls Stradiņš, Ernests Burtnieks (1950-1958) - the first Director of Rīga Medical Institute, and Healthcare Minister Ādolfs Krauss. Initially the institute included the faculties of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, as well as 45 departments.
In 1990, the Institute was renamed Medical Academy of Latvia (Academia Medicinaei Latviensis), but already on 5 April 1998, the Constitutional Assembly made the decision to rename the Medical Academy of Latvia, based on its actual activities as Rīga Stradiņš University. Rīga Stradiņš University in time developed into a university type higher education institution, as it trains experts not only in the fields of medicine and pharmacy, but also provides study programmes in social sciences, natural sciences, public health and law. On 13 June 2002 the Rīga Stradiņš University Act came into effect and the Academy of Medicine of Latvia was renamed Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU).
Rīga Stradiņš University is a state founded university, which offers various study programmes and ensures the realisation of scientific projects, providing excellent education and training of experts in healthcare and the social sciences who work in Latvia, the European Union and in different countries of the world.
Rīga Stradiņš University is the only university in Latvia, which has traditionally been integrated in the healthcare system of the country, and therefore ensures a successful run of the university, which is a precondition for an effective existence of the healthcare system in Latvia.
The University is autonomous and academically free to pursue its goals and tasks, working for the benefit of the state and society, and offering a wide array of academic and professional education and research opportunities in the fields of healthcare, social care, social sciences and natural sciences.
Today Rīga Stradiņš University offers various options to acquire education. Students can pursue their academic and personal goals in faculties, divisions and institutes. We ensure that everyone, starting from a school graduate to a doctor, can continue and improve their knowledge.