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The history of Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) dates back to 1 September 1950. On that day in Riga, at 12 Zigfrīda Annas Meierovica bulvāris (at that time – Padomju bulvāris), in the building that was donated by the pre-war patron Kristaps Morbergs for educational purposes, the forerunner of the RSU – Rīga Medical Institute (RMI) – opened its doors for the first time. The RMI was established on the basis of the Faculty of Medicine of the State University of Latvia, which is the direct successor of the pre-war Faculty of Medicine of the University of Latvia. The personalities, ideological vision, and the resource base and documents are proof that the history of the RSU is closely linked to the history of the highest medical education in Latvia.

In this section you can choose any of the dates and find out more about the history of the Rīga Stradiņš University.

1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009 2010-2019 2020-2021

Foundation of Rīga Medical Institute (RMI)

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There are practically no documents on the prehistory of the foundation of the Rīga Medical Institute (RMI). It is thought that the initiators of the foundation of the RMI are Professor Pauls Stradiņš (1896–1958), the first Director of the Institute, Professor Ernests Burtnieks (1898–1958) and the LSSR Minister of Public Health, Ādolfs Krauss (1905–1958).




Prof. Pauls StradiņšProf. Ernests BurtnieksĀdolfs Krauss

By Decree No.8640-p of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, dated 10 June 1950 and Decree No.887 of the Council of Ministers of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, dated 5 July 1950 the Rīga Medical Institute (RMI) was established on the basis of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Latvia and commenced operation in autumn of the same year. 


Decree No.8640-p of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, dated 10 June 1950 regarding the establishment of the RMI

Structure of the RMI at that time:

  • Secretariat;
  • Study Department;
  • Scientific Department;
  • Human Resources Department;
  • Accounting Department;
  • Administrative and Supply Department;
  • Library;
  • Archive.


  • Faculty of Medicine;
  • Faculty of Stomatology;
  • Faculty of Pharmacy;
  • Departments (altogether 45 departments).

Addresses of structural units of the Rīga Medical Institute:

  • 12 Padomju bulvāris  (Administration, Departments of Social Sciences, Library);
  • 9 Kronvalda bulvāris, Anatomical Theatre (Departments of Normal Anatomy,  Histology, Biology, Normal Physiology, Biochemistry and Physics);
  • 9 Stabu iela  (Department of Stomatology);
  • 5 Veidenbauma iela (Departments of Pharmacy and Pharmacognosy);
  • as well as the larger hospitals in Riga. 


The building at 12 Padomju bulvāris, donated by the pre-war patron Kristaps Morbergs to the University of Latvia for educational purposes, the first premises of RMI 


Anatomical Theatre at 9 Kronvalda bulvāris

The Decree of the Council of Ministers of the LSSR stated that the total number of students at the RMI will be 1200, in 1950 the Institute admitted 200 students in the first year: 

  • in the Faculty of Medicine – 150;
  • in the Faculty of Stomatology – 25;
  • in the Faculty of Pharmacy – 25.

The Students’ Scientific Society has been operating since the founding of the Institute.

Anatomikums Kronvalda bulvārī 9

RMI mixed choir Rīga and the folk dance group Ačkups were established

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In autumn the RMI mixed choir Rīga and the folk dance group Ačkups were established.  


Mixed choir Rīga


Folk dance group Ačkups

By the order of the Ministry of Health of the LSSR, the RMI is organized by the Faculty of Pediatrics, which, however, is closed on September 1, 1957 due to the change in the doctrine preparation concept

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By the instruction of the Ministry of Public Health of the LSSR the Rīga Medical institute (RMI) established the Faculty of Paediatrics, which, however, was closed down as from 1 September 1957 because of changes to the approach regarding the education of physicians.

(In 1966 the RMI Faculty of Paediatrics was reestablished In 1982 the Department of Paediatric Diseases of the Faculty of Paediatrics, which was based at the Children’s Republican Clinical Hospital, was reorganised, establishing a separate Department of Paediatric Diseases for the education of students of the Faculties of Medicine and Stomatology. It was located in the newly built Riga 1st Children’s Clinical Hospital at Gaiļezers. In 1994 the Faculty of Paediatrics became the Department of Paediatrics of the Faculty of Medicine.)


Assistant Professor Ivars Ebels with students, 1960s 

Students during their training


Students during their training

RMI fourth year student Inese Jaunzeme at the XVI Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, wins the Olympic gold medal

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On 28 November 1956 a 4th year student at the Rīga Medical Institute (RMI), Inese Jaunzeme, won Olympic gold in the javelin throw at the XVI Olympic Games in Melbourne. 


Inese Jaunzeme – first from the right

For the first time, training courses for applicants are organized. The first issue of the Soviet Medical Center for the RMI newspaper is publicshed. Student dormitories in Marupes Street, Riga, are lunched.

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9 January: The first issue of the RMI newspaper Padomju Mediķis (Soviet Physician) that from then on was published twice a month until 2000. (From 1989 the newspaper was named Pulss, before that – RMI Pulss.) 


1st edition of the newspaper Padomju Mediķis 

Construction of student dormitories commenced in Riga, Mārupes iela. (They were completed and opened in autumn, 1959. In 1975 a new 5-storey building with 365 beds was built next to the Mārupes iela dormitory.)


Students during construction of the Mārupes iela dormitory 

First scoops of land at the Mārupes iela site, where the student dormitory is to be built 

The old and the new (in the foreground) dormitory blocks 

On 17 May by Decree No.200/C of the Ministry of Public Health of the LSSR the RMI organised prep courses for candidates for the first time.

Professor Vasilijs Kalbergs is appointed as Director of the RMI

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During the summer the first Director of the Rīga Medical Institute (RMI) Professor Ernests Burtnieks died in a car crash on the Riga-Jūrmala highway. Professor Vasīlijs Kalbergs (1893-1983) – anatomist, PhD, was appointed the Director of the RMI.

In 1961 with the start of the new study year the title Director was changed to Rector. 


Prof. Vasīlijs Kalbergs

The evening and part-time departments of the Faculty of Dentistry and Pharmacy are starting to work. For the first time, the RMI Physical Education Department organizes a sports and health promotion camp.

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Evening and extramural departments of the Faculties of Stomatology and Pharmacy are established.

In summer in the Bauska district of Saulaine the RMI Department of Physical Education organised a sports and health promotion camp. (Later for many years the camp was held in Taurene, Cēsis district)


Former Kaucminde Manor in Saulaine, where the first camp was held