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On 17 September, the most important annual event in the health sector – Annual Awards in Medicine presentation ceremony – organised by the Latvian Medical Association for the tenth year took place at the Splendid Palace cinema. The award was presented in 14 nominations. Several of them were awarded to lecturers and medical residents of Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU).

The most significant of the awards – Annual Award for Lifetime Contribution to Medicine – was given to anaesthesiologist and reanimatologist, long-term lecturer of RSU Pēteris Ošs who, despite his respectable age, is still working. He has been participating in the training of RSU medical residents for several decades. Since 1967, Pēteris Ošs has been working at Pauls Stradiņš University Clinical Hospital, where he was one of the first anaesthesiologists to start heart valve and coronary artery surgery in artificial blood circulation. During the Awakening barricades, he organised additional staff on duty in the resuscitation department and participated in the barricades himself, as well as organised a medical post for the deputies of the Supreme Council of Latvia. Outstanding medical teacher and lecturer, author of textbooks and scientific publications.

Award in the Lecturer of the Year nomination went to Associate Professor Rudīte Koka of RSU Department of Biology and Microbiology, who is described by her students as a great person to talk to. She not only teaches students, but also encourages them to grow, not to stop, and to explore new horizons that seemed beyond reach. Taking into account the results of the vote, Rudīte Koka was nominated for the Lecturer of the Year award by RSU students. In 2017, Rudīte Koka was recognised as RSU Honorary Lecturer.

Award Specialist Physician of the Year was given to Jānis Mednieks, assistant at RSU Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, neurologist of Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital and Clinic Diamed, who is described by colleagues and patients as a very gifted and smart, as well as a modern and innovative doctor. The neurologist himself admits that man and life are fragile, so we must appreciate every day we are given.

Award in the nomination New Doctor of the Year was received by paediatric neurologist Signe Šetlere, assistant at the RSU Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, who pays particular attention to children with rare diseases in her work, especially in the group of neuromuscular patients. Together with the patients’ parents, she has succeeded in making the first genetic therapy for inherited diseases available in Latvia. On a daily basis, the doctor is a sincere and knowledgeable colleague who does not decline advice and is not afraid to ask for it herself.

The Dentist of the Year award went to Jekaterina Keļsina of Mārupe dentistry, health centre association VCA Dent and medical centre PP. Patients emphasize that the young dentist has a light touch and she gets on well with both children and adults. The doctor herself believes that life is the greatest teacher, so the key is to never give up and keep trying. Introducing the nomination of Dentist of the Year, RSU Rector Prof. Aigars Pētersons emphasised: “Nothing makes us so happy and recharges like the smile of those around us. Nothing increases the joy of life in us like a smile to life and people. Today, dentistry is based on modern education, when all the necessary knowledge and skills are acquired using simulation technologies. Dentists come to their practice already fully prepared for daily work with patients. It is not just about clinical skills. A good doctor has interdisciplinary knowledge. For example, a good dentist must also be a good psychologist. Because dentistry is the profession that allows us to open for a smile and increase our self-confidence, also reducing the fear of visiting the dentist. Therefore I am happy that Dentist of the Year 2019 is a graduate of Rīga Stradiņš University.”

Award for the Event of the Year in Medicine went to representatives of the Board of the Latvian Junior Doctors Association under the leadership of assistant of the RSU Department of Biology and Microbiology, nephrologist Kārlis Rācenis for the involvement of Latvian junior doctors and leadership in improving the health care system, confirming that the future of medicine in Latvia is in safe hands. The award was received by the rest of the board of the association together with Kārlis Rācenis, Assistant at the Department of Biology and Microbiology, neurologist Ieva Glāzere, lecturer at the Department of Surgery, urologist Juris Jansons, assistant at the Department of Paediatrics, paediatric cardiologist Luīze Auziņa, RSU medical resident, radiologist Artūrs Šilovs, psychiatrist Krista Brūna, and assistant at the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, paediatric neurologist Signe Šetlere.

The public vote established not only the best doctors of the past year, but also the best health care institution. Prize for the Hospital of the Year was received by a long-term cooperation partner of RSU, clinical training base – Children’s Clinical University Hospital, which is the largest specialised paediatric treatment institution in Latvia. Voters pointed out that the children’s hospital not only treats and cares for young patients, but also has a mission to teach and inspire children to live healthier lives in the most fulfilling way possible.

List of all award winners