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Signe Šetlere is a 4th year neurology resident at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) Faculty of Continuing Education, in the Residency in Medicine study programme. She received the award Resident of the Year for her outstanding academic achievements, her active involvement in research and her academic work.

She regularly attends various courses and exchange programmes abroad, and implements innovations and develops guidelines. She has won the European Paediatric Neurology Society award for Best Analysis of a clinical case. Signe is also known for her active role on the Board of Latvian Junior Doctors’ Association and represents the interests of RSU residents in negotiations with the Minister for Health and Saeima (the Latvian Parliament) committees.

Seven candidates were nominated in the category Resident of the Year for this year’s RSU Annual Awards.

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About me. I am a determined and responsible junior doctor with an open mind and I like to challenge myself.

The three most important things that I have accomplished so far. The first was to understand and focus on a professional area to further my personal growth. The second, but no less important, will hopefully be accomplished in September this year. That is when I will complete my 11 years of studies and become a paediatric neurologist. The third, and most important thing, is learning to maintain a balance between efficient work and quality recreation.

Studying at RSU is a pleasure. The university is supportive, and my colleagues are understanding. I must also mention the excellent RSU mixed choir Rīga which I was happy to sing in. Another source of contentment for me is the debates project which is still going since I first launched it in 2014. Over the years I have felt that the university is developing, which is very important in my opinion.

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Signe Šetlere after receiving the RSU Annual Award in the category Resident of the Year at the Riga Latvian Society House on 6 April 2019. The award was presented to her by Vice-Rector for Health Studies Prof. Guntis Bahs.

Life teachers. I believe that one can learn from all people and from any situation. Beginning with the basic childhood values the greatest contributors have, of course, been my family members. Thank you! If I have to name of specific teachers from my studies, I would like to extend my thanks to Doctors Daina Pastare and Jurģis Strautmanis - you inspire and motivate me!

Values or cornerstones of life. Our greatest value is time. We must live for today and in the best possible way. All the people around me are of great value to me. One needs to be honest with oneself and others – that is the key. 

What needs to be done to make the world better? ‘You can gain by giving, and you can gain by taking, but what you gain by giving cannot be taken from you’ – as Rainis has said so aptly. In my opinion, even the smallest altruistic gesture, no matter the motivation, always make our lives much better.

Where do you see yourself in regards to the development of Latvia? I see myself as a socially active professional in my field in Latvia, who continues working in her country with a mission to develop and improve.