The aim of the programme is to prepare academically educated and professionally qualified doctors, who can provide the community with a high level of modern medical care.
Programme Fact File
Medical Doctor (MD)
Why study medicine in Latvia? Our Medicine programme is specifically designed to teach students the core competencies that are required in order to become highly skilled doctors who, upon graduation, are capable of pursuing a wide variety of careers.
This programme is characterised by student cooperation and active engagement in group work. Studies involve working on a series of patient-centred problems, revealing the basic principles that influence human health and disease. Medical knowledge and practical clinical skills are gained by giving students the opportunity to work with patients from the 3rd year onwards.
The Faculty of Medicine offers professional education, and the opportunity to study medicine under the guidance of professors from Latvian universities and hospitals, as well as from abroad. As a student of the “Medicine” programme, you will acquire up-to-date knowledge and skills, which are competitive in Europe and the rest of the world.
Study environment and methods
The study programme is comprised of compulsory and elective courses. Studies in medicine take place in small groups of max. 12 people, and studies are divided into three blocks:
- Basic subjects (year 1 to 2)
Theoretical disciplines, which comprise subjects from different fields of sciences – anatomy, histology, physiology, medical chemistry and biochemistry, as well as the humanities – philosophy, psychology, languages.
- Preclinical subjects (year 3)
Disciplines regarding pathological conditions and processes, which already include basic clinical disciplines.
- Clinical subjects (year 4 to 6)
Disciplines that transform the knowledge gained in previous years into clinical skills – a competence that is needed by every modern doctor.
Basic, clinical, biological and social sciences are taught simultaneously, with communication skills serving as an important part of the curriculum.
Dissection of cadaver is carried out when studying anatomy of the human body. This draws the study environment closer to real life situations, since, unlike with study models, each cadaver has its unique anatomical features.
A significant part of study time (~30%) is devoted to the understanding of disease prevention – how a GP-supervised family health service team works and how it promotes patient engagement in healthcare and supports the use of preventive measures, thus noticeably reducing the number of hospitalised patients.
Technological advances are fostered by systematic use of information technology and the developing of students’ computing skills.
Professional development and ethics is an integral part of the programme.
Lifelong learning skills are acquired by systematically using diverse learning approaches.
For more information on the Latvian Education System, please see the homepage of the Academic Information Centre.
Career opportunities following studies
Upon a successful completion of the six year undergraduate course you will receive your Medical Doctor (MD) degree, which is a primary medical qualification. The MD degree entitles you to continue your professional and academic growth in residency programmes in Latvia, as well as in other countries to train to become a doctor/specialist.
Our graduates have successfully continued their education and professional pursuits in the UK and other EU/EEA member states, as well as in the US (passing, e.g., the ECFMG exams), Australia, Sri Lanka, India, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan etc. Each country has its own requirements for foreign medical graduates before they can start practicing medicine, or even continue their education in residency programmes, therefore make sure you check the requirements with your country's Medical Council.
The 6-year programme also grants access to doctoral degree programmes.
* A diploma is a document that attests that you have fulfilled all the requirements of the programme, and it is issued along with a Diploma Supplement, which includes information on the content of your studies as well as your academic performance.
Additional information on accreditation
There is no centralised EU accreditation for Universities in Europe. The Universities, including Rīga Stradiņš University, are accredited locally by the Ministry of Education and Science with international experts present. RSU study programmes receive official accreditation every 6 years. In addition, all RSU study programmes in regulated professions, including Medicine and Dentistry, are developed according to EU directives on regulated professions.
Secondly, given that Latvia has been an EU member state since 2004, The Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, usually referred to as the Lisbon Convention, applies also to Latvian universities, including RSU. Beside many others, the main point of the Lisbon Convention is as follows: holders of qualifications issued in one EU member state shall have adequate access to an assessment of these qualifications in another EU member state.
EC Directives to be considered are as follows:
- Medicine and Dentistry: Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications
- Also this: Notification of evidence of formal qualifications — Directive 2005/36/EC on recognition of professional qualifications (Annex V) (2012/C 244/01)
In short, the Lisbon Convention, and the fact that RSU is an officially accredited state University, ensures that qualifications obtained at Rīga Stradiņš University are recognised in all EU and EEA member states.
To become a certified doctor you may continue your studies in the Residency in Medicine programme, choosing the profession that suits you.
Studies may be continued in the RSU Master's and Doctoral programmes (Rehabilitation, Public Health, Health Management only availble in English, Doctoral studies are available in Latvian only):