The Latvian medical student undertakes a six year course of study leading to his/her Degree in Medicine, with dentists undertaking five. Most doctors start their education in the Latvian University Medical Faculty or P Stradina Medical University and often go abroad to advance their qualifications. Every doctor, surgeon, hospital or a practice must adhere to regulations of the Latvian Medical Association which is working under supervision of the Latvian Ministry of Health and each doctor, surgeon, hospital or practice must be certified and licensed. Inspections are very common, regular and strict, and compliant with European regulations.
Latvian doctors must study for a further four years to specialise in their particular field of medicine, (eg to gain specialist expertise such as spinal surgeon or plastic surgeon). Graduates first study ‘internatura’ and then ‘residentura’ with a total study time for medical specialisation being ten years. There are several medical colleges in Latvia and the most prestigious medical schools are the Latvian state universities; namely the University of Latvia (Faculty of Medicine) and Riga Stradina University. The state colleges are Daugavpils Medicine College, Liepaja Medicine College, P.Stradins Health and Socail Care College, Riga 1st Medicine College, Red Cross Medicine College and Riga Medicine College. Many foreign students come to Latvia to study from India and the Middle East.
Latvian doctors receive a certificate (permission) to practice in their field and this lasts for five years and is issued by the individual medicine field's association. Each five years they must do a re-certification. Doctors must have an “Arsta diploms”, the medical degree certificate issued by a Latvian university and specialists should have a “Sertifikats” (Certificate) awarded by the Latvian Medical Association. The Latvian Ministry of Health is the regulatory medical authority located in Riga at Latvijas Republikas Veselibas Ministrija, Sabiedribas Veselibas Departaments, Baznicas iela 25, Riga LV-1010. Tel: + 371 702 1646 and the Latvian Medical Association (located at Latvijas Arstu Biedriba, Skolas iela 3, Riga, LV-1010) works under the Ministry’s supervision. Specialist associations exist for doctors to belong to such as the Latvian Society of Surgery, the Traumatology and Orthopaedics Society and the Latvian Association of Surgery, while cosmetic surgeons should be certified members of organisations such as the International Society of Aesthetic Surgery (ISAPS) and dentists should be members of the Latvian Dental Association (Latvian site only) which governs the Latvian dentistry industry, located at 20 Dzirciema Str., LV-1007 Riga, LATVIA. Tel: +371 7 455058.
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