Specialist in Medical Oncology, University of Tartu, Estonia 2013
M.D., University of Tartu, Estonia 2009
- Docrates Cancer Center, Specialist in Medical Oncology 2014-
- Vaasa Central Hospital, Specialist in Medical Oncology 2013-2014
- The North Estonia Medical Centre, Specialising Physician (Medical Oncology) 2009-2013
- Tartu University Hospital, Nurse, Cardial Intensive Care 2007-2009
Maigo Riener joined the team of experts at Docrates Cancer Center in August 2014. Riener, born in Viljandi, Estonia, graduated as a doctor from the University of Tartu in 2009 and as a specialist in cancer in 2013. Medical studies in Finland and Estonia are very similar: first, six years of basic studies, then four years of specialisation, leading to the qualification of an oncology specialist in both chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
In addition to his studies, Riener worked extensively: as a nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Tartu University Central Hospital, as a junior house officer at reconstructive plastic surgery and pediatric neurology clinics in Germany and later in Estonia as a general practitioner in first aid and at an oncology ward. Therefore, Riener believes that everyone should have the opportunity to experiment in a wide range of specialties, in order to broaden their experience and find their own field more easily.
After his specialisation, Riener began work at the oncology ward at Vaasa Central Hospital dealing with breast, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers. Although Riener enjoyed his time in Vaasa, he wanted to have more experience in different cases. A call from Tom Wiklund, Chief Clinical Director of Docrates came at just the right moment; Wiklund was looking for a young oncologist with language skills for Docrates who would be interested in both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Docrates wants to provide patients with the best possible care in their own language, and Riener, who knows Russian, is now part of the Baltic and Russia team of Docrates Cancer Center.
The work is familiar to Riener; what is new is the agility of Docrates, the high level of equipment (including modern imaging equipment) and the ability to consult specialists. Riener appreciates Docrates’ treatment philosophy and the ability to work with more experienced colleagues and, if necessary, consult them on the job or in regular multidisciplinary meetings. In his opinion, Docrates is an inspiring work community. In addition to patient work, Riener conducts so-called international paper consultations. – Finland is one of the best in the world in cancer treatment, and that is why many foreign patients either come to Finland for treatment or at least want another opinion from a Finnish doctor.
According to Riener, what matters most in patient work is a good doctor-patient relationship. It is important that the patient dares to trust their doctor and that they can work together to create the best possible treatment plan. A good patient relationship arises from the focus on the patient and their symptoms, not just the disease. Riener attaches importance to a common language, but to him it also means that the doctor can position himself as a patient. Once the patient has agreed on the goals of the treatment, results, even a small miracle, can be hoped for. And that miracle can be achieved when the work is done well and with devotion.
This is why Riener has been guided by his desire to treat the patient as a whole, rather than focusing solely on the condition or function of the organs. In oncology, the patient’s situation must be considered from a wide range of physiological and psychological points of view. The cancer itself is analysed from the molecular level on. Continuous development in the medical profession is therefore extremely important. That’s why Riener is dreaming about pursuing a postgraduate degree and doctoral thesis. He is particularly interested in cancer genetics and treatment resistance issues.
It may come as a surprise to Finns that Riener is known as the handball champion of the university league in his home country. After an injury, his dreams of a career in sports have gone away, but Riener, who is used to hard work, still spends his free time working out. His interest in theatre, which started as a child (and even led to television appearances), has remained strong, and Riener goes to the theatre as often as he can.