Irina Dmitrievna Chizhevskaya

We would like to acquaint you, dear friends, with Irina Dmitrievna, a talented and wonderful woman, a person with a huge heart and a wealth of professional experience in medicine. Irina Dmitrievna has been working in medicine for 26 years after graduating from the Minsk State Medical Institute in 1994. She has been cooperating with the Chance Foundation since 2015 under the program “Helping children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis”.

Why did you choose the medical profession and this particular specialization?

In my family, there was no health worker. I was surrounded only by physicists and mathematicians. I did always love exact sciences. On holiday my sister and I solved tasks of increased complexity. And it seemed to me that the choice of profession was obvious. But one day I came across a book by a wonderful pediatric surgeon Stanislav Yakovlevich Doletsky “Thoughts on the way” (Mysli v puti). After reading it, everything changed. I set my sights on a medical career. When discussing admission to the medical institute, everyone in my family advised me to enter the Faculty of Dentistry. But I chose the Pediatric Faculty for one simple reason - I love children very much. And I never regretted it. At the institute, I studied the problem of pediatric cardio-rheumatology in a student scientific circle, and the choice of this direction was associated with the books of a cardiologist, academician Nikolay Mikhailovich Amosov. My Teacher, an outstanding scientist-pediatrician, a unique master, Professor Belyaeva Lyudmila Mikhailovna, finally helped to establish myself in my specialization. She determined my scientific direction, and I am infinitely grateful to her for that. 
What features are in your work? What is its uniqueness?
I have been working at the Department of Pediatrics of the State Educational Institution “Belarusian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education” for many years and in fact I combine teaching and medical activities. Today I can say that I really do what I love - I treat children and teach doctors how to treat them. That is probably the uniqueness of my work.

Where do you get your strength? What inspires you and helps you recover after a working day?

The work of a pediatrician has its own peculiarities. We not only have to find an approach to the little patient, but also be able to gain his/her trust and explain to the child's parents how to cope with the problem that has arisen, how to learn to live with the disease, and not just prescribe treatment. Sometimes, by the end of the day, I really feel emotional exhaustion. Especially when there is a difficult patient in the clinic in terms of diagnosis and treatment. The ability to switch helps me recover after a working day. On the way home, I listen to my favorite music. My family, my close circle is very supportive of me. Communication with close and dear people gives strength for inspiration. 
Regarding hobby, I really like to travel, I study the culture of those countries where I have already visited or would like to visit. And, of course, I am interested in their healthcare system. I also have a musical education and I love to play the piano, although lately there is no time for this hobby.

What is the Chance Foundation for you?

My acquaintance with the Foundation was in 2015, when the program “Helping children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis” was being formed. I am very happy about this cooperation as for me the Chance Foundation is a unique team of like-minded professionals who give sick children a chance to recover.

Social activities:
Since 2012 - Chief External Pediatric Cardio-Rheumatologist of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus.
2014 to 2018 – Chief External Pediatric Cardio-Rheumatologist of the Health Committee of the Minsk City Executive Committee. 
Since January 2014 – Head of the Republican Center for Pediatric Cardio-Rheumatology.
Annually gives scientific reports on topical problems of pediatric cardiology and rheumatology at republican and international conferences and congresses (more than 100 speeches, including those abroad).
She is the winner of the Doctor of the Year 2015 Competition in the category of Pediatrician.
Annually speaks on radio and television. She is an expert of the “Children's Doctor” program on the channel “Belarus 1”, publishes popular science materials in the media.
Scientific activities:
She is a co-author of over 170 scientific papers, 5 instructions for use, 2 patents for inventions.
She is actively involved in the training of scientific and medical personnel. Ph.D. theses are carried out under her scientific supervision.

Chizhevskaya I.D. introduced into practical health care a modern high-tech methods of treating diseases of the musculoskeletal system in children and, in particular, the treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis with the use of genetically engineered biotechnological drugs, the use of intravenous immunoglobulins in the complex treatment of systemic diseases of the connective tissue in children.

She is a member of the Scientific and Technical Council of the BelMAPE, an expert of the Republican Formulary Commission, a member of the Expert Commission of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus on problems of cardiovascular pathology, a member of the Scientific and Technical Council for the branch scientific and technical program “Maternal and Child Health - the Basis of the Nation's Health”, a member of the Belarusian Association of Physicians, the Belarusian Society of Rheumatology, the Belarusian Public Association “Defeat Osteoporosis Together”, the Association of Rheumatologists of Russia (ARR), the Association of Pediatric Cardiologists of Russia (APCR), the Pediatric Rheumatology European Society, a member of the Standing Committee on Pediatric Rheumatology EULAR, a member of Pediatric Rheumatology INternational Trials Organization (PRINTO).

We are proud of our cooperation with a specialist of this level and are immensely glad that together we can help our children gain health and a happy childhood! Thank you, Irina Dmitrievna!