Applying what you have studied in hospital

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Clara Ehrenzeller studied Human Medicine at ETH Zurich. Together with ETH studen
Clara Ehrenzeller studied Human Medicine at ETH Zurich. Together with ETH student Mohammed Said (right) she can be seen on the cover of the Globe issue ’Putting people first’. (Photograph: ETH Zurich / Markus Bertschi; taken in the Kantonsspital Baden)
Clara Ehrenzeller studied human medicine at ETH Zurich. Aspects of her course that she will never forget were her six-week research internship at a children’s hospital in Canada and her deployment at the Kantonsspital Baden. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Ticino.

"I’ve dreamt of being a doctor ever since I was a child," says Master’s degree student Clara Ehrenzeller. What eventually prompted her to take that step was a visit to ETH Zurich’s information days, where she learned about the university’s Bachelor’s degree programme in human medicine. Impressed by the dynamic way in which the course was presented, she submitted her application - and she hasn’t looked back since. There’s a great atmosphere at ETH, says Ehrenzeller, and a strong sense of camaraderie among the students. One of the highlights of her ETH experience was the six-week translational research internship at the end of her Bachelor’s programme. This gave her the chance to work on her own project at the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver in collaboration with a doctoral candidate. The research focused on cardiovascular health in children with diabetes, and she is pleased to report that the paper has since been completed and is now set to be published.

A further highlight of Ehrenzeller’s course was the "From Symptoms to Diagnosis" unit; in particular, the opportunity it gave her to put her new-found knowledge into practice on an internship at Kantonsspital Aarau. The methodologies she learned on this course have also proved useful on her Master’s degree programme, which she is currently pursuing at the UniversitÓ della Svizzera Italiana in Ticino. Once Ehrenzeller obtains her Master’s degree, she hopes to work in the field of ophthalmology, ideally as a doctor and researcher.

Ehrenzeller’s dedication to medicine is not limited to her own studies: during the pandemic, while she was still studying for her Bachelor’s degree, she spent her free time helping out at the University Hospital Zurich as part of a group of volunteers. She currently serves in a voluntary role as vice-president for external affairs on the board of the Swiss Medical Students’ Association (swimsa), a network of over 9,000 medical students in Switzerland. Her advocacy for the interests of medical students also includes her role as the swimsa representative in the Swiss association of resident and senior physicians (VSAO), which gives her fascinating insights into health policy. "I want medical students’ voices to be heard loud and clear," she says, explaining her commitment to these various causes. "And I want to make sure that medical studies remain fit for the future."
Karin K÷chle