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This month’s student ambassador of the month is Mariechen Puchert, a final year medical student at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Mariechen recently joined our Ambassador Program when we launched Figure 1 in South Africa just last month. She is an ambitious student with interests that include Paediatrics, Opthalmology, and Psychiatry. Good thing her internship is two years and requires rotations through all fields. We spoke with Mariechen to ask her a few questions about her studies.

What attracts you to Paediatrics, Opthalmology, and Psychiatry?

The impact that health and disability have on an entire community is very important to me and underscores all of my interests. When children come into contact with healthcare, they are usually accompanied by an adult, so not only do you impact the child’s future, but you can also promote health for the entire family. My interest in Opthalmology stems from my dad, who has Stargardt Disease – and I am fascinated by eyes. As for Psychiatry, I think it is a truly unique (and oft-neglected) field of medicine with massive potential for public health influence.

If you could only have one piece of medical equipment, what would it be?

My ears. I read somewhere that one should be able to make 75% of diagnoses based on a thorough clinical history. For me, it is also the most satisfying part of the consultation.

If you didn’t work in healthcare, what would you do?

Probably education. I am passionate about good quality education around the world and how that can change the course of a society’s history.

What case on Figure 1 has been the best learning experience for you?

I’ve used Figure 1 while studying for exams, so the learning opportunities have been innumerable. Most recently, there was a case of a blunt force injury with open fractures. A lot of the EM practitioners discussed various protocols having to do with blunt force injuries. As students we are taught the ATLS protocols so it was interesting to learn about other protocols used by people in the field.

To connect with healthcare professionals around the world who are viewing, discussing, and sharing medical images, join Figure 1.