Campus - 08.03.2023 - 11:24 

HSG course brings students, experts and the general public together for discussions on health topics

At the SanktGallen Health Forum at the HSG, a mixed audience discusses innovations in the health sector. The public event at SQUARE is also a course for students. This course gives them insight into a wide range of views on various topics.

The SanktGallen Health Forum will deal with innovations in the medical and healthcare sector six times in spring 2023. The public event is also a course for HSG Master's students. “There's a lot more diversity in a panel discussion with health professionals and the general public than in a traditional university course. This format should enable students to experience a wider variety of perspectives on a specific topic”, says Alexander Geissler. He holds the Health Care Management Chair and is the Academic Director of the School of Medicine founded at HSG in 2020.   

Around 20 students from various subject areas attend the accompanying course entitled “Gesundheitswesen, quo vadis? – Aktuelle Herausforderungen und zukünftige Entwicklungen” (in English: “Health care; quo vadis? Current challenges and future developments”.) Around half of these students are medical students. Their critical thinking, as well as the ability to express concerns in a company or question specific issues are training aspects of the course, says Geissler. “For would-be doctors in particular, this is an important skill that complements their medical expertise and prepares them for professional practice.”

This can also be see in current public discussions: For example, the NZZ recently reported that many assistant doctors suffer from poor working conditions. According to the report, four out of five assistant doctors had already made mistakes because their workloads were too heavy. Nevertheless, the report stated that criticism is often not voiced so that medical careers are not jeopardised. 

HSG networks with health care providers in the region

The forum will be held for the fourth time in spring 2023. The programme includes, for example, the topics of health care ethics with the use of digital technologies, or the effects of the psyche on health and performance. The St.Gallen Health network will also be presenting some new projects. “We always reserve one evening for a topic with regional significance”, says Geissler. Networking with St.Gallen Health - which includes clinics, startups and SMEs - is valuable for the School of Medicine, he said.

Presentations of research findings from the School of Medicine will also take up one event each. This semester, the focus is on improving care for people with COPD. In addition, one evening will be dedicated to “Healing Architecture”, on which HSG lecturer Monika Kritzmöller will present her research findings.

Each evening begins with a short presentation by an expert, after which the discussion starts in the “Arena” room, which is in the new HSG building SQUARE. These involve the audience sitting in a circle around the speakers, which Geissler says is ideal for creating a lively dis-cussion.

Deepening research on the basis of the discussion

Students each choose a topic in small groups and use the event for their first “input”. Based on this, they conduct research for a scientific paper. “The wide variety of views and content is quite extensive during such events”, Geis-sler says. “The challenge for students is to delve into individual aspects and develop focused research questions.” Thanks to the exchange with various experts from the health care sector, direct practical relevance is also given. 

On 8 March, Annina Huber, Project Manager for promoting the City of St.Gallen as a location, will speak about the “St.Gallen Health Network” at the Health Forum. The forum will take place in room 11-2091 of SQUARE at the University of St.Gallen, Dufourstrasse 50. Attendance is free, registration is needed via

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