Faces and stories of the USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences: Alessandro Ceschi

Prof. Dr. Alessandro Ceschi
Prof. Dr. Alessandro Ceschi

Institutional Communication Service

3 August 2020

The study curriculum of the Master of Medicine at USI will allow its students, with a combination of classroom lectures and clinical practice, to acquire both specific and transversal skills - including pharmacology and clinical toxicology, disciplines which are the specialisations of Alessandro Ceschi, professor at the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences. From his professional experiences built between Ticino, Zurich, Bern and France, he brings with him an important lesson that he wants to share to his future students: to have an open mind and gain experience in various fields.

Originally from Rasa, in the Centovalli, Alessandro Ceschi, M.D., M.Sc., EuCP, FEAPCCT, is a specialist in pharmacology and clinical toxicology and general internal medicine. Dr. Ceschi graduated in medicine from the University of Zurich, and since 2015 he has been medical and scientific director of the Istituto di Scienze Farmacologiche della Svizzera italiana (Institute of Pharmacological Sciences) at the Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale (EOC, the Cantonal hospitals of Ticino), where he is also chairman of the Therapeutic Commission and director of the Clinical Trial Unit (CTU-EOC), a full member centre of the Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation (SCTO), which played a central role in the coordination of serological tests in Ticino during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Ceschi, what do you remember when you were a medical student? Is there any episode in particular that you would like to share with the USI Master's students? What were the main stages that marked your career?

The studies in medicine were demanding but certainly interesting and exciting - I would say a total immersion that envelops and accompanies you towards an demanding but fascinating and privileged profession that can also become enthralling and exciting. I remember one element in particular, during the practical courses held in the first semester of the first year, in which the lecturer switched systematically, 5 minutes after kindly reminding him to speak in Hochdeutsch, to the Schwitzerdütsch! I admit that because of this, I missed a few sentences and concepts, and yet I survived. I would say that for our students, there will be no issues with the Italian language, if anything else, because the use of dialect is less widespread in our region, especially in the professional domain. With regards to my career, which in my case is quite varied, I would say that as a student, but also at the beginning of a career, it is important to have an open mind and try to have different experiences, perhaps in disciplines that are as broad as internal medicine. Then, as probably in all fields, also in medicine it is necessary to have some intuition and luck to find a good way. A good mentor, if you are lucky enough to find one, can certainly be helpful and inspiring.

One of the strengths of the Faculty is its close contact with the region, which is conveyed to the students through the doctors and researchers who will accompany them in their studies, but also through the exposure of the students to the healthcare sector of our region: in short, what added value can Master's students draw from Ticino ?

The added value of studying medicine in Ticino is that of being able to learn, live and work in a small but highly dynamic, growing and ambitious context, and perhaps even less "rigid", more open to discussion and to being influenced and shaped by good ideas, compared to the more "severe" one of the most prominent university hospitals.

For many people, Ticino will be a place to explore and learn more about: is there a place in particular with which you feel connected and which you would like to suggest to your students?

Rasa, in the Centovalli, to which I am related. An idyllic place, very isolated and a bit "still in time". The village can only be reached by cable car or, for those who suffer vertigo like me, by a good hike, with steep descents and climbs - so I invite you to contact me beforehand, so that I can recommend the route that best suits your needs.