Austrian Medical Student Interns at Berrie Center

“It’s been awesome,” said medical student Antonia Kietaibl, 24, about her month-long internship at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center. Antonia who is in her 5th-year (out of 6) at the Medical University of Vienna, had a chance to shadow the Berrie Center’s endocrinologists, which she hopes to become one day. We caught up with Antonia right before she departed New York City on a tour of the East Coast. Here is what she had to say.

What did you think of the Berrie Center?

It’s so great—especially that the patients can see the same doctor every appointment. We don’t really have that stability in Vienna. I also like the idea of having the educators right here at the Berrie Center. That way the patients really get a great education. It makes a huge difference. Also, that there is an ophthalmologist on staff who can screen your eyes. I like that the Berrie Center treats the whole person and not just the diabetes.

How did you find the Berrie Center?

I wanted to do something abroad and out of my comfort zone. I’m interested in endocrinology and my stepmother, who is also a doctor, helped me to do research.  That’s how we found the Berrie Center. 

Is Medical school 6 years in Austria?

Yes, but we go straight from secondary school to medical school so you decide when you are very young. The first six years are studies in general medicine. Then you have to choose between surgery and internal medicine. I love internal medicine, endocrine especially. 

Why endocrine?

It’s amazing to me to see how the hormones in the body work. I am also writing my diploma thesis about insulin pump treatments. 

You’ve been very helpful to many people during your stay here. Thanks for volunteering at the Summer Fun Program for our young patients with type 1 diabetes (T1d).

It was great to see how children handle their disease and how they help each other. 

What was your favorite part about being a New Yorker for the summer?

I loved the High Line the most. I went there at night when the sun went down, and it was beautiful. I love the park too and that you have the opportunity to go running everywhere. 

Thank you, Antonia! We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.