Student testimonial: Sara Riggare

With a passion for how IT can save lives

Sara Riggare has pursued a degree in Health Informatics in order to feel passionate about what she does for a living.

You have a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering but decided to change track. Why?

I worked as an environmental consultant for 14 years and definitely enjoyed it. But somehow I felt that passion was missing from my career. I was inspired by the quote "Vocation is where our greatest passion meets the world's greatest need." and felt that the time had come to seek an educational path that would lead me on to what I really wanted to do, namely to work with health issues. When I read about the master's programme in Health Informatics on Karolinska Institutet's website, everything fell into place.

You have a personal reason for wanting to work with health issues, don't you?

When I was 14, I discovered that my body was not fully responsive to what I wanted it to be doing, but it was not until I turned 32 that I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. After my diagnosis, I began to re-evaluate my life and decided to start studying again. I went from a secure job to something new and unexplored. It is the bravest but also the most fun decision I have ever made.

What do you like best about the programme?

I was glad to discover that the healthcare sector is moving toward being more patient-oriented. In this process, which requires a large change in the way health care is carried out and administered, information technology is extremely important. It can be used as a tool to bridge the gap between the old and the new methods of working for and with patients. Without information technology, the level of detail in health care information would become unmanageable.

What has been the key lesson learnt in the programme so far?

I have become more humble and learnt to see things from different perspectives. Our class is made up of students from almost all continents, with very different backgrounds and viewpoints. Having the opportunity to learn so much from each other enriches the whole experience of the programme.

How do you picture your future?

I want to help others and myself by doing research on Parkinson's disease.

Health InformaticsMaster programmeStudent