A passionate Swiss doctor

Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence
Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence
Healthy Lifestyle
Professor Verena Briner is a doctor of internal medicine and was formerly head of the department of medicine at the largest hospital in Lucerne, Switzerland. She is currently the medical director of the Medical Center at the Waldhotel. 

As a child, Professor Verena Briner loved to play doctors and nurses with her dolls and her younger sister. But in primary school her teacher recommended she learn some manual skills. She sewed clothes for her dolls and later on she even made evening gowns for herself and her friends. But when her baby nephew became sick, she was convinced that the best thing to do was to become a doctor. She finished school and soon proved to her sceptical family that she had made the right decision. She went to Africa, studied at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare and worked at the mission hospital in Mutoko. 

Even though I had little medical experience, I was able to help a lot. I vaccinated the children – there were over a hundred – and treated injuries in the leprosy centre, etc.”

On her return to Switzerland, she continued her medical studies in Basel. She worked as a junior doctor at several university hospitals in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the US to broaden her experience in medicine and to learn clinical and experimental skills from dedicated physicians and scientists. She was the first woman to become chief resident of internal medicine at the University Hospital in Bern. In those days, Switzerland was still behind the times in terms of equal rights for women in academic medicine. Things were very different in Denver, Colorado, where Verena Briner completed a fellowship at the Health Sciences Center at the University of Colorado. She soon became the person who took care of the foreign junior doctors from all over the world. She helped to make their stay a scientific success when they were clever but shy. She worked with cultured cells from various tissues and analysed intracellular signalling.

medical check up


Even though Professor Verena Briner was very successful, after spending more than two years in the US she returned to Europe. “One day I realised that my roots were in Europe and not in the US. I then decided to apply for a national foundation project in Switzerland to continue my research and go back home. Fortunately I was able to combine clinical practice and research in the Nephrology Department at the University Hospital in Basel. So, I collaborated closely with scientists in the industry nearby.”

“For one reason or another, I decided not to stay in nephrology and accepted a call from the University Hospital in Bern to become chief resident at the Department of Internal Medicine.” By that time, her scientific achievements were outstanding and the research thesis she submitted was accepted. The first step to becoming a professor of internal medicine was completed.

 “I love being an internist, who is the specialist physician for complex cases. You have to act like a detective to discover the cause of an illness when it is not obvious. Of course, very often the symptoms and signs are straight forward.”

Throughout those years she was also a dedicated teacher to students and young doctors. “In 1995 I won the competition to become head of the Department of Medicine at Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, the largest hospital in Switzerland. I was the first woman to win such a position in internal medicine. So it was a bit of a sensation, especially for the men who also applied.” She became professor at the University of Basel and guest professor at the University of Lucerne.


What happened next?

 “Life expectancy is 85 years in the western world and is still rising. A long life should therefore also be a good life for as long as possible! The prevention or postponement of illness is vital.”

With such strong believe  and  supported by extensive medical & research grounds, the passion for excellency in personal care and innovation in medical field, asked for their own rights . In 2018 Professor Briner joined the Waldhotel Heath & Medical Excellence Operational team as Head of Medical Centre leading an extensive medical team or doctors, physicians and nutritional & sport experts
Leading for medical care at the highest standards,  supported by an extremely elaborated medical equipment base, Professor Briner recommends living a life of balance.

Sustained by the latest developments in state-of-the-art medicine and procedural analysis, the Waldhotel  medical experts, following the guidance of Professor Briner , work in concert to help guide you in improving your health, in a more balanced and sustainable way, by following a holistic approach.

Today Waldhotel Medical Center recommends Healthy by Nature - a comprehensive medical programs series that encompasses diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation services, complemented by prevention programmes. Swiss hotel hospitality of exceptional quality, the most modern medical concepts and extraordinary architecture combine in the Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence hotel to create a place to heal and relax. 

We lead you to a better life.