What is your research/clinical focus?
Prof. Hasler: "My main focus is on stress-related disorders, particularly depression. If you give a standard antidepressant to depressed patients, only 30% show a full response. But if you use all available treatments including psychotherapy and combinations of drugs, you can get to a full response rate in up to 80% of patients. This means: it’s worth it to be an expert in treatment-resistant depression, you can be of great help for many patients."
What do you find particularly interesting/appealing about our Faculty?
Prof. Hasler: "Our faculty is small. People know each other. It’s not just medical doctors, but professors from all fields of science. That’s very interesting. In addition, we are about to develop a new master in medicine with a focus on family medicine. That’s very relevant and exciting. There are so many patients with unclear and chronic symptoms that fall through the meshes of top medicine."
What do you wish to achieve here in Fribourg?
Prof. Hasler: "I wish to conduct a series of studies on treatment-resistance of major psychiatric disorders, in close collaboration with the RFSM. This research program has the potential to improve clinical services and attract collaborators with interest in research and state-of-the-art psychiatry. Second, I have some goals regarding the teaching of medicine. Almost all doctor-patient interactions involve behavioral change: eat less sugar, take more of this pill and less of that pill, sleep more etc. From behavioral science, we have learnt a lot about how to do behavioral change effectively. I think future doctors should know about these methods and know how to apply them."
What is your personal message or passion you would like to share with our students?
Prof. Hasler: "I am concerned that more and more family doctors suffer from burnout. In the new master’s course at Fribourg, we will not just teach medical information and practices but also how to become psychologically resilient when facing the daily problems of a real doctor. For me, studying medicine is getting more and more exciting. I look forward to getting in contact and interacting with the students at the University of Fribourg."