From Switzerland to Bloomington to Switzerland: Martina Uffer, DC ‘05
Dr. Martina Uffer, a 2005 graduate from Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU), regularly hears about how high of a demand there is for chiropractic care in her native Switzerland. At her practice, which she opened in 2009, based in the St. Gallen municipality Gossau, Uffer said she treats roughly 40 patients daily, intentionally working a little slower with her patients than other practitioners in her field might.
Uffer began her studies at NWHSU in 2002 after attending medical school in Switzerland for two years, but realized that it was not the right path for her. At the time, there was no chiropractic curriculum available in Switzerland. Uffer explained there were 12 accredited schools in the USA and Canada she could choose from —NWHSU happened to be one of them.
After graduation, back in Switzerland, she had to do a residency of four months in a hospital and two years with a licensed chiropractor before taking the final board exams to be fully licensed in Switzerland and eligible to open her clinic. In her practice, she sees a wide range of patients, from babies to senior citizens, and works with the Super League Soccer Team of St. Gallen (comparable to MLS).
“I treat the sporty to the not so sporty,” Uffer jokes.
Uffer fondly recalls her time spent in Minnesota, and learned a lot from both her teachers and mentors. And now within her own practice, she is supervising assistants—three graduates from the Zürich University (Switzerland has had a chiropractic program since 2008) did their two-year residency with her, the next is about to start. “I learned so much from my principals in the USA and Switzerland. This inspired me to work with assistants, and to be around recent graduates keeps me on my toes regarding research as well,” she said.
According to Uffer, the most rewarding by far is being able to treat patients and get them out of pain very fast. “The biggest compliment is when patients tell me they love my enthusiasm and see how much joy my profession brings me. And why wouldn’t it? Chiropractic is amazing. I am grateful I got the chance to attend NWHSU and meet so many wonderful people.”