In our alumni interview series, we ask former Semmelweis students to tell us about their life journey, their university years, and how lectures at the university helped them progress. In the latest episode, Dr. Tom Cato Karlsen, a Norwegian anesthesiologist and governor of Nordland County, gave a video interview to our website, in which he also talks about how Semmelweis taught him to work hard.

Dr. Tom Cato Karlsen wanted to be an anesthesiologist since he was a small child, and he applied to Semmelweis University because he considered it a reputable institution. According to him, he really liked the fact that he was encouraged to study continuously. Because of this, he even turned down a job in Norway, which he was offered in his sophomore year.

“The secret behind success is hard work and that’s why it’s a secret for most people. So you really have to work hard and I felt I learnt that here at Semmelweis and it does help me in my ambitions to reach my goals also after my medical studies,” he said.

Dr. Tom Cato Karlsen currently lives in his native Norway. He realized his dream, worked as an anesthesiologist for ten years before entering the political field. „Every time I meet Hungarians, or I visit Hungary and I meet new people and they ask me about my relation to Hungary I always say: „A testem norvég, de a szívem magyar.”, which means my body is Norwegian, but my heart belongs to Hungary”, he said.

Mária Sánta
Video: Semmelweis Studio