Studied the Two Most Difficult Chapters Together and Graduated: Ethem Hamamci!

Having graduated from computer engineering, Hamamci was accepted to a doctorate with scholarship from the most prestigious universities in the world, such as Yale and University of Pennsylvania, despite being in the 6th year of medical school. But he chose Switzerland and now his biggest goal is to work on artificial intelligence in health, to lighten the heavy patient burden on his doctor colleagues.

İbrahim Ethem Hamamci, who grew up in Malatya and is the pride of his family as the eldest of three siblings, came first in Turkey in the 2016 university exams after graduating from Science High School. His dream was to be a computer engineer since he was a child, but when he was going to choose university, he started to take an interest in medicine.

Hamamci chose the international medical faculty and entered the Medipol University Faculty of Medicine with a scholarship. When he learned that he could study computer engineering at the same time thanks to the double major program of the university, he chose both departments and successfully completed the two most difficult sections of his university life. While studying at university, he also participated in studies at many universities abroad. He was selected as one of the 15 most successful students in the world in scholarship applications and did his internship at ETH Zurich University with an Amgen Scholar scholarship.


He participated in research studies at UCLA and Harvard, and while he was still a university student, his articles were published in the world’s most respected scientific journals such as Nature. Since he completed a double major in computer engineering by studying medical school, he received doctorate offers without even having a master’s degree, and he won a scholarship from world star schools such as Yale and Pennsylvania University in the “Ivy League” classification. But he opted for Zurich. Swiss passenger Hamamci will focus his career on studies that combine computer science and medicine. Hamamci, by making advanced studies on diagnosis with artificial intelligence; In this way, it will reduce the burden of extra patients on doctors, which is one of the biggest problems in Turkey, and will try to give them “more time for examination”.


Explaining that it is not easy to read the two most difficult parts at the same time, Hamamci summarized how he was successful:

“I actually wanted computer engineering since I was a kid. But after visiting universities, I started to become more interested in medical school. I realized that I had a special interest in medical research. That’s why I chose medical school.

But my interest in engineering still persisted. I learned that there is a DAP program in our school. Taking advantage of this, I also preferred computer engineering. After enrolling, I started to think about how engineering and medicine could intersect, and I especially worked on medical image processing and deep learning and medical decision support mechanisms. I have worked on blending these two fields in this way. It hasn’t been easy. After all, both are very difficult sections. But I had more difficulties in engineering. Sometimes I got low grades in the engineering department, I even left it to the 2nd year, there were courses that I failed. I did not get as high grades in engineering faculty as in medical school. But with the contributions of my teachers, I was able to read the two of them together by adjusting the programs together.”


Explaining that although he is still in the 6th year of medical school, Hamamci said that he could be accepted directly to doctoral programs because he completed his 4-year education in computer engineering, “Actually, the 1st and 2nd grades of the medical faculty are a little lighter. We mostly take basic clinical sciences and medical introductory courses. For this reason, I was able to carry out the first two years of engineering together. But then, by spreading the remaining two years of engineering to three years of medicine, I was able to finish engineering in this way by taking some summer school courses.” Despite being a student, Hamamci also had the opportunity to do internships and research at the most prestigious universities in the world, and continued her words as follows:

“In 2019, I went to ETH Zurich University with the program organized by the Amgen Foundation, and I was selected as one of the 15 most successful students who applied to this program and did an internship at ETH Zurich University. I presented my studies to Cambridge University. The next year, I could not go abroad due to the pandemic. The following year, I did internships at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California Los Angeles, and in the summer of Year 5, I did my internship at Mass General Hospital, a part of Harvard University, and now I will go to Switzerland for my PhD in computer engineering. “


Adding that he was targeting the USA and Switzerland in his doctoral applications, Hamamci stated that he received a scholarship from Yale University, Pennsylvania University and Johns Hopkins in the USA, but preferred Switzerland for his doctorate, and explained his goals as follows:

“I will go to Switzerland for a doctorate. During my doctoral process, I will mostly work on medical image processing and the application of artificial intelligence to medical images. There is a huge patient load on doctors in our country. As the time allocated to patients decreases, the quality of service received by patients naturally decreases. We If we can integrate artificial intelligence into health more, especially if we can benefit autonomously from software in decision support mechanisms, this will reduce the burden on our physicians. That’s why I want to work in these areas.”


Emphasizing that artificial intelligence in health does not reduce the role of physicians as it is thought, Hamamci concluded his words as follows:

“Because the final decision will always belong to the physician. When we look at the density of the hospitals, we see the accumulation in radiology units. It is caused by situations such as MRI, tomography, X-ray interpretation. Therefore, if we can present radiology imaging to the doctors with a suggestion together with artificial intelligence, the doctors already have it. Radiologists will make the final decision. By delivering these reports to our other clinicians, radiologists will reduce the burden of clinicians in outpatient clinics. Because together with these reports from radiology, they will be able to reach more accurate results in a shorter time with the anamnesis (taking a patient’s history). In fact, the role of anamnesis does not decrease here. On the contrary. It is increasing. Because our physicians will have more time to take anamnesis. This will enable better diagnosis and more time for patients.”

Ece Nagihan

Hello, I'm Ece, I write food ingredients for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out!

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