Published On: May 20, 2019

A Model Doctor

Share This


An extremely tall, slim blond with green eyes walks with long strides through the corridors of the Carapicuíba Hospital emergency clinic in São Paulo.

The blond intern enters office number two, where she examines under the supervision of a resident and a doctor, patients like Caroline, who is suspected of having thrombosis in the right leg. After the consultation, Caroline notes, “It was an excellent treatment. The intern touched me and examined me correctly. Many doctors are scared to touch us.”

Caroline had no idea that the 6th-year intern from São Camilo Medical School was actually Ana Cláudia Michels, formerly one of the most successful models in Brazil, coming from the generation of top Brazilian models that includes Gisele Bündchen. When Caroline learned this, she praised the doctor-in-training. “Wow, I didn’t know, but now that you tell me, my doctor looks like a model!”

Ana during her modeling career

Ana during her modeling career

Ana Cláudia Michels was once a Victoria’s Secret Angel. As an international model, she worked alongside successful Brazilian models like Alessandra Ambrosio, Ana Beatriz Barros, and Raquel Zimmermann.

“Gisele started a little earlier than the other girls and me, but in the same year,” recalls Ana Cláudia, who is from Joinville in Santa Catarina. Ana made her debut on the runway in 1995 at the age of 14. At 1.84 meters and 55 kg, she’s a little taller than Gisele.

After walking the top international catwalks in the early 2000s, Ana Cláudia returned to Brazil. In 2008, she began to think about her future, and what she would do in her 30s when many models are considered too old for runway work and lose their top salaries to younger models.

It was then Ana had a revelation on her psychologist’s couch. “One day my therapist asked me, ‘What about your dream of doing medicine?’ ” Ana argued with the therapist that at almost 30 years old, it would be too late, unfeasible. However, she decided to follow the psychoanalyst’s advice to enroll in a short course.

Ana on the runway pregnant with her first child

Ana on the runway pregnant with her first child

Medicine was an ambitious goal. Six months later, when she took her first entrance exam for medical school, she was just above 500th place, which was not good. She had to wait another year for the vestibular, and she began to prepare to try to enter again. She spent the whole day, every day, in test preparation class. After class, she would study with her colleagues.

“I only studied, but it was a delight. I still cannot believe how hard I worked.” But when she retook the entrance exam, all her hard efforts paid off. She ranked 37th, thus gaining entry to medical school, which had vacancies for the top 50 applicants.

She describes the first day of medical school in São Camilo as “one of the most incredible days of my life. It was a bigger thrill than walking for fashion masters like Valentino or posing for international magazine covers.”

With her friendly approach to her patients and her obvious dedication to her profession, her residency and career as a doctor are certainly ahead in her near future. At age 37, she is grateful for the support from her family and the guidance of her professors and colleagues. And she’s extremely proud of her role in breaking the stereotype that models or tall blondes can’t be both beautiful and intelligent.



{Research for this article comes from Folha d. São Paulo.}

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>