New clinical professors at the University of Oulu combine patient work and research
“This is a rather unique initiative in our country. I have not heard of such a large number of joint clinical professorships established at the same time in other university hospitals,” says Anne Remes, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.
The aim of the new part-time professorships is to support and develop research in the university hospital and to further intensify cooperation between the university and the university hospital.
“The operations of the university hospital are based on information obtained through scientific research. Clinical research produces concrete research results that can be directly implemented into patient care. By conducting research within the health care system, new effective diagnosis methods and treatments can be quickly introduced and spread more widely in health care for the benefit of the entire population. Today’s high-quality research is tomorrow’s good care,” Remes and Terhi Nevala, Deputy Medical Director at OYS, point out.
The professorships improve the conditions for clinical research and, at the same time, provide researchers with the job descriptions they want. According to Nevala and Remes, this also has a positive effect on Oulu’s ability to retain talent.
“Clinical researchers often wish to continue both patient work and research. We have a number of international-level researchers, some of whom we have now been able to offer better opportunities to combine patient work and research,” says Nevala happily and continues: “The new clinical professorships are also an indication of the excellent cooperation between the University of Oulu and the Oulu University Hospital. I would therefore like to thank the actors in both organisations.”
The new professorships will be established in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oulu. The appointed persons represent a wide range of medical fields. Many of them already have very long experience in both patient work and research.
The selection procedure followed the usual procedures for the selection of professors, i.e. it also included an international external evaluation. “All the appointed professors represent the very top in their field. It was wonderful to see that clinicians were interested in these tasks and there were as many as almost thirty applicants”, Remes says.
One of the new professors is Joonas Kauppila, Specialising Physician in Gastroenterological Surgery. In his opinion, the professorships are a great initiative for the development of cooperation between the university and the hospital. The professorship allows Kauppila to devote one day of his working week to research. “It provides many opportunities and increases your enthusiasm for research when you are not limited to doing research in the evenings and on the weekends.”
The main occupation of the persons selected for the tasks is in patient work at the Oulu University Hospital. With the part-time professorship (30%), their job description also includes research, teaching and social influencing.
The persons appointed to the posts of clinical professors are:
Marja Vääräsmäki (MD, Docent), Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Perinatologist
Field of professorship: obstetrics and gynaecology
Terhi Tapiainen (MD, Docent), Specialist in Paediatrics, Paediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist
Field of professorship: paediatrics
Joonas Kauppila (MD, Docent), Specialising Physician in Gastroenterological Surgery
Field of professorship: clinical epidemiology
Tero Rautio (MD, Docent), Specialist in Gastroenterological and General Surgery
Field of professorship: gastroenterology
Jukka Moilanen (MD, Docent), Specialist in Medical Genetics
Field of professorship: medical genetics
The appointed persons started in their new posts at the beginning of September.
Funding for the professorships comes from the strategic funding of the Faculty of Medicine and through the University of Oulu Scholarship Foundation. “The funds donated to the University of Oulu provide significant support for cutting-edge medical research in Northern Finland,” says Remes.
Image, from upper left to right: Joonas Kauppila and Jukka Moilanen, lower left to right Tero Rautio and Terhi Tapiainen. In the right Marja Vääräsmäki. Photos: Seija Leskelä.