The University is developing the whole of Northern Finland

Tuula Tähtinen
Doctor of Medicine. Specialised in general medicine and internal diseases.
Now: Retired since 2014. Continues to do substitute work in a health centre.

I completed my matriculation examination in 1972 in Vaala. The University of Oulu was a natural choice for me. I read the vocational guides and decided to apply for medicine. A few years earlier, in 1968 to be precise, state-guaranteed student loans had been brought in, and these opened up the opportunity for us, the children of normal working people, to go and study just like the others. I was the first in my family to complete an academic degree.

"I supported myself with only my student loan, as did many of my classmates. That loan made a massive difference."

The world opened up in a whole new way

My career choice was not something I’d been dreaming of for years, but I have been very satisfied with it. As soon as I began my studies at the University, I felt that this is my place. The world opened up in a whole new way. I lived in Karjasilta in a small rented room. I supported myself with only my student loan, as did many of my classmates. That loan made a massive difference.

In the department of medicine, studies were intense and course-based, so one quickly got to know one’s classmates. In fact, just last autumn we had our 40-year class reunion here in Oulu. My relationships with these school friends feel somehow truly genuine. I was at one time the course leader, who was the person who took care of things like collecting from everyone the study books needed for obtaining course marks and handling shared matters that related to the faculty.

Cooperation with the University

I got married straight after my studies and we had three children. After our studies, we lived in Kauhajoki and Kajaani, but we eventually returned to Oulu in 1988. At that time I was developing my specialisation. I worked as a leading physician at Haukipudas from 1999 to 2006 and as health care service manager for the City of Oulu from 2006 to 2013. Doctors are needed for managerial work, but the whole time I was longing to work with patients. Patient work is, after all, the heart of this profession.

As part of my administrative tasks, I worked together with universities through arrangements such as training agreements. Medical students need patients in order to carry out their studies, so practical training in health care centres is essential.

Now I'm retired and our holiday home is in Vaala. We spend about half the year there. During the winter, I do around 40 days of work as a health centre physician. I really enjoy the fact that I am able to meet with patients once again. All of my children have gone to university, although only one of them went to Oulu. It’s wonderful to see children getting an education and that Finnish society offers the opportunity for this.

No shoddy research

I had already been thinking for some time about becoming a donor when I noticed some advertisements for a matched giving fundraising campaign. That’s when I decided that now is the time. I had just retired and I felt that my life situation was wonderful.

"These days, one sees and hears a lot of quasi-facts in headlines and politics. Scientific research is the right and responsibility of a university."

I don’t consider donating to be an obligation, although I have made repeated donations. It is completely voluntary. Of course it does make a difference though that the University is currently being squeezed and funding from the government has been cut back.

I feel a sense of gratitude towards the University of Oulu. Thanks to the university, both Oulu and the whole of Northern Finland have developed and grown, and I myself have followed these years of development. This is why I want to support the university. In Oulu, the university also engages in good cooperation with the business sphere.

These days, one sees and hears a lot of quasi-facts in headlines and politics. Scientific research is the right and responsibility of a university. The university's scientific research is reliable and has been carried out using the correct methods; there is nothing shoddy and biased about it.

Last updated: 13.9.2019