Mika Paavola

Chief surgeon, adjunct professor

Role in FICEBO:

Deputy Research Director

Who are you?

I am an orthopedic shoulder surgeon by training. Although I still practice weekly, the administrative responsibilities of running the department are enormous and eat up most of my time these days.

Favorite part of your job?

The older I am, the more satisfaction I get from seeing a young colleague evolve from a resident to a stellar professional (orthopedic surgeon), capable of mastering complex trauma cases and making solid knowledge-based decisions on how to treat a patient. I also get pleasure from working with my team to solve complex problems that sometimes seem intractable at first or reforming our clinic’s standard operating procedures discovering and applying new ways of doing things.

Why did you decide to enter your field?

I use to be a national level hammer thrower in my youth (and modestly, I should add, I even won a few medals in Finnish Championships). In my early days as a young resident, I wanted to pursue a career in Sports Orthopedics and defended my PhD thesis on Achilles tendinopathy. However, one thing led to another and about a decade ago, I found myself running the day-to-day business at our Töölö hospital, the top hospital in Finland dedicated to the care of seriously injured patients. It was a career choice that I did not actively pursue but one that I have never regretted.

Who/What inspires you?

I get great satisfaction from seeing how our teams – both at the hospital side and in this FICEBO group, untiringly and with great pride, take on the many challenges that we face. Whether it is a new administrative chore or IT system, a backlog of people who need surgery or a trial that requires much additional work, our teams are always ready to tackle new challenges.

The most interesting article you’ve read recently?

The recent article of Antoine Duclos et al. Effect of monitoring surgical outcomes using control charts to reduce major adverse events in patients: cluster randomised trial in BMJ (BMJ 2020;371:m3840). In addition to the high quality of surgical care, it drew attention to methodology of randomized controlled trials.

Your favorite book and why?

Nowadays, I sadly have too little time to read but I still try to keep the habit of reading a book or two in every 1 month (mostly been e-books, I must admit). I don’t have a single favorite book but, in reading, I prefer fiction to non-fiction.