Sami Saku

MD, PhD, Postdoctoral student

Favorite part of your job?

Getting to work with people from all over the world and meeting a lot of brilliant, smart people. Questioning common medical practices and fighting against medicalization. Learning about critical appraisal and evidence-based medicine.

Why did you decide to enter your field?

While serving in the navy and having a lot of spare time, I developed a deep interest in biology and how the body works, probably due to my running addiction. This led me to pursuing a MD degree, and also sparked my interest in running and other sports injuries. Since then, I’ve wanted to become an orthopedic surgeon and this led me to doing my PhD thesis in this orthopedics. So, voila, here we are…

Who/What inspires you?

Dedicated, highly effective people. People that have a goal and are willing to put in the hard work to achieve it, regardless of how painful or tough it is. People who don’t ever consider giving up. Olympic athletes. But also people that remember that there are other important things in life outside of work, fame and research.

The most interesting article you’ve read recently?

“Communicating science in the time of a pandemic” by Richard Saitz and Gary Schwitzer, published this July in JAMA.

It is a viewpoint on how to report study results in the general media and what to look out for when reading news about science. This is especially important at a time where people are prone to panic and the media, with exaggerated headlines, tends to pour fuel on the fire.

Your favorite book and why?

Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg, an ex-McKinsey consultant and Steve Magness, a performance scientist and coach of several Olympic-level distance runners. The book is a fantastic synthesis of most of the available research on how to perform at your best and achieve success in a sustainable way. Ground-breaking research is mixed with the authors’ own experience and inspiring stories from several of the world’s best-performing individuals – both in sport, science, business and art. The book is well-written and the facts are presented in a brilliant, easy-to-understand way. A must-read for everyone eager to get the most out of yourself.