Susanna Stjernberg-Salmela

MD, PhD, senior consultant in hand surgery

Role in FICEBO:


Who are you?

I’m a MD, PhD, senior consultant in hand surgery at the Helsinki University Central Hospital.

Favorite part of your job?

The favorite part of my job is having the privilege to work with dedicated and capable colleagues and having the opportunity to partake in the “hands on” treatment of patients, and potentially be of service to them.

Why did you decide to enter your field?

Although the scope of hand surgery is mainly confined to a limited anatomic region, the job itself is quite diverse. Daily practical work encompasses elective and trauma surgery, with procedures ranging from osteosynthesis to microsurgery, and from arthrodesis or arthroplasty to soft tissue reconstruction. This diversity in the line of work is what appealed to me when deciding on which subspeciality to engage in.

Who/What inspires you?

Colleagues, who do their work with passion and devotion for the best of the patient, are a source of admiration and inspiration to me. In daily life, my family and my friends are the ones who bring joy and balance to my life, as well as motivate me in all endeavors.

The most interesting article you’ve read recently?

The recent article by Duclos A, Chollet F, Pascal et al. Effect of monitoring surgical outcomes using control charts to reduce major adverse events in patients: cluster randomised trial. BMJ 2020;371:m3840.doi:10.1136/bmj.m3840, caught my attention. In this prospective randomised trial, surgical departments in 40 hospitals throughout France were randomized into 20 hospitals, where control charts, validated in industrial use, were introduced to monitor surgical outcomes, and into 20 control hospitals, where usual care was carried out. According to the study, the implementation of control charts rendered a statistically significant reduction in major adverse events in surgical patient. The finding is not surprising, but the design of the study was convincing and the use of similar control charts could quite easily be adapted in hospitals globally.

Your favorite book and why?

It is difficult to name one favorite book in particular, but the works of Mika Waltari, including his historical novels, are books that I return to. Waltari masters historical detail and skillfully portrays the aura of the time period in which his novels are set.