Teppo Järvinen

Professor, Head

Role in FICEBO: Head

Favorite part of your job?
Working with amazingly motivated, driven, and ambitious people who have managed to remain selfless and are loyal to truth, social-justice, and the common good.

Why did you decide to enter your field?
For inexplicable reasons, I have wanted to be an orthopaedic surgeon since I was six.  Following in the footsteps of my Dad who was an orthopaedic surgeon treating Olympic Athletes.  More recently, Bob Johnson (Univ. of Vermont, USA) provided an outstanding role model for the profession, back in 1986-7 when my family spent a year in Vermont during my Dad’s sabattical.

Who/What inspires you?
Nature’s beauty inspires me, as does the loyalty of friends.  I also find the unselfishness those who work for the common good for its own sake particularly inspiring.

The most interesting article you’ve read recently?
A recent Invited Commentary in the JAMA Internal Medicine by Raj Mehta and Richard Lehman entitled: “ A Solution for Guideline Overkill—More Guidelines or Shared Understanding?”.

Yet another recent paper highlighting the fundamental problem with the majority of current guidelines: “Evidence-based medicine (EBM) guidelines should look like half-drawn maps, indicating where the good roads are but, equally importantly, showing where there are no good roads. Expert guidelines are not like this: in their maps, uncertainty is filled in by opinion. They tell the patient and the primary health care professional that somebody knows better, even when they do not.”

Your favorite book and why?
They Know Not What They Do, by Jussi Valtonen. This was a Finlandia Prize-winning novel (the most prestigious literature award in Finland) in 2014. The author managed to write a captivating story about scientific work and I think that proves quite a lot of his talent: To be able to make us scientists look “almost cool” is a tall order! On a more serious note, the book displays an ingenious techno-horror story with various ethical dilemmas woven into the mix.