The birth and development of clinical physiology in Finland

Tomi Laitinen, Anssi Sovijärvi, Pekka Malmberg, Väinö Turjanmaa, Jaakko Hartiala

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    The specialty of clinical physiology was established in Finland about 20 years later than in Sweden. In the early 1960s, six physicians working mainly in preclinical departments of physiology were certified as specialists in clinical physiology. Many of the first specialists working in hospitals received specialist training in Sweden. The first hospital laboratories of clinical physiology were established in Tampere Central Hospital and Turku University Hospital in 1968. Thereafter, laboratories of clinical physiology were also established in Helsinki University Hospital and in Kuopio University Hospital and later also in most central hospitals. After clinical physiology laboratories were set up in hospitals and the number of specialists increased, the specialty gradually had more impact in clinical work. In the 1999 reform, nuclear medicine, which had previously been a subspecialty, was combined with clinical physiology. Arto Uusitalo was nominated the first professor of clinical physiology in Tampere University in 1984. The first professor in Helsinki University was Anssi Sovijärvi (1994), in Kuopio University Esko Länsimies (1998), and in Turku University Jaakko Hartiala (2003). Today, at four universities professors of clinical physiology and nuclear medicine lead research and medical education in this specialty. The hospital laboratories have modern equipment, which promotes multidisciplinary research with clinicians in fruitful collaboration. The Finnish Society of Clinical Physiology was founded in 1975. Today, it has about 160 members, about half of whom are specialists in the field. On its 40th anniversary, the Society decided to publish the history of clinical physiology in Finland.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)151-180
    JournalClinical Physiology and Functional Imaging
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


    • clinical physiology
    • Finland
    • history
    • nuclear medicine
    • society
    • specialty

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology
    • Physiology (medical)


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