Dr. Amanda Hakala
Born: Montreal, Canada
Undergrad: McGill University
Medical School: McGill University
Urology is the best specialty for so many reasons! Urologists can make massive improvements in their patients’ quality of life in so many different settings from clinic and ward to cystoscopy suite to major OR. We can have meaningful therapeutic relationships with patients on the one hand and use cutting-edge lasers and robots in the OR on the other. There is an immense satisfaction associated with pulverizing a kidney stone with a laser! Urology is an exciting and rapidly-evolving field with many opportunities for research. Urologists as a group also are quite relaxed, funny, and friendly—a true pleasure to work with. Lastly, if I had to choose to work with any bodily fluid, it would be urine hands-down: it’s supposed to be seen outside the body and is (usually) sterile!
Why did you choose Ottawa for residency?
When I did my elective rotation, the uOttawa Urology program felt like a big family. The residents and staff made jokes and were on first-name basis, and yet had the utmost clinical confidence in each other. The residents worked hard, but also formed real friendships that helped lighten the load of their rigorous training. Best of all, I felt accepted and included on the team by everyone even though I was only passing through. I learned so much in two weeks from staff and residents who clearly love to teach and never felt afraid to ask a question or look silly. This open environment felt like the perfect fit for me to grow into a surgeon.
What is your favourite thing about the Ottawa Urology residency program?
The people! :) I have heard stories about the fun activities, dinners, cottage nights, and hangouts organized by the residents and staff. I am so excited to work with everyone and get to know my incredible co-residents while learning the ropes in R1. I also look forward to the honour of being in one of the funny yearly Urology photos!
I love to travel and take architectural and landscape photos. I have a map where I track the countries I’ve visited so far with my photogenic stuffed polar bear, Leo. I also dance salsa, Argentine tango, and Zumba. I love spinning, Ashtanga yoga, and HIIT classes. I read when I get the chance (currently savouring The Left Hand of Darkness) and love to go for walks and play boardgames with friends. I am also slowly learning to speak Korean and to play tennis.
My first language is Finnish.