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Published: 2022-08-23

Independent, knowledge-seeking students are the goal

PROFILE Oskar Hemmingsson, senior lecturer and chief physician, received his docentship in March 2022. We met Oskar and heard about his research, career choice and what is going on this autumn.

Text: Heléne Andersson

You've just taken your docentur. Congratulations! What does the docentur mean to you?  
- It's a proof that I've come a long way and reached a new level of competence. Actually, in two ways. Firstly, that I am an independent researcher, and the second is that I have a broad teaching experience. It's a merit, says Oskar Hemmingsson.

You both research, teach and work clinically. What are the biggest challenges with it?  
- All clinical researchers probably feel that it's keeping all the pieces going at the same time, but it's also stimulating, says Oskar.  
He doesn't see it as three separate parts, but instead try to get the feeling that it's the same entity.  
-It's natural in a university hospital, says Oskar.

What we know and teach today may look different in the future

Oskar, who teaches the students in Semester 7 of the medical program, believes that it is important to stimulate the students to find a context.

- We have good students, who find it easy to absorb the facts, says Oskar.  
When asked what he would most like the students to bring with them, it is very much about the independence in the search for knowledge. 
- I want to help them apply the knowledge practically, but also get them to find their own knowledge, ways to seek new knowledge, says Oskar. What we know and teach today may look different in the future.  
- There will be new knowledge in 10 years, says Oskar, who therefore wants the students to bring that particular piece with them. 

To get more young people to start researching, Oskar believes that you need to start early and catch them at the beginning of their careers.  
- We need to show the possibilities of research. It's fun and opens up new opportunities in the job. We need to offer a wide range of projects, so that everyone can find something that is exciting and fun, Oskar continues. 

His own research mainly revolves around cancer of the upper abdomen with a focus on the liver, biliary tract and pancreas. The research has two main tracks, one of which is clinical studies. One example is the BRECLIM study, which investigates whether patients benefit from operating on liver metastases from breast cancer. The second track is based on studies at the surgeon's research laboratory and WCMM, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine. They are now screening large substance libraries using the C. elegans mask  in order to find new drugs for cancer.

However, the choice to become a doctor and scientist was not a given from the beginning.

- I actually chose between medicine and architecture, Oskar says.  
The commonality between the two specializations is that both combine technology and science with the humanities. To choose between the two trainings, he rolled the dice. Although the dice fell on architecture, Oskar changed and it became medicine and doctors.  
-Studying medicine is not just biology and technology, but also human contact, it adds another dimension. No matter what job I would get as a doctor, it felt exciting, says Oskar. 

How did it come to be just targeting surgery? 
- I had my first substitute job at the surgeon. It was stimulating, and then I had good mentors who became good role models, says Oskar.  
The surgery provides a breadth, something that was also attractive. In addition to operating, Oskar thinks that the most fun thing about the profession is meeting students, patients and colleagues. Due to his teaching assignment, he now also has the opportunity to inspire students in the way he himself was inspired by his mentors.

Looking into the future 
In ten years, Oskar hopes that he, together with his colleagues, will have strengthened the upper abdominal surgery in Norrland. He wants to continue to run clinical and laboratory studies that contribute to improving the conditions for patients with cancer.  
- We have several clinical studies underway, and want to build on that, says Oskar.  
During the autumn of 2022, the plan is to recruit a new doctoral student. In addition, they are completing a large study in the lab and are looking forward to those results. Otherwise, a national meeting for liver surgeons is expected.  
- In September, liver surgeons from all over the country meet on Ulvön. It feels great to host this, says Oskar. 

In his spare time, he gets an outlet for architecture 
When he is not working, he spends time with family and friends, preferably in the cottage in the High Coast where he likes to go boating. He runs from time to time and likes to ski. But an interest is also what falls apart from the profession he didn't choose.  
- I like to build on houses, says Oskar. 


Family: Wife, four children and a dog 
It makes me happy: My children 
Preferably looking at: The sea, and beautiful houses 
Currently reading: The Conference, by Mats Strandberg 
Preferably listening to: Podcasts about international politics