Changes in the working environment will also influence the work of physicians. The greatest of these changes on the Finnish scale, the SOTE reform (the reform in social welfare and public health services), still lies ahead. Labor shortage, on-call duties and patient record systems providing little support to work add to the burden. In surveys related to psychosocial working conditions, physicians' greatest work load factors have been rush, forced working pace and poor communication despite the fact that, on average, they consider their working conditions to be good, frequently better than those of other professional groups, and are committed to carry on with their work until retirement age. Although psychic symptoms and sleep disturbances are common among physicians, there are fewer disability pensions due to e.g. depression among physicians than in other professional groups. Among the municipal professions, physicians have nearly the lowest rate of job absenteeism due to sickness. Challenges brought about by the changes in physician's work can be met with fair management, development of the social capital of the work community, organization of tasks and flexibility of working hours.
LEO is comprised of local experts who collect observations about unusual environmental events in their communities. They apply local and traditional knowledge, western science and modern technology to record and share observations and to raise awareness about the conditions in the circumpolar north. There are LEO participants in Alaska and Canada in over 100 communities.
The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is a research and development institute under the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. THL seeks to serve the broader society in addition to the scientific community, actors in the field and decision-makers in central government and municipalities. The aim is to promote health and welfare in Finland.
Thule Institute is the strategic coordination unit of Arctic issues in the University of Oulu, and it works in close cooperation with focus institutes and faculties. It supports and implements the Arctic Attitude and strategy of the University.
Thule Institute supports Arctic research and multidisciplinary collaboration of all the focus areas of the University. UArctic Thematic Networks and Research Liaison Office is hosted by the Thule Institute, which strengthens the Arctic activities and profile, by offering connections to important national and international bodies, networks and projects.