Dr. Amanda Hakala

Incoming PGY-1, Urology

1) What is your favourite thing about working as a member of the medical team here at the Ottawa Hospital?

The people! In my medical journey, I have had the privilege to work at hospitals across the country. Nowhere did I find more collegiality than among doctors, nurses, assistants, and staff of all kinds than at the Ottawa Hospital. I am thrilled to be joining the team!

2) What inspired you to get into medicine and your chosen speciality?

I had a bad concussion when I was younger and met a doctor who compassionately and competently helped me get my life back. I was so grateful and inspired by him that I felt called to pursue medicine and pay his gift forward. Urology is an amazing specialty in which we can do everything from a simple office visit to a kidney transplant to help improve our patients’ quality of life.

3) Do you have any messages to the community right now?

Let’s follow Ikea’s tagline: “Let’s stay together… Just a little further apart!” Thankfully, there are many ways to feel (virtually) close to our friends and family while protecting them from the virus by keeping a little farther away.

4) What has COVID-19 taught you about providing patient care?

COVID-19 has reaffirmed in many ways the importance of maintaining a human connection. Tensions easily run high when patients and families are scared. A smile behind a mask can go a long way, especially when we all see so few faces a day now.

5) What are you doing to take care of yourself (i.e. hobbies, self-care) during the time of Covid-19?

I FaceTime my family and dog every day. My friends and I discovered websites to play boardgames online (highly recommend skribble.io and horsepaste.com). Exercise classes on Zoom have been a wonderful outlet to let off steam! And I go outside every day in Ottawa after being cooped up in a small apartment for months in Montreal.

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