Every research project in this Brackenridge Fellowship holds significance in our everyday life, and all of our projects are aimed at making the world around us a better place. That is why I find this fellowship so interesting- even though our projects are vastly different, we are all aiming to provide knowledge to solve real-life problems that impact all of us in some capacity. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this fellowship, I think that learning about effective tools to communicate our research is now more important than ever as it translates into how we will be presenting our research to a vast audience as we continue to develop our research projects.
I will admit that I struggled a lot with writing my research purpose and significance statements. I felt as though I was so caught up in the details of my project, that it was hard for me to untangle all that I have learned and confine it to one to two sentences. I think it is strange how difficult it is to communicate something you have been working so closely with and why it matters, but I also think the closer you are with a project the harder it can be to take a step back and understand why you are doing this project in the first place. What helped me when I was writing these statements was thinking about concepts that nearly all readers can connect with. Since I am doing my research about cancer, I used cancer to exemplify why my project is important and how it relates to the general public. From the perspective of someone who is also doing a lot of research in my field, this project is not just about cancer, there is so much more to it and there are a lot more complexities buried beneath it. With that in mind, I also had to incorporate some aspects of my project that are more specific to how I am carrying out my research, but not go so deep to where I lose sight of the significance of my project- finding better treatments for cancer. That is what I think I have been and will continue to struggle with the with presenting my project. Finding the balance of going into detail enough where someone can have a clear image of what I am researching, but not too deep where the significance is lost in translation.
I think communicating my research and explaining complex and intricate problems to a vast audience will play a major role in my career goals as a physician. The medical field itself is incredibly diverse and quite frankly complicated. There are tons of fields in medicine, and there is even more that is yet to be explored. Physicians work directly with their patients, and it is a physician’s job to explain medical conditions to their patients and translate how they will treat their patient as well. Much like how I am developing my purpose and significance statements, it is a balance of explaining enough to be specific to the patient, but not going too far to where they lose sight of what the bottom-line is. The concept of “informed consent” is important to the administration of healthcare as it allows the patient to have control over their health decisions. Communication is a skill that will always be important throughout this Brackenridge Fellowship and beyond.