Effectively communicating research to other individuals outside of your respective field can be a challenge especially when individuals do not know much of the background information in your area of study. When communicating to a general audience, it is crucial to think about the bigger picture of your research project. My project is related to multiple fields of medicine such as cardiology and metabolism. Within these fields, my project is very specific to cell proliferation. When communicating my research, I must realize that not every individual may know what cell proliferation is and its relation to the heart. Thus, I must create a map where individuals in a general audience can get from the bigger picture to the specifics of what my project entails. Only then can individuals truly understand both the impact and findings of my project.
A strategy that I try to focus on when communicating my research project is to define all the complex language that is involved in basic science research. When defining medical terms, the audience members can get a better understanding of not only what I am doing but also the reasoning behind why I am doing it. It helps create a better visual for the research project and it also helps me focus on the important aspects of my project.
The Brackenridge fellowship is special because I get to present my research project to a wide range of individuals in various fields of research. It will help me a lot as I plan to go to medical school and be a practicing physician to patients that may or may not know much about their health and conditions.
I believe that it is especially important that patients understand their own medical problems and the treatments that physicians are giving them. At the end of the day, the patients are the ones making informed health care choices while physicians provide guidance and input. There is a current issue today in the United States related to this with individuals that have low health literacy. It is especially common in older adults and minority populations that get confused with the complex medical language that may negatively impact their healthcare choices.
When I was shadowing an oncologist in the past, I saw how he was able to explain the complexity of various blood and lung cancers to patients that had no idea they had cancer. It was remarkable to watch how the oncologist was effectively able to communicate such shocking and difficult news to patients that did not have careers in healthcare. The way the oncologist talked about the disease really helped patients make informed decisions about their health which is very crucial with something as life changing as cancer. My goal would be to do the same for my patients in the future because I understand the impact that communication has on successful treatment and management of a wide range of medical issues.