Here’s to my Future Patients

Research in any field is only as useful as it is understandable. The purpose of research is to clarify the complexity that exists in our world to those that live in it. Although research may seem very field-specific, it will always add to the pool of knowledge that everyone, regardless of expertise in that field, can dip into to better understand themselves, others, or the world around them.

Because research is useful to any curious person, it is important that it be communicated in a way that is impactful to those inside and outside of your field. Some strategies to explain why your research is important to someone who knows nothing about your field is to make it relevant to their lives. Without a personal tie to the research, it is very easy to get lost in the jargon and feel that it does not apply to you and is, therefore, unimportant. However, researchers should identify how this research may influence, explain, or clarify some aspect of their unique lives. As a researcher, you must look at your research and consider its reach; in what ways can others connect to it? Consider their passions, careers, and relationships to show them that your research may be able to teach them something new about themselves or their environment. When the person receiving this research feels like it was catered to them, they are more likely to appreciate the significance of your work.

I think it is a good exercise to practice crafting how your work could be explained to diverse array of people. If your research can be tied to the lives of a variety of people, it is likely to heighten its impact because the knowledge has diffused beyond the field and helped those that may not have had the opportunity to study or analyze their lives in the same lense as a researcher. You control the narrative that is your research, and it is important to make different people its characters to ensure its importance and relevance in our diverse world.

It is especially important for me to gain this skill of translating complex information because, as an aspiring doctor, I can expect to have many different patients. These patients may not have the expertise in medicine as I hope to have, but they will still rely on me to convey to them the status of their health. Doctors should be prepared to communicate and apply what they have learned in a textbook about the human body to a more nuanced being because every person needs, and deserves, healthcare. Doctors have to be very mindful about their approach to patient education because if the patient does not understand their diagnosis/prognosis/treatment, they may never achieve their optimal state of health. Medicine is inutile if it cannot be translated to those who need it!

The Allocations Committee 2020: Another interdisciplinary community I learned from. These people have clarified the kind of researcher, doctor, and person I want to be!

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