Recognizing the “So What” to Research

The premise of all research, ultimately, is to promote human understanding and societal progression, whether that be in medicine, politics, literature, or space. Any research done in any field essentially becomes futile without the proper communication and implications of the work that was done. The most recent and major example can be seen with COVID-19 research. Research on how it spreads, how to prevent spread, and most importantly, vaccine development is only as effective as its knowledge among the general public. Therefore, given this context, communicating one’s research, particularly in a way that is effective to an audience, is, in a way, nearly as important as the research itself.

One of the most effective ways of communicating research is inarguably publishing the work that was done. To ensure that this research is genuine and accurate, peer review systems have been established that are one of the most effective ways to regulate the research that is done. However, most of this research is only comprehensible to the scientific community. To really see the consequences of certain research, this work must be translated in language that can be understood by the general public. Hence, science articles that make hard to understand topics manageable are really effective in promoting communication. Some other tactics that should be used are including definitions for field-specific terminology. Additionally, giving talks or discussions on certain topics can also be very effective as it allows the audience to ask questions in real-time.

In the future, I know that I will be interacting with people from all walks of life. As an aspiring doctor, especially being in Pittsburgh, my patients will include those from the city as well as those from rural areas. In both settings, education levels, beliefs, and world views all differ among people and in understanding this, it is important to be able to interact with those from all backgrounds. Additionally, being able to work with other healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, PA’s, etc – is another skill that is very important. Being able to take criticism in this field and respecting everyone’s work in the healthcare setting is key to good communication. Additionally, I hope to use my experience in promoting the public health sector. This work would involve working with legislators and politicians, and in doing so, translating science and fact-based experiences into anecdotes and persuasive material is really important. In this way, communication is integral in almost any field, particularly science and medicine.

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