Communicating Health Sciences Research


Communicating research is an important skill for any researcher. In order for any field to progress, research must be shared, conveyed, and understood by a wide array of people to garner attention, funding, interest, and further research and experimentation. However, communicating research effectively can also be a challenging task as well.  In the health sciences especially, there are lots of technical or scientific terms in different research fields that may be hard for a general audience outside of the field to understand.

There are various strategies to explain research to someone outside of the field. Firstly, it is important to initially avoid describing the specific methodology or research aims or other specifics. If you feel that you must describe some of the methodology, keep it succinct. Instead, identify the purpose, significance, and potential applications of the research that would be interesting and inspiring for someone outside of the field. In other words, interest your audience while making sure that they understand the basics of what your research is and why you are conducting it. Try to avoid using technical or scientific terms and be sure to define any that must be used. Secondly, check for understanding throughout the conversation. Make sure to ask your audience if they have any questions or curiosities. Thirdly, use visuals, analogies, or examples to aid explanations. This is especially helpful when explaining specific scientific methodology, experiments, or terms.

I hope to enter the medical field as a physician in the future while also conducting research in some capacity. Both as a researcher and physician, I would need to communicate effectively. As a researcher, I will need to garner funding from individuals outside of my field. It is important to make my research understandable and interesting to these individuals in order to continue my work and spread my research in the community. I would need to present my research proposal, describe my work, and explain how my findings contribute to my proposal. As a physician, I will also need to be able to communicate effectively with a general audience. In this case, my audience would be my patients, who do not have the same understanding of medical terms, procedures, or physiological processes that I would have. In order to effectively treat my patients and address their concerns, I must be attentive to their questions and also speak about their condition or my treatment plan in a way that they can understand and give informed consent to.

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