Saturday, December 5, 2009

Weeks 3 & 4

I’ve been surrounding myself in everything telomeres. Here’s a quick update on the research front:

  • There is a promising grant that seems to fit with our research goals. Writing a draft of this grant is my main project for the next week. I’m learning that the most important part of designing a study is identifying the AIMS. As is true for many things, the key is having a clear vision and setting specific goals. 
  • I went to a research meeting with budding physician-epidemiologists where someone was presenting their R01 proposal. The group ripped it apart. It was discouraging, to say the least, and I came out of there questioning whether research is for me. Spending months investing in and developing your project, only to have it rejected. You need thick skin and perseverance in the face of unavoidable criticism. 
  • I’m beginning to really understand how hard it is to design a high quality, rigorous, scientific study. No study is perfect and there will always be critical reviewers. The western medicine framework seems inadequate to study many of the questions I’m interested in. Many people in primary care offices in America would never be eligible for randomized controlled trials. People are complicated and real life isn’t randomizable.

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