Wednesday, January 13, 2010

“The nature of academia”

In my day full of research meetings, I received some lessons from my mentor(s) about “the nature of academia.”
  • You have to set boundaries with people. Always be nice, but learn how to say no. People will want you to do their work for them. 
  • Clinical research is not just about the idea. It’s about organization, building relationships, and learning how to collaborate with people. 
  • There WILL be low points in research. You have to persevere through them. 
  • Your research life will change once you have your own dataset. Without it, you will always be dependent on other people’s work. 
  • To know statistics = power. Otherwise, you will always need someone else to analyze your data. 
Speaking of statistics, I had my first biostats class today. When I’ve had these kinds of classes in the past (both in undergrad and medical school) I’ve found them incredibly difficult, resulting in minimal interest.

But now! Now I see how I will use it! While I am still very far from understanding it, I can see the potential.

If one day, I can:

1) Have my own dataset
2) Know how to analyze that data

... THAT would be exciting.

“Knowledge of statistics is like a knowledge of foreign languages… it may prove of use at any time under any circumstances.” ~A.L. Bowley 
“A poorly designed study can never be saved, but a poorly analyzed one has the possibility of being re-analyzed.” 

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