Research year update: Month 4

by Christina on March 1, 2010

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; 
then success is sure.”  
~Mark Twain

The further along I get in this research study, the more I realize how hard it is going to be.

We’re moving into the phase of less creative questioning, less theorizing, and more logistics. How are we actually going to carry out our ideas?

Two challenges I’m struggling with:

1) Human beings are complicated.

Small sample sizes and human complexities make clinical studies “noisy”… and difficult to identify trends and associations. Answering our research question would be much more straightforward in genetically identical mice.

2) Recruitment is hard.

How do we get patients to enroll in studies? This is what I’ve been thinking about:

  • The study question has to be understandable and appealing so people want to be involved.
  • The time commitment must be minimal – everyone is busy.
  • Offer compensation – money is always appreciated.
  • Work with physicians who will encourage their patients to enroll – much better to come from your doctor rather than a stranger in the waiting room.
  • The recruiter should be genuinely excited about the study and share that with the patient. 
“Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. Accordingly, a ‘genius’ is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.”
~Thomas Edison

I need to remember that as with anything – research, doctoring, yoga, habits, relationships, love – it’s 99% practice, 1% theory

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