“Stare at who you want to become,” Scott Wright, MD, at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center told hospitalists at SHM’s annual meeting HM14. Look to others who have found success in researching medical education and “learn to steal without apology,” he added. Build upon the work of these mentors and then be sure to give them credit when due. To quote famed painter Pablo Picasso, Dr. Wright said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
- Perform a self-assessment. Many of us start our careers with low competency in research skills. It is important to begin with an accurate self-assessment to find areas of weakness and then work with a research mentor to focus improvement on those areas;
- Expand your potential area of research. Medical education has traditionally been concerned with the education and training of residents, but it can also apply to younger clinical faculty and their acquisition of knowledge through continuing medical education;
- Understand how quality will be assessed. Learn how reviewers for journals judge quality and try to increase the quality of the study during the design stage, not the write-up stage; and
- Research new things to determine whether they can work, rather than big, already-implemented things to determine if they did work.
Dr. O’Callaghan is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and a member of Team Hospitalist.