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A question about asking questions

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CalendarJ

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I’m sitting down next week to chat with a pathologist-scientist who’s the chair of this small department at hms/Brigham. I’m excited.

I’m a 4th year undergrad. Doing a +1 masters, so starting grad school in 2020/2021 or so.

I’ve been planning to do MDPhD but I’m starting to consider just doing a PhD. I worked as a nursing assistant and an ER scribe and loved it but I really enjoy getting 8 hours of sleep a night, and becoming a physician will likely include some degree of sleep deprivation.

So I’d like to do some clinical practice, but research is fun and residency doesn’t seem fun.

Anyways, I want to have good questions to ask this guy. Maybe he can help me make my hard grad school decision.

Are you a physician-scientist? Or have you spoken with a lot of physician scientists?

What questions would you like to be asked? What things should I ask about that I don’t yet know that I don’t know? Do you have any other advice that I haven’t thought to ask for?
 

CalendarJ

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Update, for anyone finding this thread post-mortem:

I met with the doctor guy yesterday, and it went great!

I read some of his papers, and I focused on his development of one gene target over the last 10 years. So I started off asking him about that.

Then I transitioned into talking about a couple other aspects of his research and talking about good vs large samples.

I planned to then ask him specific career/etc questions, but those conversations basically led there. I asked him about what was needed in the biomedical field, and he gave his opinion on what will be the most important things to do in the future.

He talked to me about medical school and told me to send him an email when I need a job or other help. 10/10 would recommend.
 

mega_

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so whats important in the biomedical field in the future?
 

CalendarJ

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so whats important in the biomedical field in the future?

Yeah, good question. So he was talking a lot about integrating multiple data types. The importance of forming diagnostic/clinical models around RNAseq and genotyping but also integrating traditional clinical diagnostics. The actual technical side of that isn't a job for a physician scientist, but getting things like that off the ground and implemented definitely is.

We also talked about the importance of causal models in medicine--we need to avoid the "it's all in the data" mindset, and it'll be important to form solid, clinically-applicable quantitative projects.

But I bet everyone you ask will say something different, so it's one of those that will stay on my list of questions-to-ask in the future.
 
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