What is research?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by qwert, Jun 28, 2001.

  1. qwert

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    I've never been very interested in research, but I've done a couple things like that. Can you evaluate pls, does count as "research"? :

    - in college a prepared a presentation for a local conference about pulmonary askaridosis. It took me about 6 mounth, and, besides work in library, it involved frequent visits to the medical center to look up old patient charts and anatomy samples.

    - thing like that about alcoholism for the in-college conference.
     
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  3. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    I think what you did is still research even though you didn't do any experiments in a laboratory setting.
     
  4. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    yes, these projects are certainly research, but they are clinical projects, more epidemiological in nature than basic science research.

    any research is good, and you should certainly list this on a resume/med school app, but what from i understand publications/presentations resulting from basic science benchwork hold a lot more weight simply because it is more challenging and requires a lot more time to reach a biologically significant-enough conclusion to write up a manuscript. a 'dry' clinical case study involving only patient records or library research only takes as long as it takes for you to go through all the records.
     
  5. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator

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    Are you folks sure this is considered research?

    *Was there a problem you were trying to figure out that was new and added to the already known knowledge of pulmonary askaridosis?
    *Was there a hypothesis, observation, experiment, conclusion, reevaluation of the hypothesis, etc, etc, -- Scientific Method -- ?

    I've read the original poster twice and, maybe, it's just me but it sounds more like gathering information and compiling them for a presentation. YES, there is "research" involve in compiling information. If I write something on a topic I would definitely need to do some "research" in the library, but I don't think it warrants that someone did an actual research project.

    This sounds like a lecture or merely educating other of pulmonary askaridosis via presentation. Something someone would do to write up a Review article and not a research article.

    If I'm wrong I'm sorry about the misinterpretation.
     
  6. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior Member

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    I think your right on the money Popoy. Most people interpret research as investigations which lead to data which has not been determined before hand. If your work leads to new information or answers a critical question that has not been considered, then I would consider this research. Otherwise it would be just compiling data previously obtained.
     
  7. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    you raise valid points, popoy and homer, but a lot of epidemiological research involves taking a second look at old data ('secondary data analysis'), especially compiling old data from a bunch of sources to state a new conclusion. case studies, for example, don't involve any real kind of hypothesis and follow-up--often they're just a description of something interesting that happened with a patient--but they get published in clinical journals all the time.

    this is why i mentioned that benchwork often holds a lot more weight, simply because it tells more of a story, often involves a much deeper understanding of science, and can be very time-consuming to put forth scientifically-interesting/valid work. epidemiology is really just an extension of statistics--'mathematical medicine', in a way.

    i think that what really matters in defining this person's work as research is whether or not it was completed under the direction of a principal investigator for the express intent of publishing. looking back at the first post, the info was gathered for an 'in-college conference'. if it was simply compiling information for a class project or student-run presentation, then that's not research--that's homework.
     
  8. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.

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    I'm not a doctor nor a health professional, but pulmonary askaridosis??? :D
    Am I the only one awake? :confused:
     
  9. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator

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    Nice catch Jon Davis. I thought about that at first but never thought to look it up till you brought it up.... I've tried searching and cannot find what "pulmonary askaridosis" is?

    Can anyone with expertise care to share?
     
  10. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior Member

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    Point taken, sandflea.
     
  11. Jon Davis

    Jon Davis I killed the bank.

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    Popoy. He's pulling our chains. I dont understand why you think that its an actual illness/condition when clearly a search came up with nothing. ;)
     
  12. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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    If I were a betting man (which I am not), I would probably bet qwert meant pulmonary ascaridosis (askaridosis is the German spelling), aka pulmonary ascariasis, which is a lung disease caused by a worm in the family Ascaridae (a family of nematodes that includes the roundworm). Usually parasites of the intestines, I would assume it is possible for them to find their way into the lungs as well.

    Sometimes you have to ask yourself why would someone come to a medical forum and make up a medical term? I think it was just an alternate spelling of an alternate word. Then again, maybe I am defending a liar.
     
  13. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator

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    THANKS SocialistMD!!!!

    I did find out about it..... It's a true disease....
     
  14. qwert

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    Thank you for concern guys. At least some of you learned some new stuff while looking up "pulmonary askaridosis" :) Seriously, would YOU put that stuff as research at your application?
     
  15. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    I would not put it down as research, but I would definitely put it down as a presentation. Research is generally accepted as the discovery of new things, not the reiteration of already discovered things. You don't want to mislead the adcoms (especially since many people who see your file/interview you are researchers themselves!).
     
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  17. molecular-bio guy

    molecular-bio guy Junior Member

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    This sounds more like an 'independent study' type of class than research. With research there are usually failures when dealing with the work.
    How can you fail at looking things up? ;)

    A final thing is that research is usually done to either prove something is true or false. This is mostly a report that can be part of a class. sorry.... :(

    later :D
     
  18. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    If I were you, I would put it down in 'Research/Lab' category of AMCAS application. Since Research and Lab are separated by '/', I guess you can put down any kind of research without lab work.
    Some medical researchers spend a lot of time confirming other people's work that is already published, and I am sure they are still called 'researchers'.
    Just my thoughts.
     
  19. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator

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    As you can see.... there has been differing opinions.... I say, just decide whether or not it's research in your eyes and be ready to defend your stance when interviewers ask you to elaborate.... Good luck.
     
  20. gower

    gower 1K Member

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    It is a blinkered attitude to regard research only in a science context and only on the laboratory model. There is research conducted in all areas of human interest and endeavour, in history, literature, languages, mathematics, music, theater, education, you name it. Most university faculty in all different departments do research out of interest, to keep their jobs and to get promoted. Much of that research is not based on the science laboratory model, but it is research nonetheless. Original undergraduate research in any area counts as research and will interest the medical schools. [The MD/PhD program at the University of Illinois allows research in any area, not just science].

    At an interview, any student listing research should expect to be asked about it and to answer questions about it. Be prepared to discuss it in a logical, coherent order starting with what the aim of the research was and ending with what, if any, conclusions were drawn. An incoherent, poorly organized exposition always reflects badly on the interviewee. Keep in mind that the interviewer may be very knowledgeable about the research area. A good presentation impresses, a poor presentation will certainly cost brownie points.
     
  21. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    Gower, this is true, but in ANY kind of research (science, humanities, social sciences), you are trying to find something that was previously unknown or show a new aspect of something - it sounds like this person did more of what I would consider a term paper that was put into a presentation format. All of us have done term papers, but we are all not researchers.

    Research must have a new or unique hypothesis OR you must have a new or unique method of assessing an old hypothesis. But something must be new and unique. Perhaps we need more information from the original poster to determine which, if any, of these situations he was involved in.
     

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