3. Research #1

Now, let us skip past the various issues of daily life and get to what is important: Research.

I wondered if the quality of the research methodology here would similar to what is expected at an American university, for example. It is. The staff in the cancer center’s research office have high standards and individuals tend to care about quality and to do more than what is required by a job description. The IRB process is much more direct and efficient (American universities could learn from it).

It is understandable why only graduate students with research experience would be asked to apply for this site, especially considering the necessity of fulfilling the role of a principal investigator.

My proposal for an intervention to improve screening rates among relatives of cancer patients is too much for a six-week research project, but the general idea is guiding the current research. We designed and have been distributing surveys–one for patients and one for relatives–to determine how communication/education occurs between patients and their relatives regarding changes in health behavior and early screening for cancer. The data is expected to inform future research regarding education for patients’ relatives and to provide the foundation for an evidence based intervention.

It is interesting interacting with patients in a clinical setting. A notable characteristic among many patients I have encountered is constant, remarkable patience/Faith. I appreciate that I learn from them about real life experience (in addition to what I learn from a purely scientific perspective).


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