Medical doctors can participate in research to bridge the gap between clinical practice and scientific research. This will help speed up the discovery of novel treatments and improve patient outcomes.
Medical research is the need of the hour. The COVID-19 situation has highlighted the importance of healthcare research, funding, delivery and access. Encouraging more medical doctors to get involved in research alongside clinical practice can improve patient outcomes. Physicians interact with patients on a daily basis, and can translate their needs into research projects. They can also trial new treatments in clinical settings.
Publishing scientific papers is often necessary for doctors to progress further in their careers. However, there are several barriers to doctors getting involved in medical research. Here are some common barriers.
Challenges faced by physicians in conducting medical research
Lack of time: According to a survey conducted by the the Royal College of Physicians, the enthusiasm for doing research was high (64%) but lack of time was a severe limitation. A case study in a teaching hospital in the US also demonstrated that the same reason was a barrier to implementation of research findings by nurses.
Challenges in practising evidence-based medicine (EBM): Apart from lack of time, some of the challenges to practising evidence-based medicine in clinical settings include conflicts between evidence-based recommendations and patient preferences, and weak available evidence. Often, evidence comes in the form of reports which have been weakly analysed and interpreted, affecting clinical judgement.
Inadequate research training for physicians: Medical doctors are trained first and foremost to practice clinical medicine. Statistics is touched upon on a superficial level. When the practitioner starts getting involved in conducting research, they are cannot judge the quality of data sets. Inadequate data analysis skills is one of the biggest challenges faced by physicians,
Access to expertise: Conducting research involves several interdisciplinary skills. Busy doctors involved in patient care often do not have time conduct research studies, even if they have a strong research question in mind. Doctors often need extra support to be able to design clinical trials and analyze outcomes. Hospital department statisticians are often over-burdened with requests from resident physicians and doctors. If they’re unavailable, medical trainees are left groping in the dark while trying to get their data verified and reviewed.
How Physicians Can Access Skills Required for Medical Research
Thanks to freelancers, data analysis skills are becoming increasingly available to medical practitioners. Many published scientists are also offering services as freelance scientific editors. Doctors involved in medical research can now conduct freelance medical statisticians to conduct systematic reviews, analyze clinical outcomes, and design robust clinical trials.
Platforms like Kolabtree are working with medical doctors worldwide to help them access expertise to accelerate research. By working with experts on demand, you save precious time and energy that you can put into your clinical practice and personal development.
Kolabtree has helped research physicians from hospitals worldwide access the skills required to conduct and communicate their research. Our global pool of experts include statisticians with 10+ years of clinical research experience, PhD-qualified medical researchers and scientific writers. We’ve supported doctors from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (USA), NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital (USA) and Nuffield Health (UK).
In an interview with the BMJ, Neena Modi, practising clinican and academic professor, says it’s essential for doctors to be involved in research: “Participation in research enables doctors to evaluate their practice objectively and to be involved in advancing their discipline.” As we close the gap between practising EBM and offering sound patient treatment plans, we can hope to make research and clinical practice go hand-in-hand in the future.
Are you a physician, doctor or nurse looking for help with your research study? Get in touch with PhD-qualified experts on Kolabtree. Work with freelance biostatisticians, health data analysts, medical writers and more.