Articles  |   September 2014
Rebecca A. Aslakson, M.D., Ph.D. to Receive 2014 Presidential Scholar Award
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Critical Care / Palliative Care / End-of-Life Care / Patient Safety / Quality Improvement / Articles
Articles   |   September 2014
Rebecca A. Aslakson, M.D., Ph.D. to Receive 2014 Presidential Scholar Award
ASA Monitor 09 2014, Vol.78, 34-36.
ASA Monitor 09 2014, Vol.78, 34-36.
In the current funding environment, success in academic research is difficult. While there are clear elements of luck and “right place, right time” to any success, Benjamin Franklin contended that “diligence is the mother of good luck.” Hard work and a clear focus are necessary yet not sufficient. A successful research career is a complex adaptive journey and a function of critical interrelated variables, including the identification of a recognized mentor, the acquisition of necessary formal training and the provision of adequate protected research time.
All potentially successful researchers need advice on what to do (or not to do) from a skilled mentor who fosters mentee growth and development. Designing and completing high-quality research requires more than the knowledge acquired in medical school and in residency training. It also requires rigorous research-related coursework in areas such as study design, epidemiology, biostatistics and biomedical writing. Although some faculty do succeed without formal training, most high-impact research is conducted by faculty who have devoted the time to acquire the skills necessary to conduct high-impact research. These skills include asking important, impactful and answerable questions; designing and conducting studies to answer these questions; analyzing data; and preparing manuscripts. To produce successful researchers, academic department leaders need to work to secure resources to ensure that junior faculty can obtain formal training and protected time. Career development awards such as T or K awards are essential because they generally provide resources for a mentor, formal training and protected time for the mentee.
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