In Praise of the Researchers

25 May

I read a lot of papers. Mainly for my own education but also for podcasting and blogging purposes.

I’ve done an almost invisible amount of research. One on ballpoint pens and crics, one letter on why LMAs might kill pigs but not humans in cardiac arrest and one on twitter at conferences (that incidentally happens to be the first use of the term FOAM in the medical literature).

These epoch defining research papers aside, I’ve contributed very little to the cornucopia of research out there.

I have done a lot of this blogging stuff, with this site being around since May 2011, well before most of the FOAMed universe.

But let’s not get carried away here. FOAMed, while great and important, and I genuinely believe, a novel and useful contribution to the medical landscape, is not where the graft, sweat and tears are. It’s in producing the research.

FOAMed is mainly (at least for me) sitting around in the evening with a cold one on a laptop in my casual wear hammering out some thoughts and opinions on what other people with proper jobs and academic funding and much larger brains than mine have spent time, sweat and tears producing.

The phrase “those who can, research and those who can’t, blog about it”, springs to mind.

The amount of work, heartbreak and persistence it takes to do clinical research is somewhat mind boggling. And for those of us (by which i mean me of course) who seem to acquire kudos tearing it apart and critiquing it perhaps should try and direct a little bit more of the kudos towards the researchers (and indeed the poor patients) who created the research.

So to you, dear researcher who has ran the gauntlet of funding applications, ethical approval, endless meetings, consenting, collecting data, analysing, drafting, writing and surviving the endless rejection of peer review – to you I give praise and thanks.

And endless apologies for the casual brevity with which this young punk might tear said research apart and use it like a stick to win arguments with…

Post script. There are some who seem to have straddled both worlds of producing research and nailing the FOAMed thing – Rick Body and Simon Carley jump to mind as stellar researchers and commentators.

Post the post script. I don’t mean to devalue the work FOAMed requires, lots of FOAMed guys do incredible blood sweat and tears work, it’s more to make sure the researchers get the kudos they deserve.

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