Basics of Medical Research

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Medical research is a vast field in itself. It encompasses different spheres dealing with medication and well being, like microbiology, nursing and public health, biochemistry, physiology, etc. Scholars who take up any form of medical research have to learn about the variety of opportunities they have, the use of such research, and most importantly, the methods and ethics adopted to conduct such research.

There are focused studies for specific ailments which are widespread, like cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases. Medical research can be also classified as:

• Clinical trials: these are experiments conducted to test the efficacy of certain lines of treatment, procedures and medicines.

• Preclinical trials: under this form of research, candidates try to develop new treatment

At the masters and PhD level, scholars can also conduct research based on theoretical studies. However, these will have to be supported by proper data and some lab experiment. Medical research can also be in the form of case studies, wherein a specific ‘case’ is selected and complete study is based upon how the case develops.

Depending upon the nature and objectives of study, medical research adopts different techniques of collecting and analysing data. It can include gathering information through following methods:

• Studying the medical history of patients and charts maintained by hospitals

• Noting the effectiveness of a specific medicine for curing certain symptoms

• Combination of different medical approaches, like mainstream antibiotics medicine combined with physiotherapy

• Observing the behaviour of patients and their reaction to certain drugs

• Conducting lab experiments to test a theory

• Pilot study for success of certain medicines

• Surveys conducted with an aim to know the opinions of the sample population

The methodology adopted for studying the data collected is usually a mix of qualitative and quantitative forms. While most of data is analysed using quantitative methods, some opinions and observations need qualitative approach for assessment.

Though medical research mostly denotes studies based around conventional allopathic medicine and surgical methods, there are other branches of medical studies also. Homeopathy, naturopathy, holistic treatment, herbal or plant based medicines are some variants of medical field which are also studied by scholars, albeit in a very limited number. The limited scope for such lines of treatment restricts the development of research in these fields.

Since medical scholars spend a lot of time for training, by assisting medical practitioners, they have limited time to conduct a full fledged research. Hence, they often opt for consultation from experts in the field and help for writing the research report. When looking for assistance, scholars must remember that a trustworthy expert, who has professional experience as well as a sound academic background should be contacted for attaining success in research work.