It takes life-long passion to be in academia

 

My teammates and I (third person from the left)

Many people think that doing research in the medical field is about constantly gaining more knowledge, keeping up with advances and new findings in the field, and coming up with the meaningful unanswered questions. Research is also known to involve continuously doing experiments, analyzing and gathering data. From my personal perspective, I have discovered that research is a great learning environment. In order to contribute to any research project, the learning process never stops. The deeper your understanding is, the better your hypothesis will be. You are constantly learning while doing experiments and looking at your data. The hands-on experience is a crucial part to help me understand the projects.

In the Lichtman lab, people learn from each other on a daily basis: when the principal investigator and the postdoctoral researcher teach students new techniques or when students discuss underlying concepts with one another. It takes kindness to spare time to help other people learn. It takes cooperation and effort for everyone to be involved. Most importantly, it takes passion to keep all of this going.

The World of Work is not like university life. At school, students are taught by lecturers, assigned homework, get checked on for completion of homework, and get tested during exams to be evaluated. In the World of Work, how much you can learn and how much you can achieve entirely depends on you. There isn’t any limit about what you have to learn. There aren’t any criteria for you to be evaluated upon. People will not tell you what you should be doing, and they will not keep track of your work. However, they will evaluate your performance. They will want to know whether you can set up and carry out experiments independently, whether you can generate accurate data, and whether you can effectively analyze data. Furthermore, your performance is not the only thing that will be taken into consideration. It is also very important to maintain a good relationship with other people in your workplace and to be helpful to team members.

The most important skill that I have learned this summer is how to do research. I have learned how to come up with a question and how to set up the experiments and different techniques that can be used to do research. This will help me in the future whether I take lab courses at Brandeis or I do research as part of my career in the medical field. Besides my passion in patient care, I really appreciate the enormous impact of research in medicine. It may take a lifetime effort of scientists to do research, but the impact could be life-changing for improving patient treatment and health care services for all people. The World of Work has also taught me a lot about what I should do in order to be a worthwhile person and valuable team member. It’s all about having the passion and the resilience to pursue your passion.

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