Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Basic science and clinical medicine

So things are a bit different now that I am no longer full-time doing clinical work. I definitely miss it, but doing basic nuts and bolts biology research is so fulfilling and such a creative endeavor.

On the outside the most salient change is my attire. Gone is the tie and button down shirt. For me in the lab it's jeans (you may not believe me but I almost wrote genes--Freudian slip) every day.

On the inside though there has been a big change in how I think about things. The functional unit of time in inpatient medicine, the majority of our training as fellows, is a day, but sometimes can be an hour or even a minute. What do I mean by functional unit? I mean you wouldn't measure the grand canyon with a ruler.

The functional unit in basic science research, I am finding out, is the month. I try to set weekly and monthly goals. One needs incredible discipline to stay focused and on track when the timescale is a month...