Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Research Blues

So I'm working on a thyroid project. Working on a research proposal for a grant ($$$) application. Dateline August 1.

Vagus: "Dept X? Yea, I need someone to sign my application form. The IRB (Institutional Review Board) has already approved my protocol."
Dept X: "Oh, you need to submit this for IRB approval again."
Vagus: "But this has already been IRB approved. You mean I have to request another IRB approval just to apply for a grant??"
Dept X: "Yes. And you need to fill in these 6 forms, and get someone from Dept Y to sign it too."
Vagus: KNNCCB!!!
Calls Dept Y.
Dept Y: "No, you need to call Z, not us..."
Z: "Nope, wrong department. Try A..."
A: "Wrong guy. Try B..."
B: "Hi, I'm away for the day, please leave a message with my secretary and I'll get back to you.... beep!"
Vagus: ^&*#!!!daoiquvnsl !!! (Cuss words that would make a prison deathrow inmate blush)
After a couple of days of chasing around, finally able to complete the paperwork, and had my secretary Fedex it away. Gawd.
Research. Worlds apart from clinical medicine. Never been one to be crazy about this; after all I consider myself a clinician, never a researcher. I like my patients too much. And data analysis drives me nuts.
It's fascinating though, sometimes. To do a chart review, for example, to dig into medical records decades old, to get a feel for the patient's past. You almost feel like an uninvited guest in their lives. Especially the ones you pull up that the computer flags PATIENT DECEASED. You know you're really looking into the past. You look through their records and find out how the disease was first diagnosed, and then treated. You almost sense how they struggled before they finally succumbed to their illness.
You almost gasp when you pull up a patient with papillary thyroid carcinoma that was diagnosed at at 12. Or shake your head when you read about the other one with invasive cancer going into the carotids with hepatic mets; though the patient might not have known it then, you know reading those 2 lines what that meant.
Not sure how this project will end up. We'll see.
(don't ask me for details. For obvious reasons my protocol will be kept confidential)


Blogger Mei said...

No wonder you were tired and cranky last night :D

But thanks for lending a pair of listening ears (eyes actually).

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