I received word that my manuscript was accepted for publication. That's 10 journal publications. Well, 7 to be exact, with 3 currently in press. Not including the abstract and textbook publications.
Academia- it's an interesting world. And in many ways I feel torn. I like clinical work. And I'm very put off by the mental demands of research, of writing grants and writing papers. The peer pressure. When I started, even in medical school, the word research would make me sick to my stomach. I hated my medschool research endeavors. In some ways, it still makes my stomach turn.
And yet, it's like a virus. Years ago, I told myself I'd be happy with just one publication. But one quickly turns to two. Two to three. And before you know it, you want more. Whether it's really to add to the knowledge of medicine, or something as simple and greedy as seeing your name pop up when you do a Pubmed seach, I really don't know. Probably just naked ambition.
I thought I'd stop when I got to 10, a nice round number. Now I'm not so sure anymore. I have another 3 papers in the works and a textbook chapter close to publication (look out for the book in late 2008). Though these are small-time affairs that would not raise many eyebrows here, especially when your consultants regularly publish in NEJM and have over 200 publications.
Once I leave this place though, I'm not sure if I'll have the time nor the resources to do research. After all, I'll no longer have 'protected research time', something that many public universities in Malaysia have yet to learn. That if they truly want their lecturers and professors to excel in academia, that they need to be supported in terms of time (you can't be doing research if you have to teach 9-5) and money (you need money to do research, really). Case in mind, when UM almost lost Prof. Edmund Gomez, who was denied a two-year leave of secondment to take up the prestigious research appointment at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) in Geneva.
Anyways. We went out to celebrate last night. I have to say, this place really taught me a lot, and I'm thankful that I've been able to be productive.