Applicants to our Fellowship program often question the value of research. It is time consuming. It is not why I went to medical school. It will not directly affect my practice. These observations are legitimate, especially, early in a career when the value of research is difficult to see. However, a well designed and constructed clinical research enterprise is essential to the production of a well rounded surgeon.
Three concepts, in evolution, are going to define the landscape for the practice of clinical medicine in the foreseeable future:
In 2001, the Institute of Medicine challenged the American health care system to become more patient- and family-centered, a model that widens our focus to embrace the needs of the patient as a whole. No longer is survival or hospital length of stay a sufficient benchmark. We must develop new benchmarks which incorporate life after acute care: return to function, and quality of life. Patient centered care places a premium on patient education, self-efficacy, family involvement, and emotional support.
In 2004 the National Institutes of Health made the development of personalized medicine a cornerstone of its funding priorities. In its most simple form, personalized medicine aims to discover how an individual's genetic, molecular and environmental context predicts the risk of disease and the response to therapy.
Today, we sit astride the first ripple of the information tsunami. Soon clinical information will overwhelm the physician's ability to process it. Detailed standardized medical records will be instantly available; medications will be tailored to the patient's genome; patient follow up will be internet based; and patient education will employ distance learning technology.
Our goal IS NOT to make every student, resident, or fellow, a career research professional.
It IS our goal to:
And finally, our goal is to expose you to patient centered care, so you appreciate the art of medicine. To achieve these goals we have created the Surgical Critical Care Research Platform.