Growing with Science

by Keegan Mills

Transitioning from medicine to science this year has been interesting. I have found that science has involved more thinking, understanding and application as opposed to the memorization that is required in medicine. I have been tasked with analysing and interpreting data this year and learning about and figuring out how different experiments work and how they can be used to answer specific questions which has required me to do a lot of my own research and learning so that I was able to understand the experiments and report back on them to my peers. Being challenged and having to apply myself in this way is something that I have enjoy and it has grown my interest in science and spurred me to want to continue my scientific journey and become a future clinician-scientist.

I have read many, many journal articles this year which has proved to be a valuable learning experience. In the past when I would read articles I often would struggle to understand and interpret the results confidently because of my lack of understanding of how the experiments that were done worked and how they could be used to prove a hypothesis.  Through my learning of various scientific techniques this year, I am now able to read papers confidently and can interpret the message they are trying to convey. Not only that, but I am much better at identifying bad science and when things aren’t quite adding up in a paper, which is an important skill to have.

Engaging with my research project has been frustrating. You can spend hours working on an experiment and do everything you needed to and when it gets right to the final point where you just need to quantify your results using various scientific equipment, you can get no data. This has happened a couple of times to me and it has been very frustrating. It is very different from medicine  where you know what you need to do and what is required of you academically and so the responsibility is on you to do what is required or not, things are in your hands and control (most of the time anyway). But such is the nature of science, things don’t always go to plan.

Working with different personalities for presentations and projects has also presented its challenges with people only wanting to work at certain times of the day or to work independently and just submit their portion of work. Navigating these situations and finding common ground has been a good experience to have to help develop my future leadership capabilities.

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