Boring ideas for research

Late in my residency, I became aware of the promise of personalised medicine – “bench to bedside”. There was a promise of in-vitro genomics to identify fractionation schemes that could be tailored to the patient’s clinical condition. Innovations in radiological techniques (MRI perfusion/spectroscopy) promised to open up new vistas. Stem cells were identified as the darling of the cancer research with a simple, straightforward premise – target them and you’d “hack the root and starve off the ravenous feeders”. The promise of AI and ML revolution promised to create new winners. Where are we right now?

I don’t know.

It might be cynical to blame everything on hype. However, it has come with a sombre realisation that healthcare processes are rigid for specific reasons – it’s the patient’s lives tied in with legal complications. You need expensive clinical trials with rigorous data (and not operate in the statistical grey zones). I have had to change three different facilities to identify innovative leaders who shared my view and push towards integrative approach.

I am still searching.

Along the way, I picked up some principles for a “boring clinical practise”. Ideas are generated in the process, and by remaining outside academia (due to circumstances and not out of choice), I have been able to drill some practical pointers to help me achieve my goals.

Action:
We are what we do; not we think we are. We should allow ourselves the latitude to take imperfect actions and create an innovation platform. It means taking action to allow the diffusion of ideas from a new perspective and demonstrate our leadership skills (by walking the talk).

Consistency:
By creating “habits” and driving ourselves to nail efficiency. Efficiency means accomplishing daily routines without minimal overheads.

Iteration:
Stop. Reflect. Readjust. Replan. Set the objective. Then be consistent in the efforts.

Compounding:
It is critical to understand that each action has untold reactions. It is important to write. This blog serves as a huge template of ideas (each cross-referenced) and as a growing “second brain”. It allows me to delve into any aspect of healthcare to drive associations. It has taken a gradual, consistent practise.

Focus:
A clear line of thinking eliminates distractions and imulses. How do you turn personal challenges and fuel it as a motivation to stay-consistent?

Gratitude:
There’s a higher providence irrespective of the faith. Express gratitude.

What’s the next step? These are simple ideas that reward individuals to set themselves free from the encumberances. One requires getting into a system with an institutionalised “brain” with a sum-total of ideas to get the grants/research proposals and associated activity.

The failure is not of the intent; it’s of opportunity.

Therefore, the continuous system of blog serves a valuable purpose of repository of “boring ideas” until I can practise them in a formal setting.

Do boring research too.