Friday, January 31, 2014

"Too much medical research is conducted by amateurs who are required to do some research in order to progress in their medical careers"

“The poor quality of much medical research is widely acknowledged, yet disturbingly the leaders of the medical profession seem only minimally concerned about the problem and make no apparent efforts to find a solution.”  Doug Altman, a statistician, wrote that sentence in a BMJ editorial twenty years ago, and according to Richard Smith, the BMJ editor at the time, nothing has changed.  "Researchers are publishing studies that are too small, conducted over too short a time, and too full of bias in order to get promoted and secure future funding."

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, this is so true.
    Research is often not appreciated to be a profession; successful research requiring many years of experience and training. This is particularly true in medicine where there appears to be a belief that untrained (in research methodology, ethics and practice) doctors can undertake unsupervised research. Where they are supervised it is often by non-clinical academics who are frequently valued less than their clinical trainees. Poor quality research will continue until research is acknowledged to be a profession that untrained people should not dabble in without appropriate supervision.