Elissa in Wonderland – Reflections on Research

I feel like I’ve learnt more in the past 3 weeks in my research fellowship than I did in the preceding year of clinical work. It’s a steep learning curve, and one that’s taken me out of my comfort zone.

Doctors are generally very comfortable in their role as clinician, and far less so in other roles, such as manager or researcher. Our training prepares us to be experts in clinical management and even if we don’t know the answer, we know where to go look for it. The positive feedback in clinical work can be rapid (provide an intervention, see an improvement for the patient, repeat, hurrah!), unlike management or research roles.

I had to start using headphones so I can’t hear the team handing over patients in the morning (one of the hazards of open-plan workspaces). Not only does their handover distract me from my work, I feel left out as they discuss patients I don’t know.

Has anyone else experienced this in their transition from clinician to researcher? Does the feeling wear off? I’m sure that by this time next year I’ll be grumbling about ward rounds dragging me away from my writing.

This is the first part a regular series of posts by Palliverse team members about their day-to-day experiences in research roles.

Elissa Campbell (@Elissa_Campbell) is currently working as a Palliative Care Fellow, researching advance care planning. Her research is funded by the Health Department of Western Australia (WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network).

1 thought on “Elissa in Wonderland – Reflections on Research

  1. Thanks Elissa, for opening up such an important area for discussion. Your ‘wonderland’ experience certainly resonated with me when I look back at my transition from clinician to researcher. From a nurses perspective, it’s a whole new language and paradigm. I will look forward to sharing more of this discussion with everyone in the Palliverse!


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