January 18, 2021
Author: Ramya Sriram is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Kolabtree
Freelance medical researchers can help doctors accelerate research, helping them with study design, data analysis, and manuscript publication. Medical practice and research are two sides of the same coin.
It is well known that physician participation in medical research translates to better patient outcomes. However, medical specialists, doctors, and nurses are often unable to be as involved in research as they’d like to be. Working with medical research freelancers can help medical specialists access research support without losing focus on their core undertaking of practising clinical medicine.
Why doctors are unable to participate in research
Lack of time: According to a survey conducted by the Royal College of Physicians, the enthusiasm for doing research was high (64%) but lack of time was a severe limitation. A 2016 case study in a teaching hospital in the US also demonstrated that the same reason was a barrier to implementation of research findings by nurses. Busy doctors involved in patient care do not have time to conduct research studies, even if they have a strong research question in mind.
Inadequate research training for physicians: Medical doctors are trained first and foremost to practice clinical medicine. There are also several challenges to practising evidence-based medicine. Statistics is touched upon on a superficial level. When the practitioner starts getting involved in conducting research, they may not be able judge the quality of data sets. Inadequate data analysis skills is one of the biggest challenges faced by physicians.
Access to expertise: Conducting research involves several interdisciplinary skills. Doctors often need extra support to be able to design clinical trials and analyze outcomes. Hospital department statisticians are typically over-burdened with requests from resident physicians and doctors. However, it is now easier to access specialist skills, ranging from freelance medical statisticians to freelance cardiology writers.
As the gig economy grows within the healthcare industry, it presents a big opportunity for medical specialists, who can take advantage of the talent pool now available to them.
Services that freelance medical researchers offer:
- Manuscript preparation
Within the medical profession, it is often a requirement for doctors to have published research for career growth. However, the process of preparing a manuscript, sending it to journals and reworking them according to editors’ comments can be a time-consuming and painful process. Working with experienced freelance medical writers can help medical specialists refine their manuscript and tailor it according to a specific journal’s guidelines. Getting help from an expert gives them a higher chance of having their research published in a journal of their choice. This process may also require the help of medical illustrators, who can design visuals to support the content of the research paper.
- Study design & statistics
Scientific researchers are experienced with designing, implementing, and optimizing studies, as well as analyzing their outcomes. Medical specialists may need the help of an experienced expert while conducting a clinical trial for a new drug, device, or treatment. Working with clinical research consultants can help them verify that the sample size, data collection method, and statistical methodology used is correct. Freelance biostatisticians can help medical doctors and researchers validate their data and interpret the results accurately.
- Literature search & systematic reviews
No research begins without a thorough literature search that provides a comprehensive overview of the available evidence or literature on a specific topic. Systematic reviews are one of the most painstaking jobs of the research process, involving hours of compilation, combing through databases, and creating reports. A meta-analysis combines the results of multiple studies to make accurate interpretations. Medical specialists can outsource these tasks to systematic review experts who can help them save precious time and effort.
Zoya Marinova, freelance medical writer on Kolabtree says, “ I think that the involvement of medical doctors in research greatly benefits both clinical care and biomedical science. Physicians are well aware of the problems they face in clinical care that can be transformed into research projects. Meanwhile, the scientific knowledge physicians acquire in the course of their research work will help them stay up-to-date in the clinical care they provide.”
Kolabtree has helped medical specialists, doctors, nurses and research physicians worldwide access the skills required to conduct and communicate their research. Our global pool of experts includes statisticians with 10+ years of clinical research experience, PhD-qualified freelance medical researchers, and medical writers. It’s free to post a project and get quotes from experts.
*Author: Ramya Sriram is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Kolabtree, the world’s leading platform for hiring experts on demand. Kolabtree helps medical device companies of all sizes find and hire trusted freelance medical writers, statisticians, product development consultants, and researchers.