Patients are suffering because not enough basic clinical research is being done, warns a senior doctor in this week's BMJ. He believes that medical academia is failing patients and clinicians by neglecting this vital area of research.
Basic observational research provides the information that doctors need to diagnose and treat patients appropriately, writes neurologist Professor Peter Rothwell. But in the field of neurology alone, many examples exist where a lack of basic data is the main barrier for effective treatment in routine practice.
For instance, little is known about the reliability of diagnosing stroke and, until very recently, no reliable data existed on the early risk of stroke in certain patients. Countless patients have suffered as a result, yet much of this research is easy and relatively cheap to do, so why has it not been done, he asks?
He calls into question whether medical academia, in its current form, is properly fit for purpose.
He believes that medical academia must improve its performance or, less preferably, be forced by politicians to prioritise appropriately. The recent emphasis on the development of clinical research is welcome, he says, but there are potential pitfalls.
Greatest of these is the tendency for clinical research to be defined too narrowly, with observational research necessary for effective clinical practice continuing to be neglected, he concludes.
Page: 1 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Emma Dickinson
BMJ-British Medical Journal
. The general public lacks basic medical knowledge2
. Most Canadian med school grads lack basic surgical skills3
. New research effort to translate basic science into faster bone healing4
. SNM awards $15,000 for 2006 fellowships in support of clinical, basic research5
. Brazils juvenile detention centres failing to meet basic standards of health and hygiene6
. 1 of 2 pediatric kidney disease research centers in world established7
. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly8
. UCLA researchers awarded $9M contract for study identifiying antibiotic treatment for MRSA9
. Indiana University Imaging Center receives $6M grant for kidney research10
. Penn researchers discover novel pathway for increasing good cholesterol11
. New research discovers independent brain networks control human walking