• Question: best topic to do for a research project when wanting to be a doctor

    Asked by turtles1 on 19 May 2020.
    • Photo: Tiffany Chan

      Tiffany Chan answered on 19 May 2020: last edited 19 May 2020 10:39 am

      Hi! I’m not a medical doctor, but I think this will really depend on the area of medicine you’re interested in – there’s not going to be a ‘best’ topic! Do you have any ideas yet? Medicine is very broad, so it’s difficult for us to suggest specific projects that you might like unless you narrow it down a bit! 🙂

      Personally, I’m fascinated about the brain and how to treat brain diseases; why are brain diseases so difficult to treat? / why are e.g. brain infections so rare?

    • Photo: Shaline Fazal

      Shaline Fazal answered on 19 May 2020:

      Hi 🙂 Same as Tiffany, I am not a medical doctor but I would say it is important to do research on a topic that really interests you. The beauty of doing any sort of research is that you embark on it because you are passionate and dedicated to the topic at hand, so there isn’t necessarily such a thing as “the best topic”, it’s more the best topic for you 🙂 I have always been interested in understanding disease pathology occurs, and how it is that cells adapt to these fluid changes. I hope that helps.

    • Photo: Kim Liu

      Kim Liu answered on 19 May 2020:

      Hey 🙂 I’m also not a doctor, but I’ll quickly drop a couple of topics I find personally find exciting and important in medicine right now: 1) addressing increasing antibiotic resistance and perhaps new mechanisms of killing bacteria; 2) stem cells and regenerative therapy; 3) research into third-world/unprofitable diseases, esp. tuberculosis; 4) efforts towards automated surgery/medicine, both in robotics and artificial intelligence; 5) public health – how best to manage healthcare and humans to effectively prevent and cure illness.

      But many projects are interesting and important, and the experience of research is often more important than the topic itself – so think a little bit about what ideas/projects aesthetically appeal to you, and those you can imagine yourself finding fun even when it’s not working well! Leave a comment if you want to discuss further! 🙂

    • Photo: Tom Willmott

      Tom Willmott answered on 19 May 2020:

      As Tiffany and Shaline have said, medicine is very broad so find something that really interests you. It’s a bonus too if it’s an area which urgently needs research at the moment, such as antibiotic resistance, geriatrics, cardiovascular health and many more. I’m a microbiologist looking at the role bacteria in our health and disease 🙂

    • Photo: Nefeli Skoufou-Papoutsaki

      Nefeli Skoufou-Papoutsaki answered on 19 May 2020:

      I’ve always found fascinating the translational aspect of biological sciences that a lot of times requires a close interaction and relationship with scientists and clinical doctors. An area of research that was mentioned before was stem cell and regenerative medicine. A cool is example is the use of mini-organs in a dish to study diseases. The idea is that scientists can get access to samples from patients that have a genetic condition and grow them in the lab. Then with by engineering the genome of patients they can correct the errors and then give them back to the patients or try different drugs that could cure the disease. This area of research is still ongoing of course but might be interesting for someone that wants to learn more about disease development and treatment and maybe the closest you can get of working with patients at this stage.

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 19 May 2020:

      Hi turtles11YA, appreciate it’s going to be very difficult to get into labs at the moment because of COVID – but that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in research. Several labs have ‘dry’ projects running that they might be able to get students involved with – i.e. ones that involve supervision and data analysis remotely. Honestly, any research topic in the biomedical sciences would be relevant; it definitely doesn’t need to be directly linked to patients. In the early years of the medical degree you will cover lots of things like immunology, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, genetics – long before you do anything with patients – you might find it easier to tackle these subjects if you have worked with any of them beforehand. Most major medical advances ultimately stem from basic research so be willing to consider basic science as well as clinical research. If you haven’t already seen it, I recommend taking a look at the scheme run by the Nuffield Foundation – I did a Nuffield project before I went to University and it really gave me the bug for research. Best of luck!