Scientific researchers (PhD’s) are the unsung hero’s of medicine


                     Sulfonylurea’s close Potassium channels in beta cell membranes depolarizing cells triggering insulin release via an increased Calcium influx.

It  took  thousands of hours of research to be able to write the previous sentence. Hours of trial and error in dark laboratories across the world. Hundreds of people contributed to the research needed to understand that one mechanism. Imagine that some graduate student hunched over a plot of data on a clip board racked their brain for years to understand the mechanism. Or  imagine a French pharmacologist spending 12 hour days for months on end to finally make a breakthrough. The point I am trying to make is that medical research PhD’s are an essential part of medical knowledge. Scientific PhD’s and graduate students in general are the unsung hero’s of medicine. They are even more important than the clinicians.

Without the researchers (who are often not physicians) the physicians, PA’s, NP’s and nurses would not have any medical books.  Alexander Fleming, the guy who discovered penicillin was not a physician. He was a biologist and pharmacologist.  He had originally planned on becoming a physician but ended up a medical researcher instead. Fleming had an infinitely greater impact discovering Penicillin than he would have had as purely a physician.

I greatly admire MD/PhD’s. MD/PhD’s  have been some of the least pretentious and truly passionate people I  have ever known. It takes a special person to become a PhD and work for significantly less money than they would have made in the hospital setting. The MD degree combined with the PhD is an awesome combination.  It is true that many MD’s do research during medical school and after medical school. Many of these people are just doing it to look good on paper. Most don’t plan on taking that route permanently.

We should thank the graduate students and researchers that often get over looked. Without them civilization would still be in the Dark Ages. Clinical medicine has been bastardized so it gets most of the attention. People forget that it took  a team effort to progress medicine to the height it is today. The driving force behind modern medicine is research done by many unrecognized PhD and MD/PhD’s and graduate students. Thank you.

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