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The Meaning of Medical Students Exploring Academic Writing

Yudai Kaneda, School of Medicine, Hokkaido University

A Line Thrown Away by My Partner"Yudai, just keep going with your papers. Forever."

This was a line thrown at me by my ex when she got sick and tired of me.

That makes sense, as I have published more than 80 papers in 2 years.

My family, who do not go away at least, are thinking that writing academic papers is my "hobby" now.


Verifying the Correctness of Medical Practices Through Writing Papers

However, I do not really see it as a "hobby."

The reason is that I am receiving feedback on my manuscripts and sharing knowledge with professors or doctors not only in Japan but around the world.

Thanks to this, my messenger is running 24 hours a day, with edited papers always in the waiting list. In such a blessed environment, I feel that I am "learning."

For a physician, the significance of writing papers lies in verifying the correctness of one's medical practices and sharing those insights. Just because a treatment is written in the guidelines does not mean it is the best solution for every patient.

The creation of guidelines cannot avoid being affected by conflicts of interest and authority bias among other issues. Confirming the effectiveness of treatments I administer contributes significantly to the health of my patients.

The Significance of Medical Students Writing Papers

So, what is the significance of medical students writing papers?

I think it is about organizing one's thoughts. There are various types of papers, including letters, opinions, case reports, and original articles, and 90% of the papers I have published are either letters or opinions. These require a fresh perspective on current topics or previously overlooked issues instead of patient consent or ethical review, demanding research into past literature to organize thoughts and think independently.

And recently, I have been thinking that this time to think for oneself might be the greatest value for medical students. After becoming a doctor, it is challenging to be receptive to various daily occurrences in medical practice.

There are smart people to handle questions with standard answers. The opportunity to ponder on the incomprehensible and to have a team to comment on it is an invaluable learning experience, unique to this time.

Eventually, it feels natural to gradually shift towards clinical research. However, if my current learning can contribute to patient satisfaction in the long run, and if I am preparing the groundwork for that now, nothing makes me happier.

Beyond numbers and data, I want to continue writing papers with the perspective of those involved.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Akihiko Ozaki, Dr. Tetsuya Tanimoto, and Dr. Kenzo Takahashi, who inspired me to start writing papers. Though I am still inexperienced, I feel that I have gradually begun to produce outputs with the audience in mind, learning under these “teachers.” I look forward to your continued guidance.

*This article is a translation of Japanese MRIC published on Jul 7, 2023


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