Qualities of a good Early Career Doctor as a researcher

by Oyinkansola Agaja

Early career doctors are dynamic, and they form a large proportion of the health workforce in Nigeria.

Research and discovery are a significant component of a physician’s life, and this must be adapted among early career doctors. Introduction into research early has added advantages, and knowing what is required and what lies ahead would help to prepare one for the task ahead as one is being introduced to the exciting field of research.

Qualities in an excellent early-career doctor as a researcher would include

  1. An initial interest. Such interest is like a desire or willingness or eagerness to commence research. It springs from a willingness to discover or understand unanswered questions. This initial interest is the single most important quality needed for research.
  2. Motivation – this is what follows closely to having interest. It provides the reasoning behind the initial interest in research and helps in advancing the initial desire to go into research.
  3. Being inquisitive means being unduly curious, asking questions. It shows a thirst for additional knowledge. This is an essential attribute of a researcher, and this is what keeps you in the game of research.
  4. Commitment – Being committed to a research idea keeps the research in focus and ensures the researcher gets to the end of the experiment and even permits for further advancement of plans and even publications in journals.
  5. Sacrifice – This involves giving up time inventing it and efforts towards the success of the planned research. This act would result in progress and advancement in the research.
  6. Excellence – A good researcher must work towards being outstanding or extra good. Attaining excellence will require a lot of efforts. He must aspire to excel in every part of the research.
  7. Knowledge – Getting knowledge is the primary purpose of any research. The research depends on it and would lead to additional knowledge which will bring about advancement. It is the main foundation on which research stands
  8. Scholarly approach -After carrying out a research project, the research report would have to be presented at the meeting and submitted for publication. The researcher must prepare for such meetings and make the best of such meeting.
  9. Integration- He must be ready to be integrated into the research process and work with collaborators if need be to get the best results possible
  10. 10. Open to mentorship- A good researcher should be open to mentorship as an adage says, he who enquires about the way to go never misses his way.

I hope this has helped and can be worked on by early-career doctors who would want to go into research. The sky is just the starting point for a researcher; there is no limit to him who has the above qualities.

Dr Oyinkansola Agaja

Dr Oyinkansola Agaja is a Senior Registrar(Paediatric Cardiology) at the Department of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan. She is an active member of the Research Collaboration Network of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors(NARD)

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