Journal of Orthopaedic Association of South Indian States

: 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Medical Research

Suresh S Pillai 
 Editor-in-Chief, JOASIS Senior Consultant – Spine Surgeon, Baby Memorial Hospital, Calicut, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Suresh S Pillai
Senior Consultant – Spine Surgeon, Baby Memorial Hospital, Calicut, Kerala

How to cite this article:
Pillai SS. Medical Research.J Orthop Assoc South Indian States 2021;18:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Pillai SS. Medical Research. J Orthop Assoc South Indian States [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Jan 28 ];18:1-2
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Full Text

Research is discovery of new facts/principles or fresh interpretation of known facts. Research involves answering the questions What, Why, How, When etc. of the phenomenon. Medical research is the foundation of improved patient care, decisions and policies on health care development. Sometimes the existing regimen may also be used in new subjects or in a new environment as a research work, similar to what we see in most of the post graduate thesis works. Focused research can ever overturn established medical practices. Medical research involves mostly collection and analysis of evidence from study subjects or collecting diverse evidence from various studies and interpretation of the data as in review articles or meta-analysis. Medicine is the science of relativity. Evidence mostly come from observations and experience. Past knowledge and experience are applied to the present situation, hoping that it would work. Mostly they would. But at times they would not. Always these remains a degree of uncertainty. Such impiricism (observations and experience) are the back bone of Medical Science. Medical Science is constantly changing. What is the set as a gold standard in yesterdays may not always work in the present.

Medical research may be basic research (Pure, cellular level) or applied research(oriented to an existing problem, may be diagnostic or therapeutic). Applied research may be primary (surveys, trials, observational studies etc.) or secondary (decision analysis, qualitative research, research synthesis etc). The first step in research is to identify the problem area to work on. Then collect as much information on the identified problem. A major source of information is literature. Other sources can also can provide information. Next step is to formulate research objectives and hypothesis.[1]

Investigations are the base for primary medical research.[2,3] Formulate the research objectives and hypothesis. Clearly spell out the target population and the subject of the study. Choose a definition that exactly fits in with the objectives. Inclusion and exclusion criteria should be clearly stated. This would avoid exclusion or inclusion of cases midway through the study.

Then think of a design to get a reliable and valuable answer to the question. Write down the research protocol, which includes the plan of research in a concise manner. It is the most important step is in conducting a research. Devote enough time to identify the problem and to choose the specifics of the problem you wish to investigate. The problem statement should be a comprehensive statement stating the basics for selecting the problem, knowledge gaps, its applicability and relevance. A research protocol include a clearly worded concise title that describe the study, an introduction containing the background that points to the need for the study, a review of the literature showing various other views on this topic, clear objectives, the hypothesis under test, a methodology for collection of valid data, method of data analysis and the process of drawing the conclusions. The ethical problems, the solutions to it and how the participants are safe guarded must be clearly stated. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are definitions that delineates the target population.

It is time, we utilize our treasure of huge population and clinical expertise to dictate treatment methods, which could be adequately researched and derived. Moreover, we should publish our “work” is our own journal, highlighting the credibility of our work. I urge each one of you, dear OASIS members, to publish your work is our own journal, than get disappointed in pursuit of 'somebodies' acceptance.

Looking forward to each one of you !!


1Brandeau M, Sainfort F, Pierskalla WP, (Editors), Operations Research and health care: A hand book of methods and applications, Springer 2004.
2Muening P, Khan K, Designing and conducting cost effectiveness analyses in medicine and health care. John Wiley and sons, Inc, 2002.
3WHO Manual. Health research Methodology: A guide for training in Research methods, 2nd Ed. World Health Organization Regional Office for the western Pacific, 2001.