Time to say a thing or two about research. At academic medical centers (AMCs–what we used to call ‘teaching hospitals’) like GlassHospital, the holy trinity of mission is comprised of

  1. patient care
  2. teaching
  3. research.

I used to joke that at GlassHospital, our priority list was

  1. research
  2. research
  3. research
  4. —————–
  5. patient care
  6. teaching.

We’re moving away from this toward a more balanced vision. At present, heavy emphasis is placed by the National Institutes of Health (the big kahuna of medical research funding) on translational research.

Translation first meant taking “sciency” science, like cells and test tubes and petri dishes in labs, and trying to make the results clinically relevant (“at the bedside”). Now it’s come to include the concept of translating the research into meaningful impact in the community. The NIH has given a few AMCs (including GlassHospital) tens of millions of dollars to deliver on the promise of taking what we learn in the lab, the hospital, and the clinic, and disseminating it as far and as wide as possible.

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