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September 1970

On Clinical Research

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Philadelphia 19104

Arch Dermatol. 1970;102(3):239. doi:10.1001/archderm.1970.04000090001001

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MUCH has been written of the rewards of research—the satisfying warmth of internally generated new knowledge, the academic comraderie, the skills in problem solving, the ability to relate to the ever changing medical scene. But here I would write of the how of research rather than the why. Research is such a wonderfully personal undertaking, it almost eludes formulation. Each investigator has his own techniques, his own milieu, his own style, and his own rules. Yet, to the student on the threshold of clinical research I would urge that he look to himself for certain essentials.

Have Curiosity  Never let your spark of child-like wonderment disappear. Keep turning the rocks over. Look for the why in your patients' problems. Ask questions and search for imaginative answers. Try to stay in the framework of existing knowledge, but do not be afraid to knock through an occasional wall of fact to put

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