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Are we shy of clinical research in India?

Annals of Pediatric Cardiology
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
DOI: 10.4103/0974-2069.58310
  • Editorial
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  • Education
  • Medicine


Despite the wealth of clinical material, we as a nation continue to procrastinate when it comes to research. Having managed thousands of cases of rheumatic fever, we still depend upon the West for defining the criteria for diagnosis of rheumatic fever.[1] With the experience of performing hundreds of balloon mitral valvotomies, we continue to rely on the mitral valve scoring system designed on the basis of data obtained from twenty odd patients.[2] This pathos, is not only limited to pediatric or adult cardiology but cuts across the various specialties of medicine and may be even across all sciences. It is therefore worth asking ourselves - why are we averse to clinical research in India? Answers may be uncomfortable and varied opinions are likely on an issue so vital for an upcoming nation. The problem begins right from our formative years. I remember being reprimanded as a child for touching some inexpensive (unbreakable!) objects at a family friend’s house. The disciplinary intention was honorable, lest I break something and to foster good manners. Similarly, touching toys or clothes in a store was frowned upon. Those who followed rules were considered “good” children and those who dared to break them were labeled “spoilt”. The instinct to explore was nipped in the bud. Schools and teachers followed a similar trend. The curriculum and examination pattern required one to answer questions without challenging the intellect. There was no room for asking smart questions or trying to arrive at smart answers. A curious question or an unorthodox answer was labeled as “being oversmart”. There was no socio-cultural or educational milieu to explore, experiment, innovate or invent. However, I believe current parenting culture is becoming more liberal and schools are changing their curricula and assessments so as to encourage researching at a young age.[3] Medical schools were not very different. Most professors did not encourage someone trying to work on a problem if it fell outside the realm of the curriculu

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